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  • Why Owning Your Own Sauna Is The BEST Thing Ever!



    Any moment of relaxation is a break from reality and the intense, always-busy world that we live in. Saunas are known to help people relax, and with many healthy benefits, using them daily can be good for both your mind and body. However, getting your daily sauna session in is not always easy, especially when you’re driving to your local gym to find a sauna. Today, not every gym has a sauna, so for some people it may be difficult to find a place that even has a sauna available to use. These are all reasons why having your own sauna is great and may be a good choice for you and your family!

    Just steps outside your own home you could step into a warm relaxation zone where, after a peaceful 15 or 20 minutes, you’ll leave feeling renewed and refreshed. Your sauna is a place where you can gather with friends, family, or just take some time for yourself to relax.

    Owning your own sauna means you get to choose the exact sauna that works best for you and your needs. With saunas seating up to six people, you’ll have plenty of room to sit and zone out during your sauna session. You can choose accessories or add-ons for your sauna such as these sauna scents. These allow you to enhance your sauna experience, making it your own and right for you. You’ll never have to worry about what to wear during your sauna session, because it’s just you and the relaxing heat. That means you can wear these convenient and comfortable sauna and spa wraps to give yourself the relaxing and at-home feeling only your own sauna can provide.

    Although saunas are known to be very sterile areas, having your own sauna allows you to know who’s been in it and how often you feel it should be cleaned. You can use it at your own convenience, as it will always be just steps outside your door or just down the hall.

    Saunas are very beneficial for your muscles and joints after an intense workout or even a long day in the office. The heat allows your muscles to loosen up and relax. No need to stop at the gym or try and squeeze it in, in the morning. With your sauna at home, you can step inside whenever it is convenient for you.

    The choices are truly unlimited when it comes to owning your own home sauna. From colors, to types of wood, to size, to accessories, you have the ability to really make it your own. By the time you add in the price of gas, and a membership so that you can use the sauna, it will be more time and money spent than if you have your own. You can easily grab some snacks, beverages and even the rest of the family, and enjoy a sauna session and time together.

    Making your sauna yours and right for you and your family is only going to increase your relaxation and enjoyment of your sauna. Whether it’s indoors, outdoors, for two people or for four people, relaxation in your very own sauna really is the BEST thing ever!



  • Increasing Muscle Mass Through Sauna Use

    This article is Part Two of our four-part series on the extraordinary effects of hyperthermic conditioning--or heat acclimation--through sauna use on athletic performance and general health. If this series doesn't convince you that a sauna should be a regular part of your health regimen, nothing will! We believe this information is so important, that we are featuring the series on both our Saunas US and Saunas Canada sites.

    This series focuses on and breaks down the information provided by Dr. Rhonda Patrick in her YouTube video "Hyperthermic Conditioning for Hypertrophy, Endurance, and Neurogenesis". See the full video pasted below. Throughout the article, we will direct you to specific points in the video so you can jump straight there.


    Hyperthermic Conditioning / Heat Acclimation Through Sauna Use

    Heat acclimation--or hyperthermic conditioning--through regular sauna use can have profound effects on health and athletic performance. Specifically, in the following areas:

    1. increasing endurance capacity
    2. increasing muscle mass
    3. improving brain function, including neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells)
    4. causing the effect known as "Runner's High"

    Refer to 1:08 in the video.

    The Effects of Heat Acclimation on Muscle Building (4:40)

    The following effects occur during hyperthermic conditioning through regular sauna use:

    1. The production of heat shock proteins is induced. Heat shock proteins repair muscle damage, convert amino acids into muscle tissue, and increase muscle density.
    2. Growth hormone levels are boosted. Growth hormone is responsible for cell growth and regeneration, and increasing muscle and bone density.
    3. Insulin sensitivity is improved. Insulin is a protein critical to muscle building.

    Muscle Mass Gains Through Sauna Use (6:30)

    It was found that two back-to-back sauna sessions at 80 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes boosts growth hormone levels two-fold.

    Two sauna sessions for one hour per day for a week cause a 16-fold increase in growth hormone levels. That's huge!

    And You'll Live Longer, Too (7:38)

    And if that's not enough, it was also found that heat stress, such as through sauna use, boosts lifespan by as much as 15%.

