Friday, March 14, 2008

Traditional vs. Infrared sauna

Finnish Sauna vs. Infrared saunaNow there are many active people, who aware about the health and beauty of the human body. Some of them go in for sport, but some clever and lazy are trying different methods. In addition, the best one is SAUNA. When I say sauna, I mean all kinds of thermal procedures such as Russian Banya, Turkish Hamam, Japanese Sento etc.
Finnish sauna as skin-cleaner
However, when I hear about Infrared sauna as Finnish sauna alternative, I am not sure in its safety. Finnish sauna helps to clean our skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and a major eliminative channel it is a pity but in most people, it is inactive, congested and toxic. Some factors as sun exposure, use of synthetic clothing, bathing in chlorinated water and exposure to hundreds of chemicals as a result the skin is heavily damaged. However, chlorinated water cannot stop me from Jacuzzi. For more look through: Comparing Infrared to Traditional Sauna as exact as Hamburger to Lobster grills!"
Traditional sauna’s benefitsJacuzzi and Finnish sauna
Also, I do not want to be as chicken in the microwave. Therefore, I have prejudice against Infrared sauna. Of course excessive sympathetic nervous system activity and emotions such as fear, anger and guilt cause blood to be withdrawn from the skin, contributing to inactivity of the skin. Nevertheless, we can restore our state of mind and body by means of traditional sauna as they provide many of the benefits including enhanced circulation and oxidation of the tissues. We often conclude that procedures our predecessors used are the healthiest and most useful. Well … Finnish sauna – its health improvement role and health benefits are enormous.
Girl in Finnish saunaInfrared sauna heater
As for Infrared sauna, we have a trouble. In traditional sauna, Russian banya and Turkish hamam we heat our body up from the outside. We warm our skin, our head and our legs. But in case of infrared sauna, we heat up from the inside. We warm our bones, our bowels and muscles. I am not sure that hot Finnish guys invented the Sauna to warm their stomach. They use an alcohol for it. But for their bodies they build nice wooden houses or cabins. The Infrared sauna has the same wooden box with several infrared heaters that works by means of heaters that emit infrared radiation without heating the air. In the theory, a heater produces the radiant energy that is as though similar to the heat from the sun is a completely safe form of naturally occurring energy. However, the IR sauna heater is not similar to sun. Its heat penetrates more than 1.5 inches into the body. Are you sure that it is health giving? I am not.
Weight loss with SaunaWooden sauna cabins
I publish pictures of IR sauna cabins, and as you can see, they are similar to traditional sauna cabins. They all are made, with love and patience, using different sorts of wood, and the only difference – is the heater. I do not insist, but it will be better, if in your cabin, will be a traditional heater, and you will use my recopies from my previous posts.
Best sauna's recipes:
- Silver Fir as a bath essence for inhalation of freshness, strength and power.
- Peppermint – not only for mouthwashing, it’s the best thing for “health washing” if you use it in sauna and banya!
- Mustard – Borat’s (old Oriental) famous secret for sauna and banya.
- Some secrets with beer and absinth to lose weight and get a good mood.
- Using a natural Australian recipe in sauna or banya can prevent a cold or influenza.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Japanese sento is closer to Turkish Hamam than banya or sauna.

