When you hear the word of sauna your first reaction will be to think at a room full of people sweating, but its not that simple. Saunas are specially designed rooms or entire houses where the temperature is usually really high, reaching temperatures over 80 degrees Celsius, where a single person or a group of persons can relax just with steams.
Control is everything in a sauna. The humidity level in a sauna influences the most important fact, temperature. If the humidity is decreased slightly the human body can resist to really high levels of the temperature, but rising the level of humidity to 100% is only recommended when the temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius.
Records and historical evidence indicate that the Finns were those who build the first wooden saunas, around 5th century and played an important role in the tradition of Finland, historical saunas became really important to the people from that time, being the most sacred place after the church.
There are a lot of sauna types to choose from. There are dry or wet saunas, smoke or steam based saunas, or one of the most common types of sauna, that works with infrared waves. All of these types have different designs of the chamber where the sauna is placed, for example they can come with a chimney or without one.
The benefits of sauna are endless. From relieving medical conditions like asthma or chronic bronchitis to the improvements saunas can get in improving joint mobility in patients suffering from rheumatic disease. Almost everybody can benefit from the sauna, except persons with severe stenosis or recent myocardial infarction.
Written by Deborah Risset for the french site Piscine, sauna et aquagym.