I love history. It has always fascinated me especially when I can directly relate it to something I am involved in. When I first began taking Far Infrared saunas I became interested in the history of all saunas. Far Infrared itself, is only decades old whereas ancient saunas are not. It’s fun to discover where it all began.
History substantiates that the Finns constructed the first wooden saunas over two thousand years ago. Primitive saunas were dug into a hill and as tools and methods progressed they were constructed above ground utilizing wooden logs. Rocks were heated with wood, using a roaring fire, in a stone fireplace. The smoke from the fire filled the room as the surrounding air warmed. As soon as the temperature rose the smoke was cleared and people entered. The wood smoke scent remained and became part of the entire ritual. This particular form of traditional ‘smoke’ sauna was referred to as a savu, which translates into the actual word for smoke, in Finnish.
In time, the traditional Finnish sauna developed and utilized a metal woodstove, or kiuas, with a chimney. The temperature within the sauna would be around 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam vapor, also referred to as loyly, was generated by splashing water on the heated rocks. The steam and high heat caused the body to perspire heavily eliminating impurities and toxins. Also, the Finns incorporated vistas, or bunches of birch twigs, to lightly strike the skin further stimulating the body’s pores and cells.
The Finnish culture also utilized the sauna as a location with multiple uses. Due to it’s constant cleanliness the sauna was used by women to give birth and by family preparing their dead for burial. It was also a key part of the Finns’ daily lives as families used it to bathe together. As the Finnish people migrated to new areas of the world they took their sauna designs and customs along. They introduced other cultures to the pleasures and health benefits of saunas further perfecting their designs. All of this brought about the invention of the electric sauna stove in 1950 and finally the Far Infrared saunas over the last several decades.
The Far Infrared sauna is currently one of the most powerful tools in a person’s health arsenal. The infrared prevents disease and can even cure disease. It boosts immunity, detoxifies impurities and poisons, improves heart and lung health and improves circulation. It aids in weight loss and lowers blood pressure. Far Infrared saunas also do all this with gentle, pleasant heat which relaxes, renews and rejuvenates. From ancient steam saunas to contemporary Far Infrared, heavy perspiration ensures continued excellent health. From it’s humble, ancient beginnings to the current high-technology involved, incorporating a Far Infrared sauna into your health maintenance routine, is still an avenue to robust health.