Don't Be Rude In The Nude: Sauna Session Procedures and Protocol

Published: 18th April 2008
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A sauna bath is a simple affair with few rules. It is a simple matter of getting in and enjoying the sensation.

There are a few established procedures that are wise to follow, especially in a public sauna. Respecting your fellow bathers is important, and there are basic principles you must observe to get the most out of the experience.



At a public sauna there are rules that must be followed. Some prohibit the use of bathing suits while others require them. If bathing suits are not allowed and you feel uncomfortable being nude, you can wrap a towel around yourself. Bringing a towel into the sauna to sit on is also helpful.



You cannot control the temperature if you are out in public, but if you are using a private one, you should start with lower heat to see how it feels. Experienced users will bathe at 100 degrees Celsius, but for the first couple of times you could set it around 70 or 80, which is still plenty hot!



Rinse off with a shower before entering the sauna without using soap or shampoo. The perfumes used in soap will evaporate in the sauna and be unpleasant for fellow bathers.



On entering you can sit on the upper or lower benches. The upper benches are hotter, so you may wish to move from upper to lower if you find it too warm. After five or ten minutes, pour some water on the rocks to create a cloud of steam. This has the effect of raising the temperature and will increase sweating.



If you are new to using saunas, limit your first few sessions to no longer than 15 minutes. After each session take a cold shower or quick swim and wait a while before going back in.



Relaxation is central to sauna taking. Clearing the mind, refreshing the body, and a feeling of rejuvination are the pleasant aftereffects. Talking about business or controversial subjects runs counter to the experience. It a sort of retreat, and conversation should be kept light and friendly.



In Finland many people use leafy branches from birch trees to gently beat the skin. This produces a tingling sensation and is quite invigorating. Your local swimming pool is not likely to have a supply of birch branches available, but if you can take one in a wooded area you can try this old tradition.



Another Finnish tradition is rolling in the snow afterwards. It may sound crazy, but this also can be very revitalizing. Whether you take a shower, a swim, or a roll in the snow, quickly cooling off after the hot bath is refreshing and relaxing.



The cycle of heat and cooling off can be repeated as many times as you like. Most sessions last about 30 minutes to an hour with about two or three cycles of heating up and cooling off. If you have time and an inclination, the cycle can be continued for hours.



Use common sense for the length of your sessions. A general rule is that if you feel uncomfortable at any time, leave right away. It can be dangerous to stay in too long. However, saunas are time-proven and safe for almost everyone.



For more information about how to build a home sauna and how it can provide a simple and enjoyable way to improve your overall health visit http://www.the-home-sauna-center.com

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