The benefit of a sauna, where the air is dry and extremely hot, is that the body is able to expel considerable amounts of toxins and is intensively heated up in a very short space of time.
The sauna offers a host of benefits to people of all ages, with very few exceptions.
However, anyone using a sauna for the first time must bear in mind that our body needs time to get used to certain stimuli, so a sauna should be approached with care and caution.
We recommend you follow these stages without overdoing it, so your body can enjoy maximum benefit from the sauna.
First of all, you must never take a sauna on an empty stomach or, conversely, if you are very full; It is equally important for your body to have a good supply of liquids to help sweating.
Drink hot herbal tea or sugar-free, soft and, most important of all, non-alcoholic drinks.
Before entering the sauna, wash your body all over with soap and hot water then dry yourself off.
Your feet must be warm. You are now ready to enter the cabin, which you can do either naked or wearing a towel made from natural fibres so as not to hamper sweating.
We now come to the details of how to take a sauna correctly. The first stage (warming up) usually lasts from 5 to 8 minutes. Either lie down or sit comfortably with your legs bent and your feet at bench height. Stay calm and try to relax.
At the beginning the air in the sauna can be kept dry, later on you can pour water over the hot stones inside the cabin to increase the humidity and, consequently, sweating. For the last two minutes, sit normally with your feet below you so your blood circulation can get used to the erect position once again. After this stage, leave the sauna slowly to avoid your blood pressure dropping or you feeling dizzy.
Sauna does not end with the first heat bath, but continues afterwards with cooling down. And even here, there are some rules to follow. According to the classic Finnish method, there is a short bath in ice-cold water, which can be replaced by a shower in cold or lukewarm water, waiting at least two minutes after leaving the sauna.
If an immersion bath is available, the advice is to immerse your whole body in the water gradually, taking care to immerse your head last.
When showering, proceed with the water jet from the feet towards the trunk, avoiding that the head is the first to be affected, in order not to expose oneself to dangerous circulation dysfunctions. The most suitable procedure to obtain maximum benefits is to go up from the right foot to the leg and knee, then go down again inside and up outside to the torso. The same procedure is repeated for the left leg and then for the arms, with gentle movements from the hand up to the shoulders. Only at the end, after the cooling of the limbs, is it advisable to proceed with the back and the face.
This whole cooling phase is very useful to raise the tone and blood pressure, and thus to continue with the beneficial effects of the sauna even after the stay in the cabin.
The third phase involves returning to the sauna for another ten minutes or so and then taking a cold shower. In reality, when asked how to take a sauna, experts often reply that it is not compulsory to undergo several cycles of sessions, but in general it is recommended to carry out at least 3 repetitions of sessions to amplify the benefits of the heat bath.
In any case, it is good to observe the rule of not exceeding 15 minutes per cycle, taking a cooling break between sessions in the cabin for the same amount of time spent inside the sauna.
At the end of each session, we recommend you lie down for about ten minutes to relax and let your blood pressure return to its normal rate.
The cooling down stage must last at least as long as the warming up stage.
Replacing lost liquids must start immediately after you finish your treatment: drinking plenty of liquids helps replenish the body with the right amount of water lost during the sauna. Herbal teas, fruit and vegetable juices are all excellent beverages to replace fluids and mineral salts.
Many people wonder if there is a limit or a recommended frequency to make sure the body gets all the stimulating benefits of the Finnish sauna. The best solution is actually finding the perfect balance. There are people who take a sauna every day to relax, generally opting for fewer hot-to-cold cycles. But there are also those who think they have found the right formula to take a sauna and enjoy this beneficial wellness moment with 3-4 complete treatments a month. However, the most frequent recommendation as to how to take a sauna properly is to have this treatment at least 2 or 3 times a week.
Those who want to have more sessions, should gradually get their body accustomed to high temperatures by starting with shorter cycles, to be repeated over a long stretch of time (3 times a month), that will be progressively reduced up to the optimum frequency, i.e. 2 or 3 times a week. However, there isn’t a specific rule. The important thing is to listen to our body and understand the best way to take a sauna while protecting our health and respecting our desire to take time for ourselves.