A Guide to Saunas and How They Function


It is easy to say that saunas are great and that their benefits defy imagination.  Those statements are true for the most part but they are actually overly simplified in their meaning.  A sauna bathing experience is beneficial to most people who use it but the quality of your experience and the level of success in meeting your goals depends on more than just choosing to go to a sauna.  There are different types of saunas and the success in getting the results you seek depend on several factors including the type of sauna you choose to use. 


If you are lucky enough to have a friend with a private sauna you might think you’ve hit the jackpot.  It’s important though that you make sure that the sauna has been built according to the right specifications and that it meets industry standards so that you get the highest benefits available.  When people build their own saunas there are many factors that may be overlooked.  Were the designs done by someone with at the very least a basic knowledge and understanding of how to construct it?  Did someone skilled in that area and capable of following the specs correctly do the construction?  These may seem to be picky questions but in order to get the best out of your sauna experience you want to make sure that you have a properly functioning sauna to start with.


Once you know that your sauna is built correctly, the next phase is to choose which type of sauna will suit your needs the best.  Consider the Traditional Sauna.  This type of sauna combines two requirements.  How to control the level of humidity inside with only a minimal amount of heat?


The main function of a sauna is to provide a heat level that is high enough to produce an artificial fever.  This can be reached by heating your room up to a minimum of 150 degrees.  Anything below this number will limit your experience and the effects will not be as high. 


In the traditional sauna water controls the level of humidity.  This can be achieved by sprinkling water on the hot rocks.  The goal is to reach a humidity level of somewhere between 20 and 40%.  The higher the temperature the lower the level of humidity should be and vice versa.  The lower the temperature the higher the humidity should be.  When you have your own ladle for pouring water on the hot rocks you control the level of humidity.


A dry sauna on the other hand is just like the traditional sauna with one difference.  It is dry.  It is still heated with the hot rocks but since a dry sauna does not use water there is no humidity level to control.  The absence of water will keep the humidity level to a very small measurable percentage.  Usually it is less than 10% if at all.


A steam bath is the very opposite of the dry sauna.  While the dry sauna keeps its level to below 10% the steam sauna keeps its levels closer to 100%.  Following the temperature/humidity balance the temperature of a steam sauna is usually around 120 degrees with maximum humidity.  With such high humidity the space will be seem to be considerably hotter than it really is. 


A more modern type of sauna is the Infrared Room.  Here there is no humidity controls.  No rocks, no steam or anything else that can affect the level of humidity in the air.  They keep a temperature of somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees.  The use of the infrared heating implements are designed to heat the room and is less likely to produce that suffocating type of heat that you may experience in a steam bath.  With the practically non-existent humidity levels you can enjoy your experience by reading and listening to your favorite music with no fear of damaging any books or equipment you might need.


So, if you are in search of a sauna experience it may be worth your while to take the time to examine your different sauna options available to you.  Once you have determined what kind of results you are looking for.  Whatever your needs or your choices are it will be worth your effort to do a little research to make sure that the sauna you choose will be of benefit to you.

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