If you want to use a sauna, this guide will help you. Read on.
The first step is to check with your doctor to make sure that a sauna session will not be dangerous for you because of heart or circulatory conditions. If your doctor does not voice objections, it’s important to understand that both the conventional and infrared sauna will affect you differently depending on the days. Some days, it will feel terrific and other days not so much.
The important thing is to listen to your body and to make sure that you are in the right frame of mind to totally disengage from the outside world. Make sure you are not in a rush to be somewhere else later.
A proper sauna session involves being immersed in several rounds of hot and cold heat. This can easily take up 2 – 3 hours. Make sure you do not eat for a minimum of two hours prior to your sauna bath.
When you are ready, proceed as follows:
- Make sure your sauna has been preheated to the proper temperature. The temperature should be comfortable for you and can range between 45oC (113oF) and 100oC (212oF). Allow some extra time for the walls, benches and stones to heat up properly. Remember, the higher the temperature, the quicker you will start to perspire. Public saunas usually have resting benches of various heights. With these benches, you can vary the temperature by choosing a tier that is comfortable for you – the lowest being the coolest. In the dry heat of a sauna, you can perspire comfortably in temperatures at or above the boiling level – 100oC (212oF). Don’t overdo it if you are new to sauna bathing.
- Remove all clothing and jewelry and take a shower to remove all creams, oils, lotions and make-up before entering the sauna. If you are using a public sauna, you may want to wrap a towel to around you for modesty and hygiene. Different countries have different attitudes towards public nudity. However, using a towel to sit on is good etiquette in a public sauna.
- At first, the perspiration will evaporate in the dry air. However, eventually the body will be covered with perspiration. Some moisture can be created by throwing water on the hot stones in the sauna. This prevents the mucous membranes from drying out too much but also raises the temperature. After about 10 minutes (more if you are an experienced sauna user), it is time to cool off the body. Do not stay any longer than is comfortable for you!
- Depending on where you are, cooling off can be achieved by a plunge in a lake, stream, swimming pool, or by taking a cold shower. Of course, you’ll want to shower off perspiration prior to using a swimming pool.
- You can then repeat the hot/cold cycle up to 3 times for maximum health benefits. It is always better to do repetitions than to stay too long in the hot sauna.
After the last cool-down, briefly return to the sauna to warm up the body a bit. You also need some resting period, possible on a Coleman Queen Cot air mattress to allow the body to thoroughly cool down. You will want to avoid going out into cold air while experiencing after-perspiration.