Smoke Sauna on a farm in Finland. Photo by Don Knebel. But for foreigners, Finnish sauna traditions can be a little unnerving. The earliest Finnish saunas, developed hundreds of years ago, were constructed without chimneys, allowing smoke to fill the building as the burning wood heated the stones on which water is then poured. Participants emerging from a smoke sauna may be covered from head to toe with greasy soot, which many believe has therapeutic properties.
Finnish Saunas: The Naked Truth
10 Sauna Tips for Beginners — chouchouetmandchou.com
I was sweating profusely in the 88 degree heat. What was making me uncomfortable was sitting there alone, screamingly naked in a public place, not sure if I was supposed to be naked in this public place. It had been a dreary, drizzly day in Helsinki. Rather than eating waffles in the rain at the outdoor market, I went back early to the Silja Line ship that would take me to Stockholm overnight. But they are effective in beating your tension into submission. For 55 minutes, a burly Finnish man induced more pain on my back than I knew could be induced using only two thumbs. But I breathed into the pain and let my muscles buckle under the pressure.
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Robert Downey Jr. Sign in. Watch now. The TV special goes behind those lines and into the traditions of sauna bathing not only in Finland, but around the world.
I t was my first sauna and I was struggling. It was unnerving looking at a temperature gauge that read higher than the boiling point of water. What about my blood?