Sauna Procedure

Oh how I love the sauna.

For those of you who are gluttons for heat as I am, the sauna is a haven from the chills. It is used to strengthen the immune system and as a means to sweat out and cleanse the largest organ, our skin. The cyclic cold and hot cycles of a sauna procedure acclimatize the body to the severe temperature changes that are found in the natural weather cycle. By preparing the body for the onslaught of the winter weather while the body is at rest, and supported with healthy essential oils, it trains the body for a positive response to harsh conditions.

Then off to the slopes or back on that ski-doo to enjoy the cold half of our Canadian year.

The following is the Official Sauna Procedure of
The Finnish Sauna Society
NOTE For hygienic reasons a cloth or similar should be used by each bather to sit on.
  • Reserve enough time, at least an hour and a half.
  • Leave your clothes in the dressing room. You should also have a clean set of clothes to wear after the sauna. Take something to sit on, e.g. a small towel, into the sauna.
  • Take a shower or a dip in water before entering the hot room. This is to moisten the skin and to remove any possible body or fragrant odors, which do not belong to the sauna.
  • Enter the hot room for the first round. The recommended temperature is 80 to 90 degrees C (176-194 degrees F), at most 100 degrees C (212 degrees F). At first the air may be dry. Increase humidity by throwing water onto the stones in the stove. Using the whisk is not recommended on the first round since the skin has not yet softened adequately.
  • Leave the hot room when you feel hot enough and cool off by taking a shower or a swim or just by sitting in room temperature or outside. Have a drink if you feel thirsty, but avoid alcohol in the sauna.
  • Take a second round in the hot room, which now should already be more humid than on the first round. After warming up you can use the whisk if you please. It feels best with adequate humidity and temperature.
  • Cool off again.
  • Repeat the hot-cold cycle as many times as you feel comfortable with. Use the whisk according to your preference. For many people two rounds is usually right.
  • Return to the hot room for a short warm up to soften the skin.
  • Wash up.
  • After washing yourself you can return to the hot room for a while, now preferably to a lower temperature.
  • Finally rinse yourself under a refreshing shower or go for a swim.
  • Dry yourself with a towel or just by sitting in room temperature. You can also lay down and even close your eyes for a while if you feel like it.
  • Have a refreshing drink and a salty snack according to your personal taste.
  • Before putting on clean clothes allow enough time for cooling off, otherwise the sweating may still continue. Also watch out not to get cold since the body is in a more "sensitive" state after the sauna than normally.
  • Leave the sauna and the dressing room in tidy condition.
Bibliography The Finnish Sauna Society