    Be sure to check out the entire series on heat acclimation/hyperthermic conditioning:

    1. Building Athletic Endurance Through Sauna Use
    2. Increasing Muscle Mass Through Sauna Use
    3. Improving Brain Function Through Sauna Use
    4. The Runner's High Explained

  • Design Your Own Sauna

    Design Your Own Sauna

    With enough time and money, you can design a pretty amazing sauna. Enlist the aid of a designer and contractor, and get the sauna of your dreams! But even with a limited budget and a staff of just yourself, you can design an attractive sauna that adds value to your home and provides a spa-like retreat for you and your family.

    In lieu of a hiring and designer and contractor, you can purchase a pre-cut sauna kit. We carry a large selection of pre-cut sauna kit sizes here. These kits let you design a sauna layout for any type of space. You'll need to do most of the building yourself, but it can be done over several weekends--about 16 to 24 hours altogether.

    Pick a Location for Your Sauna

    The location of your sauna is very important. It will need to be placed on concrete, tile, linoleum, or another surface that does not absorb moisture. Never install a sauna on carpet! You'll also need to decide whether you want your sauna indoors or outdoors.

    Indoor saunas can be designed to fit in your bathroom, basement, in a walk-in closet, garage or spare room.

    Outdoor saunas cost more to install than indoor saunas, due to the costs of running water and electricity to the location, as well as the cost of building a protective roof. You'll also need to check municipal bylaws that may restrict the size and location of your sauna. Don't place outdoor saunas too close to property lines, and you'll need to construct a foundation below the frost line.

    Wherever you build, make sure it is level and there is access to a 240-volt electrical supply.

    Things to Plan Before You Build

    Once you've chosen a location, draw a line on the floor or the ground to get a better idea of how the room or space will look once the sauna is built. Measure the space to determine the kit size you will need to order. Sauna sizes start at 3'x4' for 1 person. A height of 7' is ideal. When measuring for benches, allow about 2' of bench for each person on the upper bench. If you want to lie down in the sauna, allow at least 6 feet along one wall.

    Be sure to plan for the door location and the direction of its swing. It should swing out of the sauna, not into it.

    For optimum bench layout, put the door and heater next to each other on a long wall. Bench depth is generally 19", and height is either 38" for the upper bench or 19" for the lower bench.

    Ordering Your Pre-Cut Sauna

    Once you've got the location, measurements, and basic plan, you're ready to order your kit. If you have questions, be sure to ask! We can help you choose the right size kit for your plan and give you tips on how to build it. You'll be in your own custom-designed sauna in no time!

  • US Sauna Culture

    us sauna culture

    Countries all over the world use saunas as a way to de-stress, cleanse, and improve their health, and every country that does approaches the sauna process a little differently. In the US, we have a relatively young sauna culture, but there are some vestiges of a sauna culture, with some regions having rather pronounced traditions.

    Overall Sauna Practices in the US

    Saunas in the US tend, overall, to be less communal than their European cousins, with people having private saunas in their homes or using gym or spa saunas that require memberships. These saunas may allow or require nudity (and certainly, do as you will in your home sauna), but many will require users to wear towels, swim suits, or robes. In many gyms, people will even wear their workout clothes.

    While this type of sauna use can be considered "typical", there are areas of the US with markedly different sauna cultures.

    Sweat Lodges

    While Finnish-style saunas are fairly new to the US, sweat lodges have been in use for centuries.  Unlike a sauna, a sweat lodge (or sweat house) is often dome-shaped. Like a sauna, sweat lodges are used as a way of purifying the body.

    Use of sweat lodges is often highly ceremonial in nature. As part of that ceremonial culture, intensive training lasting many years is often required before someone is permitted to lead a lodge. This training includes learning prayers in the indigenous language of that culture, as well as safe practices for conducting the lodge.

    While using a sweat lodge, people will usually wear a simple garment. Women often wear skirts and t-shirts or short-sleeved dresses. In some cases, the genders are separated.

    In some traditions, sweat lodges must be used in complete darkness.

    The Saunas of the Lake Superior Region

    When immigrants from Finland arrived in America, local natives called this "sweat lodge men" or "white-men-like-us" because of their use of saunas. These Finnish immigrants settled large communities in Northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota and established a sauna culture that resembles the one they left behind in Finland. Many of these traditions are preserved today, while some new cultural practices have been added.

