THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF REGULAR FINNISH OUTDOOR SAUNA BATHING
A trusted and key authority in the field is Dr. Jari Laukkanen, cardiologist and professor at the Central Finland HealthCare District and University of Jyväskylä. He’s a leading figure in the research into health benefits associated with the practice of sauna bathing and his work helps educate people about the real ways traditional Finnish Sauna can help improve their lives.
Laukkanen's 2015 study, aimed at investigating the association between frequent sauna bathing and various cardiovascular issues, found that sauna bathing significantly reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death, fatal cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
A traditional sauna experience protects against cardiovascular disease, aids relaxation, sleep, rheumatoid diseases, chronic fatigue and pain syndromes. It also reduces stress, improves exercise performance, muscle recovery and the skin’s moisture barrier properties.
Also, and perhaps most crucially, unlike cheaper Infrared Saunas which have seen a growth in popularity in recent times, a traditional Finnish sauna also improves arterial stiffness and protects against Alzheimer's, Dementia, respiratory disease and Pneumonia. It’s no surprise that native Finn’s opt for traditional saunas 98% of the time.
Interestingly, Finnish saunas actually produce more infrared radiation compared to actual infrared saunas. Hence, any benefits induced through the use of (for example) infrared saunas or Waon therapy are equally applicable to Finnish saunas.
THE FINNISH SAUNA EXPERIENCE
This tradition is the essence and cornerstone of Nordic culture. Sauna bathing is an ancient form of healing used to cleanse the body and mind. It originated with native populations across the globe, with the Finnish sauna “SOW-NAH” being the most popular ritual we see today.
Traditional saunas can be found across Scandinavia and the Baltics, floating on serene lakes, in city bathhouses, and built in seaside cottages. The sauna is a place to retreat, cure what ails you, and gather with friends to share in an uplifting experience.
Though Finland is best known as the home of saunas, the tradition is equally popular in nearby Estonia and the Estonian smoke sauna is very different to the sauna experience provided by better known Finnish saunas. You can find out more in our Estonian sauna tradition blog post.
In a Finnish sauna, the temperature is relatively high compared to other saunas in the world, between 70-100°C. The Finnish sauna is heated with a stove (usually a wood-burning or electric heater) with heat-conducting stones. Water is thrown on the stones to create water vapour (known as ‘löyly’ in Finnish), then this steam provides moisture and instantaneous, soft extra heat in the room. The typical humidity in a Finnish sauna ranges from 40-60%.
In Finnish sauna bathing, cooling off is as essential as the sauna bathing itself. After pleasant exposure to moist heat, many sauna bathers enjoy cooling off with a cold shower or a dip in a lake, ocean or pool. The transition from hot to cold invigorates the blood supply and increases the heart rate, which in turn contributes to overall improved health and wellbeing.
Having a traditional Finnish home sauna in your garden can provide countless benefits. Whether you use it once a week as a sanctuary to relax in and relieve stress, or you want to work on your physical condition for improved athletic performance, your home sauna will give you that opportunity to take advantage of the many health benefits of Finnish sauna bathing. Release your tension and sweat it out, by yourself, with family members or with friends. A good sauna session can do wonders for your mental wellbeing as well as for your body.
Our Wildhut traditional outdoor saunas are a modern and contemporary take on the classic Finnish sauna with influence from across the Baltics. From the gorgeous Estonian Huum heaters to the beautiful, sleek Canadian cedar that has become the gold standard for use in traditional sauna construction, our luxury saunas spare no expense in their design and build. If you'd like to know more about Wildhut traditional Finnish saunas get in touch with the team today and we can talk you through your options.