It is difficult to say from where the practice of enjoying a steam bath in a log house has actually originated. But what we now know as a relaxing sauna experience is an age old tradition of the Scandinavian countries. Sauna is believed to be a derivation of a Finnish word “savuna” which means to be “in smoke.”
In Finland, the entire Saturday afternoon is reserved to enjoy the benefits of a hot bath in a sauna. Rajaportin Sauna, established in Pispala, 1906, is the oldest surviving steam bathing facility in the country. But it will be wrong to believe that this practice is limited to Finland only. People of neighbouring Scandinavian countries are huge followers of this tradition.
Russian banya is a similar facility with a slightly different form. Natural onsens of Japan is a great place for enjoy a relaxing hot bath. Turkish and Iranian hammams have provisions for steam and hot water bathing. Now, even warmer regions of the world have begun to savour the sauna experience at home or in the spa outlets.
What are the possible reasons of such global popularity of the saunas? Once it was an exorbitant practice that could have been largely enjoyed in big spas of the cities. But prices for sauna installations have considerably dropped in recent time. However, this in itself does not explain a growing preference for the same.
Sauna benefits are many. An effective sauna experience can relieve you from bodily aches and pain. It is also considered beneficial for those suffering from chronic arthritis. It can also relieve you from sinus infections and reduce migraine aches.
Steam bath also improves sleep pattern. After a brief session you feel invigorated and can finally rest many of your day’s worries.
Finally, what applied for earlier bathers also applies now. A public bathing space allows social interactions and many regular spa goers look forward to that.
Nowadays, home sauna installations come in all possible shapes and sizes. So even a small bathroom can now accommodate a facility like this. If you are planning to build one from the scratch, locate a suitable space in or attached to a bathroom. A traditional steam bathing facility like this comes fully clad in wood. Choose aspen, basswood, spruce, eucalyptus, pine or red cedar for its interior.
All of these wood types are capable of withstanding high temperature and moisture. Wood stove is best for an authentic sauna experience. It also helps to build heat quickly. For domestic purposes, however, you can use gas stoves or electric heaters. To maintain a hygienic space, proper ventilation is extremely necessary.
It is better to shun all kinds of dramatic fixtures for this space. You would not like to disturb the calmness of the interior. Fibre optic sauna lighting, bulbs or strips appropriate for this space should be used to keep it illuminated when in use. You will also need a timer, thermometer and hygrometer for this space.
This type of saunas uses infrared light to build heat. Some believe this to be more effective and beneficial than the traditional saunas. Before choosing the right installation for your home, take time out to explore various options and try to invest in the one that feels suitable for you and your family.