    Throughout the Lake Superior Region, saunas are regular fixtures as out buildings. Often situated near lake houses or cottages, there are also saunas in use by entire neighborhoods. While private saunas are very popular in the US, the Lake Superior Region retains a sense of community around many of their saunas, and sauna use is a part of their everyday life, not just an occasional luxury.

    Saunas in Los Angeles and the Larger California Area

    The large coastal cities of California are home to large populations of people from across Asia, and one group in particular brought with them their own unique sauna culture. Korean saunas date back to a time when most Koreans didn't have their own bathrooms, and so members of a community would gather at bathhouses to cleanse and socialize. These jimjilbang have now crossed the ocean and are popular among Americans who have access to them.

    These new-world Korean saunas often resemble Western spas in many aspects, but all have a uniquely Korean feature: a very large room where everyone can gather to eat, watch tv, sleep, or read. This communal area is the heart of the sauna, and people will often spend most of a day simply lounging about there. In some cases, people will stay days. Don't expect to just pop in for a quick sweat.

    The saunas themselves, however, are separated by gender and staffed by women known as ahjummahs, which roughly translates as "aunties". These aunties are usually mature, no-nonsense women, and before you use the sauna these women will vigorously scrub you head to toe until you are completely exfoliated.

    While the aunties are frequently dressed uniformly dressed in black undergarments, sauna users are expected to be completely nude in the gender-specific areas of the sauna. In the large common space, all guests are given baggy t-shirts and shorts to wear.


    What's the sauna culture like in your area of the US? Share it with us in the comments below!


  • Win a 1 Person Carbon Fiber Sauna

    win a sauna

    How to Enter

    Win a sauna of your very own! It's easy to enter! Simply go to our Saunasandstuff.com Facebook page. There are four ways to enter, four chances to win! Be sure to read the complete rules, as some restrictions apply.

    Enter THREE Other Amazing Giveaways!

    While you're on Facebook, check out the contests sponsored by our sister sites. We're giving away lots of great prizes:

  • 10 Reasons to Own a Home Sauna

    Saunas are everywhere, easily accessible to most people. You can find them in gyms, spas, community centers, and in private homes. There's no denying the amazing benefits of using a sauna, but are there reasons to prefer a private home sauna over a public sauna? Of course!

    1. You Can Wear Whatever You Want

    10 Reasons to Own a Home Sauna photo by Hurmine Kurz via Flickr

    A gym, spa, or even a sauna business that rents private time in a sauna will have rules about acceptable levels of clothing. Some will require you to wear swimsuits, or will require only a towel. Some may insist on nudity. In your own home sauna, you can wear whatever you like--within reason, of course. Wearing too much could lead to overheating and is not advised.

    2. You Know How Clean the Sauna Is

    10 Reasons to Own Your Own Sauna photo by Todtanis via Wikipedia

    A gym sauna could see hundreds of people move through it in a day. Even upscale spas could have dozens of people moving through the sauna. You have no idea when it was last cleaned, or whether the previous users cleaned themselves properly before using it. You don't know what they might have done while in the sauna. And regardless of the sauna's cleanliness and the cleanliness of its patrons, you're still going to be exposed to bacteria, hair and skin cells left behind. In your home sauna, you know exactly how clean the sauna is, and you know exactly who has been in it and what they've been doing. Any stray hairs are yours, and you aren't exposed to random germs.

    3. Home Saunas are so Darn Convenient

    You don't need to get dressed and leave the house to use your home sauna. You don't need to brave weather, crowds, or traffic. You can use it any time of day for any length of time. Saunas are a great way to relieve cold symptoms, but who wants to leave the house when they're sick? Added bonus: you don't expose anyone else to your cold germs, your morning breath, your bed head, or your make-up free face.

    4. You Don't Have to Pay Any Fees

    Yes, there is an initial cost for the purchase of the sauna, and there are ongoing maintenance and operation costs. However, you don't have to worry about maintaining your gym or spa membership in order to access the sauna. You don't have to pay a high fee to use the spa for just a few minutes. You don't have to pay additional robe or towel fees. If you figure the cost of a home spa over a ten-year period versus the cost of maintaining a gym or spa membership over that time, plus gas or public transit costs, you may find that a home sauna saves you money.

