The evolution of sauna during time

Having 2,000 years of history behind, the Finnish sauna was firstly used as a bathe, becoming during time a place where women gave birth and where sick people were nursed. Although native to Finland, sauna was found in different cultures under various names. The Roman public bath, the Turkish steam bath, the Russian banya or the Native American inipi are equivalents of the Finnish saunas.

It is to be noticed that the first saunas were not built above the ground, but dug into hills. A stone fireplace was used to heat some rocks, thus producing hot air. The smoke created by the burning wood in the stove was released when the temperature inside was proper for a sauna bath. This way appeared the smoke sauna. This heating system was slowly replaced by chimneys and metal wood stoves. Manufacturers of the time added also the steam vapor or loyly, which was produced when the water came in contact with the hot rocks. The leafy birch twigs were also a novelty used to help clean the skin. This process was and is known under the name of vihta.

The evolution of the sauna was remarkable during time. The electric sauna stove appeared during the 20th century and several years later, infrared saunas or soft heat saunas were produced. Although many bathers prefer the traditional Finnish saunas, the infrared models have also a lot of fans. It is to be noticed that soft heat saunas had a great impact in the sauna industry.

Nowadays, there are many different traditional Finnish and infrared sauna models available. Almost all respectable clubs, spa centers, hotels and private clinics have a sauna room due to the health benefits that regular sauna baths provide. And thanks to the various home sauna models, many houses are equipped with this spoiling space.

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