Japanese bath ‘sento’ reminds of the Roman bath presented by the Turkish Hamam in the modern World(look through Living on the last floor you can build your own Turkish Hamam). They both were created for relaxation and contemplation. Soaking, submerged to the chin, you have a sensual pleasure and a feeling of well-being and harmony with the natural surroundings, perhaps the garden or landscape beyond. So here they don’t cultivate the hard style groovy procedures which we have to undergo in Russian banya or Finnish sauna. Here you can take pleasure without enduring extra high temperature and hot steam. Japanese bath reflects the traditions and culture of Japan, a unique and interesting country.
Japanese bath ‘sento’ has existed for over 400 years in Japan, but a post-war construction boom in residential housing without bathing facilities or running water cemented its prominence in the community. The bath numbers are going down today as Japanese can now afford baths or showers in their own homes. They say that sento are disappearing at the rate of one a day. Numbers peaked in 1964 at 23,016, but are currently at 8,422. For a class-conscious society, the sento has become an embarrassing reminder of an impoverished past. Japanese bath ‘sento’ remains a veritable oasis in many communities, especially in the suffocating summers. As an example, in the northern suburbs of Osaka, a mega-sento was built in the 1960s for families. On a Friday night, this groovy water world, featuring an outdoor hot spring and noodle bar, is the Al’s Aquatic Diner of family entertainment. Operating 24/7, this sento is a more modest and family-oriented version of some of the wilder forms of Japanese bath entertainment that exists today.
In the past, Japanese people enjoyed the daily ritual with their relatives and friends in a public bath (the ‘sento’) or in a hot spring bath (the ‘onsen’). It was not until the middle of this century that the water supply made it possible for most people to have a private ‘ofuro’, although the ‘onsen’ and the ‘sento’ remain popular for many Japanese people. The popularity of the Hot Springs ‘onsen’ is connected with the geological age of the places and centuries-old work on accomplishing by great Japanese masters of landscape design.
Wonderful Japanese landscape is the main thing in the ‘sento’ too. The tub location close to nature is the appealing feature of the Japanese bath. Meditating under a blooming ‘sakura’ is as important for Japanese as sweating in hot steam chamber for Russians. For more look through:
- What's most important in Finnish sauna or Russian banya?,
- Master Boris and his “venik” – its better then Viagra! and
- I can have more health & beauty only in Russian bath than in Finnish sauna!.
Japan was quite an isolated country for a long time barring foreigners from entering these least private of public places. Incidences of drunken Russian sailors’ water-fighting in the bathhouses and ‘onsen’ of the northern island of Hokkaido have fuelled a tabloid debate about whether or not the hairy barbarian with little understanding of the subtle nuances of Japanese culture should be tolerated. I guess that the incident caused the argument which bath system is better; Russian ‘banya’ or Japanese ‘sento’. If a few simple rules are followed, a ‘sento’ visit by the alien poses no problem and is an excellent opportunity to pay homage to Japanese ingenuity and high standards of cleanliness, as well as to get a glimpse of what is a vanishing monument of Japanese culture. So I have posted the list of the rules in my previous article Japanese bath ‘sento’ -- Sauna in the blooming garden.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Japanese bath ‘sento’ -- Sauna in the blooming garden

Being keen on the world traditions of bath culture I have changed my favorite Thailand into super-modern Japan. I have enjoyed and learned Finnish Saunas in Finland, Russian banya in Russia and Turkish Hamam in Turkey. For more look through
- 7 things to learn about sauna not to waste money building a bath house and be careful visiting banya or sauna or
- Sauna accessories rightly using; don't fit into the steam room if you are booted and drunk! and
- You can easily build Russian banya. My pursuit was to get terms of intimacy with well-known Japanese bath ‘sento’. My previous attempts to learn more about Japanese bath without visiting their Motherland failed. Moreover most bath accessories: tubs, baskets, buckets etc. in Japanese-like rooms were labeled ‘made in China’. You can imagine my excitement when I first saw the Nikko Hot Springs.
First of all I was impressed by Japanese responsibility for keeping the rules in ‘sento’. The list of these rules which I heard from my Japanese guide was the same as the following I found in the Net:
- Take off your clothes in the changing room
- Put clothes in the basket or shelf
- Enter the bathroom with a small towel and your amenities
- There will be a bucket beside the tub, scoop out some water and pour it over yourself to rinse your body before getting in the bathtub
- Soak in the bathtub. Remember not to bring anything into the tub, not even a towel
- Get out of the tub and wash your body or hair in front of the faucet; It should be done outside of the tub
- Rinse off soap and shampoo well
- Get in the bathtub again if you want
- Rinse your body with clean warm water in front of faucet
- Dry your body with your small towel before you go to the changing room
- Dry your body with your bath towel and dress in the changing room.
Some tips:
- Do not use soap in the tub
- The water in the tub tends to be hot in Japan. You can adjust it by running cold water, but don't overdo it
- Usually, the tub water is used by others. Please remember not to drain the water when you are finished.
Secondly I was affected by strict face (and ass) control concerning tattoos on parts of the body. One girl in our group was not allowed into the ‘sento’ rooms only for wearing a tiny butterfly tattoo on her fanny.
Then I was impressed by the fact that you have to leave your shoes at the front door and walk a long way to the changing room, which could confuse Paul Wolfowitz as well.
Finally worldwide known Japanese wonderful nature penetrates through ‘sento’ bath procedures as the wooden and stone tubs are outside among trees and bushes. Taking a bath you are surrounded by blooming gardens. For more about Japan look through my The Thai Tramp blog.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sauna accessories rightly using; don't fit into the steam room if you are booted and drunk!