    5. You are in Control of the Heat and the Loyly

    Gym and spa saunas, and sauna businesses that rent time in private saunas, set the heat and humidity of the sauna to suit the largest number of people. These levels may be too low or too high for your comfort or preference. In a home sauna, you can set the temperature however you like, make adjustments to suit your mood or comfort. Most importantly, you can be the master of your own loyly!

    6. You Can Customize Your Sauna Experience

    10 Reasons to Own a Home Sauna photo by Clarkston SCAMP via Flickr

    Public-use saunas have to strive to please the largest number of people possible and maintain a consistent experience, so they typically standardize the sauna environment they offer. In a home sauna, you are free to add chromatherapy gels to the sauna lights, to add fragrances to the air or water, pipe in your favorite music, or add headrests and massage benches.

    7. You are Guaranteed the Privacy You Desire

    10 Reasons to Own a Home Sauna photo by Jorge Royan via Wikipedia

    Maybe you're a little shy, or you are uncomfortable around half-naked strangers. Perhaps you don't enjoy co-ed saunas. In your own home sauna, you are assured of absolute privacy or, if you'd rather, you can pick and choose your company by inviting over exactly the friends you'd like to hang out with.

    8. You Control the Silence, or Lack of Silence

    Whether you prefer to sweat in silence or enjoy listening to music--or even audiobooks--using a home silence means you control the noise level. No more chatty strangers ruining your zen!

    9. You Get a Good Return on Your Investment

    A sauna in your home can add value to the property and make it more intriguing if you decide to sell. Many sauna models are designed to be easily assembled and disassembled, so you could also opt to take it with you when you move, thereby ensuring continued and uninterrupted access. However you look at it, a home sauna is a good investment.

    10. You Will Be a Healthier Person

    The energy and time required to get out of the house and to the gym or spa can deter even the best of us from accessing all the health benefits a sauna offers. If you have one in your home, however, that obstacle is minimized--maybe even obliterated!--and you are more likely to use the sauna regularly. This leads to better health.

    With all of the above to consider, are there any reasons why a public sauna might be better than a private sauna? There are! Check back for our next article discussing just that.

  • Detoxification Basics

    When the benefits of sauna use are discussed, one word that comes up often is detoxification, but what exactly does that mean? Why should we detoxify? What happens if we don't? What are the different ways to do it? We've done the research for you, and if you continue reading, we'll explain it all to you.

    What is Detoxification?

    Detoxification refers specifically to the cleaning of the blood by removing impurities in the liver. The liver is the organ that processes toxins for elimination from the body. This processing also occurs to some degree in the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph nodes, and skin, but the liver is the real star. When the processing is compromised in some way--such as through illness or poor diet--the toxins aren't properly filtered and the entire body is affected.

    Why Should People Detoxify?

    Toxins in the body are associated with a variety of maladies such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity. In fact, the medical category Clinical Ecology exclusively deals with the ways environmental toxins affect health.

    The body can handle only so many toxins, and it was designed for naturally occurring toxins, not man-made ones that bombard our world today. Therefore, our body is often faced with toxins it doesn't know how to process. These toxins can build up to harmful levels or be converted into substances that interfere with metabolism. This can result in cancers or birth defects.

    It is recommended that you detoxify if you are experiencing any of the following:

    • low-grade infections
    • irritated skin
    • unexplained fatigue
    • chronic bad breath
    • body odor
    • depression
    • poor memory
    • mental confusion
    • bloating
    • allergies
    • poor skin
    • headaches
    • poor concentration
    • excessive mucus
    • weight gain
    • gas
    • menstrual problems
    • puffy eyes or bags under the eyes
    • poor digestion
    • constipation

    What Will Detoxifying Do For Me?

    Detoxifying can assist the body's natural cleansing process by:

    • Giving the organs a rest
    • Enhancing blood sugar control
    • Refueling the body with nutrients
    • Assisting in weight loss
    • Improving blood circulation
    • Promoting toxin elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin
    detoxification basics photo by thedabblist via Flickr

    How Do I Detoxify?

