|Posted on 24 February, 2015 at 6:45|
Saunas are well known in Europe and all over the world. I tried and enjoyed many of them already. The one I will talk about now is very close to us, in the new, modern part of Luxembourg city, on the Kirchberg, full of new buildings, hotels, banks and European institutions. The unique architectural building is called "Coque" (eggshell) and I go there to the pool and the sauna about once or twice a month. There are 2 pools, one Olympic size and one smaller, where I normally first swim. Swimming is a great exercise, easy on our joints, great for the back and helps with the lymphatic drainage, which is also very important for our wellbeing. After the swim, I normally go to relax in the sauna rooms. In most countries of Europe, you are completely nude in the sauna. At the beginning, this was a little uncomfortable for me, but I got somewhat used to it and, you may wrap yourself in a towel, if necesary.
Here on the Kirchberg, there are 5 different kinds of saunas, as well as a steamroom and a -I call it - human freezer. Temperatures ranging from 60C / 140F to 90C / 194F. Some have relaxing lights, others calming music, running water sounds with birds singing in the background. There are a lot of benefits of a sauna session: I will discuss here what is most important to me and to my field of skin & body care.
Saunas flush toxins out and cleanse the skin. Extensive sweating in a sauna can help to reduce levels of toxins in the body, like: lead, copper, nickel, zinc, mercury and other chemicals - which are all absorbed by our body just from interacting with our daily environments. These toxins may also be the causes of our acne problems and premature ageing. Sweating also rinses bacteria out (another acne causing element) of our system through our sweat ducts and, cleansing the pores improves the capillary circulation as well.
Improving the circulation will bring oxygen and other nutrition to the cells which "fills in the spaces around the cells” and even "plumps up" tiny wrinkles. Therefore, regular sauna sessions will slow down the collagen breakdown. Our skin will be more plumped, toned and have a healthy glow to it. Yeh, this is what we like!!!
Saunas also improve cardiovascular performance. With regular sauna sessions we are strengthening our heart muscles, like if we were doing a moderate exercise. Blood vessels dilate; the heart rate rises form 60-70 bpm (beats per minute) to 110-120 bpm in the sauna and can often sink to below normal after the cooling down phase. The cooling phase is when after 10-15 minutes of sauna we take a cold shower or a quick dip into a very cold pool and stand a few minutes in the freezer. I can hardly do the cool dip, but I can do the freezer, which is full of ice and snow. Staying in there makes you feel fantastic!
In most saunas a ritual takes place which they call the "Aufguss". I tried it the first time not so long ago! It took me while to get used to, cause it seemed a bit scary to me at the beginning. This takes place in the 90C / 194F degree sauna. The sauna master comes in with a bucket of water mixed with essential oils, like eucalyptus, lavender or lemongrass (more about essential oils and their benefits next time). The aroma is fantastic at this point in the sauna. Water is poured over the heated stones, which creates instant hot steam inside. The smell and heat are fantastic at this moment! It's like New York on a very humid day! :)To raise the temperature even higher, the sauna master then starts circular movements with his towel, coming close to each person and it feels like hot air being blown against your sweating body. The sensation is pretty intense, and he repeats this ritual about 3 times during some 10 minutes, which, I can tell you, may seem long to take with this high temperature. Then, after this seesion, a cold shower, freezer or cold pool, and relaxing! The Coque sauna also has a small outdoor pool, which is really great in all kinds of weather, sun, rain or snow, or even better, a starry night. The pool water is warm enough to sit, relax and make this experience even more enjoyable. I like to finish my sauna experience this way, but you may also prefer to relax in a jacuzzi! After a long week, this is really a great way to unwind and let it go!
Hydrating the skin after such an experience with a nice organic product is simply a MUST and you can be ensured that all products will penatrate in the deeper layers of the skin!!!
Your face, body and mind will simply feel fabulous!
According to Wikipedia: "The word sauna is an ancient Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath and to the bathhouse itself. In Baltic-Finnic languages other than Finnish, sauna does not necessarily mean a building or space built for bathing. It can also mean a small cabin or cottage, such as a cabin for a fisherman."
Categories: Saunas, Turkish Baths/Hammams,