We have already talked about extremely high temperature in Finnish sauna or Russian banya steam rooms. It is abt. 180° F and 20-25% average humidity in sauna or abt. 120-140° F and 70-80% average humidity in banya. It is reasonable that in hot atmosphere all of sauna's component parts are very important. Heater, rock and wood are as important as head-backrest, essence oil, bucket and thermometer.
Stones which should be placed all around the heater elements are not to store heat and produce steam when water is poured over them. It's good for a softer, more comfortable bathing experience and it provides better steam.
Using the softwood in sauna or banya steam chambers must absorb humidity into the wood for keeping the bathing atmosphere very soft and pleasant. Since buckets, pails, dippers, thermometers and hygrometers etc. are essential Sauna accessories claim attention too. Sauna accessories from stainless steel, wood and glass also help to transform the hot dry air into a comfortable moist atmosphere. Any plastic parts can mar the pleasure while you are inhaling excellent bath aromas. But aroma is the only and the most important in all of these bath procedures.
There are different means for preparing sauna and Russian banya fresh aromas. We can 'cook' them from natural product by ourselves. I have told about some experience in my previous posts. They are: Calendula aroma, fresh and energetic bath steam with Silver Fir and peppermint. Mustard is the old Oriental secret for sauna or banya; and there are some secrets with beer and absinth to lose weight and get a good mood, some great recipes to cure colds and flu: Australian method with eucalyptus; chamomile herbal extract and the best secret is about how to make a horse radish bath steam.
Moreover we can have sauna fresh aromas with pure essence oil such as: Eucalyptus aroma, Cherry aroma, Dandelion aroma, Citrus Orange aroma, Birch aroma, Lavender aroma, Apple aroma, Citrus aroma, Pine aroma etc. It is usually concentrated and you only need 5 to 10 drops to add to a bucket of water, or just one or two drops to a dipper of water. Pour this scented water slowly over the hot stones and enjoy yourselves.
But all of these secrets and aromas can wane if you do something wrongly.
All of handmade herbal extracts must be filtered out because even small parts of chamomile or horse radish are left they can cause a trouble if they get onto the rock. If accidentally you put some pure oil to the stones you get cinders instead of aroma.
Therefore I attract your attention to sauna's accessories because its incorrect using can make damage instead of restoring one's health. At the same time any trifle such as sauna's felt-cap can bring some pleasure.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Comparing Infrared to Traditional Sauna as exact as Hamburger to Lobster grills!