    There are many ways to detoxify the body. Some methods are common across many cultures and are very old. Native Americans used sweat lodges, Christians would fast, and people in Russia and Finland would spend time in saunas.

    Some common contemporary detoxification methods are:

    • Fasting, calorie-restriction, or cleanses
    • Medical detoxification--especially beneficial for highly toxic individuals. This is a supervised cleansing process involving calorie restriction, consuming specific nutrients, and taking supplements.
    • Mental, spiritual, and emotional cleanses. Mental and emotional toxicity and stress are very often major contributors to overall body toxicity, especially as they contribute to poor decision making and poor lifestyle choices that often lead to exposure to environmental toxins such as drugs and alcohol. Quiet contemplation, meditation, relaxing, reading, listening to music, and doing yoga or qigong are all great ways to cleanse yourself of mental and emotional toxins.
    • Eliminate stress. As mentioned above, stress is terrible for your body. It can severely interrupt the body's natural cleansing processes. Try eliminating as much stress from your life as you can.
    • Exercise. Regular physical activity lowers stress, encourages healthy mood and energy levels, and assists with the excretion of toxins through sweat.
    • Drink plenty of water. The average person needs about 2 liters of water a day. Drink more if exercising regularly or using the sauna. Unsweetened tea is also a good option.
    • Eat fruits and vegetables that assist the body with detoxification. Good choices include dandelion greens, burdock root, artichokes, garlic, onions, and scallions. Less good but still beneficial choices include spinach, kale, rapini, broccoli, chard, avocado, cabbage, arugula, tomato, eggplant, and zucchini.
    • Eat lean protein. Protein is a necessary component in detoxification, as blood proteins are built from amino acids. Choose proteins such as free-range grass-fed beef, organic chicken, or wild-caught fish. These will help you maintain amino acid balance. Other sources of lean protein include whey and nuts.
    • Use herbs generously. Herbs such as turmeric, milk thistle, burdock, celandine, spirulina, barley grass, wheat grass, and dandelion are all good for your body.
    • Salt scrubs, salt or mineral baths, or massages. These treatments can work toxins out of muscles and skin, and help promote relaxation.
    • Saunas or sweat lodges. Perspiration is a natural detoxification method, and it's extremely effective. Sweating to detoxify is most effective when done regularly. Twice a week is good, but for best results you should sweat mildly every day.
    • Eat plenty of fiber, such as brown rice and fibrous fruits and vegetables.
    • Take vitamin C, which helps the liver drive out toxins.
    • Breathe deeply. This allows oxygen to circulate more completely throughout your system.
    • Hydrotherapy--Take a very hot shower for 5 minutes, letting the water run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, then climb into bed for half an hour.
    • Dry brush your skin to remove toxins from your pores. You can buy special brushes to do this at natural products stores.
    • Go to bed around 10pm. Between 10pm and 2am is when your body does most of its cell repair and cell rejuvenation, eliminating toxins from inside the cells.
    • Breathe through your nose, not your mouth. Your nose warms, filters, and moistens air to prepare it for your lungs. If you breathe through your mouth, the air doesn't get filtered and more pollutants enter your body through your lungs.

    However you detoxify, it's advisable to avoid extremes, fad diets, so-called miracle products and unproven technology. Good results occur when the detoxification is safe and relatively comfortable. This allows the process to be extended for a long enough period of time to be effective and repeatedly at least annually. Consider detoxifying every 6 months or even quarterly.

    Detoxification is not advised for nursing mothers, children, or patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer, or tuberculosis. As always, talk to your doctor.

    The best way to detoxify is to avoid toxins altogether. Watch out for the following toxins readily available in your everyday environment:

    • health and beauty products such as cosmetics, cleaning products, detergents, gasoline, glue, and paint
    • coffee, which is a heavily fumigated crop
    • alcohol
    • artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and nutrasweet
    • dairy should be avoided while detoxing and minimized in general
    • cigarettes
    • non-organic produce, as they have been exposed to pesticides
    detoxification basics photo by Gila Brand

    What Can I Expect When Detoxifying?

    While detoxifying through methods such as fasting, people often experience fatigue, joint aches, flu-like symptoms such as congestion and nasal drip, moodiness, rashes, fever, headaches, gas, and diarrhea. People with greater toxicity levels will experience more severe symptoms, and it will take longer for them to detoxify. In some people, the symptoms will mimic bacterial diseases experience before, because their bodies are excreting bacterial byproducts that initially caused the disease symptoms.

