June 15, 2023

The transformative power of 'sauna bathing'

Written by Amelia

In the ever-evolving wellness space, hot and cold contrast therapy is a time-honoured practice embedded in the traditions of Scandinavian countries and is a trend gaining accelerated popularity as a lifestyle practice.

The process of exposing our body to heat – through geothermal hot springs bathing or sauna use – before cooling down has been shown to heighten cognitive function, increase detoxification and stimulate blood circulation, along with various mental health benefits.

Along with our Fire and Ice Workshop and with the new addition of our Sauna Infusion experience as part of our Winter Wellnes schedule, we explore what is 'sauna bathing' and what are the benefits linked to this wellness trend.

Dr Marc Cohen, Peninsula Hot Springs’ Director of Medicine, Science, Research and Education, regularly practices the wellness exercise as part of his daily routine.

“Hot and cold therapy is nature's powerful tool for healing and recovery - cold therapy reduces inflammation, accelerates healing, and provides natural pain relief, while hot therapy relaxes muscles and promotes circulation." - Dr. Marc Cohen

the art of sauna bathing

Sauna bathing or sauna therapy is a practice involving sudden exposure to high temperatures in a small space designed for heat therapy and relaxation. It is deeply rooted in various cultures worldwide and is particularly favoured in Scandinavian countries due to its myriad of health benefits.

Typical Finnish or Nordic style saunas – like the ones found at Peninsula Hot Springs – are made of wood, with wooden benches, making the upwards of 70-degree temperatures feel particularly revitalising. Saunas draw their heat from rocks, creating a dry heat that increases our sweat response, which is a simple, natural way for our body to react in attempting to cool down.

In Finland, the use of the Vihta or Vasta – also known as sauna whisks - is a big part of sauna culture, with many Finns using these to further increase and assist with the circulation of blood throughout the body. While sauna whisks are traditionally made from birch twigs, we invite guests to include the use of a sauna whisk made of Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillate) during our Sauna Infusion experience.

the power of the sauna

There is growing evidence supporting the role of saunas, or whole-body thermotherapy, as a form of treatment for a range of physical and mental health conditions. Dr. Marc Cohen believes through the interaction of hot and cold, we harness the power to overcome obstacles with heightened confidence and a profound sense of self-worth. As we move from the comfort of warmth to the bracing cold, our full attention is required, allowing our body to respond in its most natural way, with the simple use of breath forcing us to make the most of the moment.

While the use of the sauna can become a refuge for the mind, the myriad of physical benefits is a growing list, with Dr. Marc Cohen describing the experience as an “exercise for your blood vessels”. Heat has an ability to cause our blood vessels to dilate, allowing for better blood flow throughout our body, leading to increased circulation to nourish our muscles and vital organs.

A more well-known and considered benefit of the sauna is its ability to stimulate detoxification – which we physically feel through the increase of sweat when exposed to heat. When we sweat, our body is naturally eliminating toxins and impurities through our skin, all while trying to cool our internal temperature down, increasing the feeling of rejuvenation once we then expose ourselves to the cold.

Along with numerous other benefits, the one that presents a feeling of newfound vitality is the sauna’s ability to melt away points of tension and send the body into a state of absolute relaxation.

adopt your new wellness ritual

Including the use of saunas or hot and cold therapy into your wellness routine is a powerful way to nuture your body and promote optimal health, both from a mental and physical perspective. When combined with the healing practice of geothermal bathing, a conscious escape to the wet and dry sauna in our Bath House or the infrared sauna in our Spa Dreaming Centre will leave you feeling invigorated, rejuvenated and ready to embrace life’s challenges with a newfound sense of confidence and vitality.

Our newest wellness experience, Sauna Infusion, invites you to step into a sauna, surrender to the comforting heat – enhanced with botanical essential oils - and let the transformative benefits move through you.

Book your Sauna Infusion experience, available to add to Revitalise Bath House Bathing or Reset Bathing.

Book your Fire and Ice Workshop, available to add Revitalise Bath House Bathing or Reset Bathing.

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