Sauna, Steambath, Jacuzzi? Cleaning Up Confusion.
What Joe calls "sauna"Josephine may call "steam bath" and Jocelyn may call "Turkish bath".
Is there a difference?.
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|Now, you must first be aware that despite all the interest in recent decasdes, saunas have existed for thousands of years. For many people, however, they are a new phenomenon.
Over the last few years, the desire for a sauna experience has overtaken the Americas,
Europe, Asia and Africa. As a result, millions of people have discovered the real,
and claimed, health and social benefits of regular sauna
baths. People may be forgiven if they get confused, for what Joe calls 'sauna',
Josephine may call 'steam bath', and Jocelyn may call 'Turkish bath'. Is there really a difference?
This web page will explore the meaning of the various terms associated with this relaxing and beneficial form of bathing.
The sauna is an integral part of Finnish and Swedish culture. I guess that means it is not a Turkish bath...maybe.
In Finland and Sweden, most homes have a sauna and most people like to
use their sauna several times a week. These saunas will commonly generate a dry heat between 70 and 100 degrees Celsius. From
time to time, during the course of one of these 'steam baths' cold water is thrown on heated stones to produce a thick cloud of steam
that makes the sauna feel even hotter. After spending anywhere from about 10 to 30 minutes in the sauna, most people take a cold
shower or swim in the lake. During winter, some people even roll in the snow...but this is not obligatory, thank heavens!
Finnish and Swedish saunas are not just opportunities to get clean, get rid of toxins (i.e. perform a form of
or just sweat. They are also considered social affairs and may include family members, friends or business
associates. They are always done in the nude, but, whether or not members of the opposite sex take a sauna together
depends on their relationships, and, to some extent, their age.
Public saunas, however, are usually single-sex affairs.
Swedish saunas have become popular in North America and often are part of the
facilities of many public swimming pools. Each pool sets its
own policies on nudity. Some pools have certain periods for
single-sex use when nude swimming and nude saunas are the
norm. At other times bathing suits may be required in the sauna.
New technologies have created what is known as an FIR
sauna, or Far infrared sauna. The "FAR" refers to a portion of the infrafred spectrum
which generates heat but not really much, if any, light. Many enjoy this type of sauna as it is much easier to create a
portable infrared sauna for home use than
to install a full scale Finnish or Swedish type sauna.
The Turkish bath is also known as hamam.
It is also a type of steam bath but the heat is much lower than in Finnish or Swedish sauna. The steam would scald the skin if it was too hot, so steam baths are kept at around 40 degrees Celsius.
Traditional Turkish baths are actually large buildings which serve as
gathering venues as much as places to get clean. There
generally are separate rooms for men and women, and the bath building is divided into
three areas – hot, warm, and cool.
Steam baths have a constant humidity level around 100%. They,
like the Turkish bath, are kept about 40 degrees Celsius. Many people prefer steam
baths over saunas because the high humidity is easier to breathe and is
felt to have more beneficial effects on the respiratory system.
There are 3 types of hot tubs:
The first type, as the
name implies, is made from wooden slats and has a water pump and
filtering system to circulate and clean the water. It is
commonly installed outdoors and has benches around the
inside perimeter of the tub so that
people can soak comfortably with their heads just above water level.
- wooden barrels
- fiberglass whirlpools
- bathtub spas
The second type has high pressure 'jets' that create a whirlpool
effect. The jets are useful for water massage
or hydrotherapy. In addtiion to bathrooms in private homes, they
are often installed at public swimming
pools or health clubs. These are know as 'Jacuzzis' after the
company that popularized them.
The third type is often installed in private homes as a replacement for
the regular family bathtub. It is similar in size to a
bathtub but has additional jets for circulating the water.
The terms 'spa', 'hot tub' and 'Jacuzzi' are often used interchangeably
and can often refer to the same thing - a tub of water for 1 or more
people that contains circulating water and/or water jets.
Just to confuse what should be a relaxing topic, a spa can also be a
resort where you receive body treatments such as
and hydrotherapy. Many of THESE spas may have their own
'spas' - sauna facilities including steam baths, hot tubs and Jacuzzis.
10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body
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