    However, if you stick with the detoxification plan and detoxify regularly, the symptoms will become less severe with each session. Once the symptoms pass, you will find that you feel better overall.


  • The Sauna Skin Care Regimen

    Sauna Skin Care Regimen

    Anyone who has been in a sauna can tell you how great your skin feels after all that sweating. The skin becomes flushed, the sweat gives it a glowing sheen, and it feels soft and supple to the touch. Why not follow a sauna skin care regimen? It's a great way to keep the skin clean and clear.

    What Does the Sauna Do For My Skin?

    At the most basic level, sweating cleans the skin, opens pores, and makes the skin pliant (which can help reduce/prevent wrinkles!). A 2008 study in Dermatology suggested that regular sauna use can actually help protect the skin and relieve dry skin conditions.

    The skin has two major types of glands that secrete substances: sweat glands and sebaceous glands. Sweat glands produce sweat, obviously, and sweat's great, but sebaceous glands are actually the part we're interested in. Sebaceous glands surround hair follicles and secrete a waxy substance called sebum onto the skin. Sebum is great stuff. It protects the skin by moisturizing it and delivering nutrients directly to the surface skin cells. It is even thought to have antibacterial properties.

    When the sebaceous glands get blocked by dead skin, cosmetics, or bacteria, you get a blackhead, whitehead, pimple, or boil. It's important to keep the sebaceous glands clean and clear to avoid these blemishes, but also to keep your skin functioning properly. This is where the sauna is a great tool in your skin care regimen.

    When your skin warms in the sauna, your sebum becomes more fluid and it flows more easily over your skin, distributing it more evenly. The sweat that is also released softens the skin and makes it more receptive to the sebum's moisturizing properties. At the same time, your blood circulation increases and moves to the skin, drawing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin's surface. All of this leaves the skin cleaner, healthier, and more moisturized.

    How Do I Begin a Sauna Skin Care Regimen?

    It's easy to make a sauna part of your regular skin care regimen. First, you'll obviously need a sauna. If you don't have access to a private home sauna, most gyms offer saunas as part of their amenities. If you don't want to pay for a monthly membership, many day spas have sauna sessions available for hourly or flat fees. There are also sauna businesses in many communities that offer communal or gender-specific saunas for hourly or flat fees.

    You will also need a swimsuit (if using certain public saunas), a towel for drying yourself, a towel to sit on, an exfoliating tool such as a loofah or rough cloth, and your preferred soap or cleanser. Now you're ready to begin:

    1.  Take a hot shower and use your preferred cleanser to focus on areas with acne. Rinse your skin thoroughly and dry off completely.
    2. Enter the sauna, taking your exfoliating tool. When your skin begins to sweat, gently rub your skin, focusing on problem areas. When you are finished, sit for a few more minutes, then head back to the showers.
    3. Stand under a warm shower and rinse your skin, then turn the water as cold as is comfortable and stand under it until you are no longer sweating. Do not use any soap.
    4. Dry yourself and take a break. Drink some water, sit or walk a little. When you feel back to normal, return to the sauna.
    5. Again, once you begin sweating exfoliate, focusing on problem areas. When finished, rinse off under a cool shower without using any soap. Avoid using any lotions or cosmetics, as well--let your skin breathe! You'll also find that the sauna has given you a rosy glow, and you'll likely not need any additional moisturizer.

    Do you use a sauna as part of your regular skin care regimen? Comment below and tell us about it!

  • The Art of Making Good Löyly

    the art of making good loyly

    If you are a sauna aficionado, the one word you really need to know is löyly. It is an old, magical word associated strictly with sauna use in modern times, and it's a really beautiful thing.

    What is Löyly? And How the Heck Do I Say It?

    Löyly derives from the Proto-Finno-Urgic word lewl meaning "spirit" or "soul". Click here to here it pronounced. In modern usage it means the steam that radiates from sauna rocks when water is poured or sprinkled over them. The water evaporates on contact with the hot rocks, and the humidity of the air increases. This contributes to a perception of increased temperature and causes the body to sweat more. On a more spiritual level, it means the entire feeling of the heat as it envelopes you, as well as the steam that fills the room. It is considered a tangible thing, with qualities that can vary due to many factors (keep reading to get an idea of the different factors involved).

