helps with, for example:
reducing stress; detoxification; insomnia; fatigue; acne and psoriasis; menstrual pain; poor circulation; chest and sinus infections; general aches and pains and even hangovers! It boosts the immune system, metabolic rate and helps your body regulate temperature.
negative ions produced by water turning to vapor quickly are also great for your health and gives you the same ‘feel good’ factor as standing by the ocean or waterfall.
For an excellent comprehensive review on steaming
‘Sweat bathing and the Body’ by Mikkel Aaland
whole section on ‘steam’ includes Finnish culture and steams in other countries.
Please check with your Doctor if you suffer from any
serious illness, especially acute
heart/circulatory and respiratory problems, before you steam. As a basic guide, taking a brisk walk puts an equivalent workload on your heart as a Sauna (Finnish Sauna Society).
If you don’t tolerate heat well it is probably better you avoid steam except for short periods.
Pregnancy is not a contraindication for steam.
A study on pregnant Finnish women who took regular sauna showed it was very healthy for both Mother and Baby.
What do I do?
Avoid having a large meal or being very hungry before a steam as this will leave you feeling uncomfortable or faint.
Ideally remove all clothing .
Any clothing causes a large temperature differential to occur across your body significantly increasing loading on your heart.
You will have a private dressing room
Remove any jewelry and glasses as the metal can get extremely hot and burn you. Fingers will tend to swell temporarily making it more difficult to remove rings once
you’ve started to steam.
Click The Finnish Sauna/Bathing in a Sauna link.
Similar principles apply to taking a steam and sauna except instead of throwing water on hot rocks you pull a lever to sprinkle water on a radiator.
There is no absolute way of taking a steam. Of primary importance is
what feels good to you? Basic rules are always
feel comfortable in your body, give yourself regular breaks by taking cool showers around every 5-10 minutes and keep sipping on water.
Your shower room
If you find yourself getting too hot,
splash yourself with cold water from the bucket, move to the lower bench/lie down in the steam room or take a break and have a cool shower.
If you’re sharing a steam with someone else it can be extremely nurturing to
wash each other.
Lying down on the benches with your
feet resting up the wall is great for lymphatic drainage especially if you pump your ankles. This is also excellent after exercise to decrease any muscle soreness.
Remember, if you do lie down take it
slowly getting up to allow your blood pressure to adjust and avoid any dizziness. The heat causes a generalized opening of blood vessels in your body resulting in a temporary drop in blood pressure and a rush of blood from your head as you become upright.
The best time to
wash and scrub
yourself is after several cycles of hot and cold followed by a short steam to fully open up the pores in your skin. The wet heat, sweating and washing is possibly the best thing you could do for your skin. Try it for yourself and see how your skin looks and feels afterwards! It’s always great to
finish a steam with a cold shower.
N.B. Please do not use any oils (this includes a lot of facial scrubs) in the steam or shower rooms as it leaves the floors dangerously slippery and takes hours of scrubbing to remove.
Drink water little and often.
The skin is the largest excretory organ in the body which basically means route for removing waste products. The sweating in the steam increases this rate of removal and along with it a loss of water.
Take your time getting dressed, rest for a while and take regular sips of water. A small snack eaten soon afterwards can help to replenish your body. Go home and relax!
have our own basic crib sheet available for when you visit us,
summarising what to do and what we would appreciate from you:
First time for a
Steam Bath? Not too sure what it’s all about? Well, a Steam Bath is a
great place for relieving stress and tension and provides some insight
into Finnish culture. A good start is to sit down, take some slow,
deep breaths in and out before reading these tips for newcomers:
Welcome! Once you are shown to your private dressing room, remove all
clothing (ideally) and jewellery.
a quick shower.
the bucket with cool or cold water and take it into the steam room
with you. If the benches are too hot pour some water onto them.
comfortably on the top bench then use the lever to sprinkle water onto
the radiator in 2-3 short bursts. Wait for the steam (this is
called “loyly” in Finnish) to rise and for the heat to drop down.
Breath slowly through your mouth. Note, temperatures can reach up to
F with 100% humidity!
increase the heat as you feel comfortable. If it’s too hot, simply
lean forwards, move to the lower bench or lie down. You can splash
yourself with cold water from the bucket. In Finland people go out and
roll in the snow or cut a hole in the ice of a lake and jump in (“avantouinti”)!
5-10 minutes or whenever you feel your body is ready for a break,
slowly stand up and take a cool shower. Throwing a bucket of cold
water over yourself will certainly invigorate you!
as many times as you want and remember to take regular sips of water
to replace lost fluid. Relax, let go and enjoy!
a final steam and when the pores in your skin are fully open take some
time to wash and scrub yourself
or each other and have a cool shower. Please remember, no oils (often
in facial scrubs) in the shower or steam rooms.
bring the empty buckets into the changing rooms with you. Close and
lock the door behind you and press the buzzer straight away BEFORE
getting dressed so we know we can come to clean the steam room.
you can take your time to towel off, sit and cool down, relax, drink
water and get dressed once you’re body temperature has returned to
put your towel and wash cloth in the bucket and leave in the changing
● Please do not take any
newspapers, books, magazines etc. into the steam or shower rooms.
Three generations of the Pakkalas reading the morning paper!
This is a priority to us at
Finland Steam Baths so you don’t need to be concerned about the cleanliness of the rooms. The benches are
disinfected after each use and the rooms are
completely disinfected and washed down each week. We do use
biodegradeable products.The steam itself is a great cleanser. We change
the rugs in the dressing rooms regularly.
the end of each season, the shower and steam room walls and
floors are painted and the benches are all varnished. It takes one month
of full-time work for two people just to cover the basic preparation of
the steam baths for the new season.
Seppo and Kari preparing the benches
for the new season
Last year the Steam Baths were painted
inside and out!