    Löyly's restorative and healing powers are so revered that it was once thought that it could drive out diseases and even resolve unhappiness in romantic relationships. While scientifically unfounded, there's no doubt that sharing a sauna with your sweetie is conducive to good relations.

    To drive home the importance of löyly in Finnish culture and sauna culture, it's considered an honor to have the responsibility of adding the löyly to the room when with a group of people. At that point, it's not simply pouring water on hot rocks: it's an art that strives to create the right amount of steam, and a pleasurable experience, for all the present people by working with heat and water. Getting the balance right take experience and skill.

    How Do I Make Good Löyly?

    Just as it can be hard to describe what makes good art, it's hard to define what makes good löyly. Partly, it will be subjective to a bather's preferences and comfort levels. Overall, good löyly is determined by the purity, temperature, and humidity of the air inside the sauna, as well as its thermal radiation. The sauna air must not contain any gaseous impurities, particles, or micro-organisms. This is ensured through effective ventilation and the condition of the sauna: is it clean? Is it constructed from quality materials that were properly treated? A clean, nicely built sauna will also contribute to a more pleasurable overall experience.

    The Basics of Good Löyly:

    Before using any water, the temperature of the sauna air should be 150°F (65.5ºC) or greater.

    As the room heats, fill a bucket intended for sauna use with water. It is important that you do not use just any bucket--plastic buckets can melt or release impurities into the air, and metal buckets can get very warm and become a burn hazard. A good option would be this bucket and ladle set available through us here at Saunasandstuff.com. Never take anything into a sauna that was not intended for use in the sauna.

    Decide whether to go with clean, natural water, or whether to add an essential oil. Purists may insist on fresh, clean water, but adding an essential oil can significantly change and possibly improve the sauna experience. Different oils have different effects by releasing their fragrance into the air: Eucalyptus is good for congestion or allergy sufferers, lavender can aid relaxation, citrus can invigorate.

    Once the sauna is heated and the water is ready, fill the ladle. Again, always use a ladle designed for sauna use. The evaporation is almost instant when the water hits the rocks, and there is a chance of scalding if you do not use the ladle. Start with just a few drops of water and add just a little more at a time. The change in perceived temperature can be dramatic, so start with small amounts, wait, and then add more as needed.

    For Advanced Löyly Artists:

    There is something of a löyly tenet called the Rule of 200, in which the combination of temperature (in Fahrenheit) and the humidity percentage added together should equal 200. It's thought that anything that adds up to more will be uncomfortable for bathers.

    So, if the sauna is set to 150°F, the ideal humidity (according to the Rule) would be at 50%. If the sauna were hotter, say 180°F, the humidity would be best at 20%. The hotter the ambient air, the lower the humidity should be.

    Go Make Good Löyly

    Now armed with the basics, the trick is to find what combination of heat and humidity best suits you. When with a group, it will be a challenge to find a löyly that is comfortable for everyone. With time and practice, you'll be making good löyly in no time.

  • January Sauna News Roundup

    Jade Sauna fire

    With the immense popularity of saunas worldwide, it's no surprise that newsworthy stories pop up around them. We've collected a few recent sauna news bits that you might find interesting.

    Christmas Sauna Deaths

    Three German men were found dead of heart failure in a sauna after drinking heavily at a Christmas party. Conditions in the sauna were normal, but the men's blood alcohol levels were four times the legal driving limit. Just another reminder that alcohol and sauna use do not go together.

    Sauna Fire at Bismarck, North Dakota, Hotel

    A fire was started at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck on December 20, 2013,when an intoxicated man set clothing, including a pair of shoes, on a sauna heater. The pool area was evacuated, but the fire was extinguished without further incident. There was damage to the sauna bench, floor, and heater. Again: alcohol and sauna use is a really bad idea!

    Sauna Fire in Beaverton, Oregon

    Jade Sauna in Beaverton, Oregon, experienced a fire on January 3 when a heat lamp installed in the ceiling overheated. The fire was contained in the attic and fire crews were able to extinguish it without further incident. The damage to the building is estimated at $25,000.

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