Some days ago I visited a great sauna cabin mfrs. get-together. It’s not a problem that a lot of sauna cabin are made in China. They are all built of Siberian wood. The Chinese can make a chip and good saunas for the whole world. Where are exactly Russians and Finns in that market? But it’s a problem that a lot of these specialists seriously talked about the replacement of traditional Finnish sauna with Infrared. It is a trouble for me as I am a hard style bath procedure (sauna or Russian banya) admirer. And what is more, it’s a trouble for credulous people who can gaily use Infrared cabin more and more.
And what do Infrared sauna addicts think about? Far-infrared radiant (FIR) heat is a completely safe form of naturally occurring energy that heats objects by a process called direct light conversion. Radiant heat is also called infrared heat or infrared energy. Direct light conversion warms only the object and does not raise the temperature of the surrounding free air.
This type of energy travels 2-3" deep into the body and is thought by some to increase circulation and nourish damaged tissue. The sun is the primary source of radiant energy, but not all of this energy is beneficial.
Although life needs energy from the sun, too much sunlight damages the skin. FIR heat provides many of the health benefits of natural sunlight without any of the dangerous effects of solar radiation. Holy shit! Everything is always great for these guys. You can ask what wrong? It’s a great PR for good money. Yes, great PR but at the expense of our health and our money!
I wrote about the long millennial history of bath procedures as Finn sauna, Turkish Hamam and Russian Banya. Their healing power was examined by generations of million bath fans. Everything was OK except excessive drinking ‘vodka’ during bath procedures in some North places!
By the way infrared ‘sauna’ health power does not have a long history. Except microwave heater, but I don’t want to be a broiled chicken!
There was not any science research about the lasting effect of FIR heat. There are only advertisements such as: It's a partly cloudy day and you are outside and it feels cool. All of a sudden the clouds move out of the way of the sun and a rush of warmth comes over you. This warm feeling is the far infrared band of sunlight warming your body. What a Paradise place is this Infrared cabin!
New Far Infrared saunas are gaining popularity. It will probably cost a little more to run a Far Infrared sauna versus a rock sauna. In terms of which does a better job of getting those nasty toxins out of your body through sweat, it's a toss up. Any Infrared sauna will reach temps around 110-130 degrees F while a rock sauna can get up to 140-190 degrees F. The heater in a rock sauna will take about 1/2 hour to heat up while the heaters in a Far Infrared warm-up in 20-30 minutes time. Research both types online and sees which features or benefits most interest you.
And it’s a trouble as bath procedure with Infrared sauna becomes easy. It’s more accessible to have sauna after only 20 minutes of heating. It’s more comfortable to have easy breath and to change a strong procedure with easy pleasure. Traditional steam saunas raise the temperature of the air to a very high level within the chamber to warm the body. Some people have difficulties with breathing in this extremely warm air. FIR saunas work differently. Instead of heating the air within the enclosure, FIR saunas heat the body directly. The result is a lower power bill and deeper tissue penetration. In the FIR sauna, the body perspires and receives all of the healthy benefits but avoids the harmful and extremely hot air of a traditional steam sauna. But has anybody heard about somebody who takes Finn sauna every day? It’s good to visit sauna one or two times a week.
What about Russian banya, it’s so hard to have it more even for Valuev. But infrared simplicity can provoke to take it frequently. Yet it’s a trouble!
I’m not furiously against the Infrared ‘sauna’. I don’t like the idea of replacing traditional bath procedures by the ‘bubble gum’ sauna. There is Finnish Sauna, there is Russian banya, and there is Turkish Hamam. Tastes differ! Let them all exist freely and equally. And now we have this infrared device.
Infrared ‘sauna’ has some abilities to penetrate, refract, radiate and reflect. The thermal effect within the deep layers of the tissues causes blood vessels and capillaries to dilate, promoting a better blood circulation, and the heat produced in this way helps get rid of body toxins and metabolic wastes through sweating. It’s not bad. It’s not good. It’s different from the traditional ways. The number of Infrared lovers increases, however bath lover are royal.
Here is my remark concerning the advertisements and infrared sauna addicts. Let them go to Istanbul and try to convince the Turkish to change their Hamam into Infrared!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sauna box as inexpensive alternative for sauna cabin or sauna house

After dashing through Turkish hamam, sauna and Russian banya utilities I want to pay attention to personal cabins. And what is more important, I’d like to talk about small wooden sauna-boxes or bath-boxes. Of course, if you are ready to pay more than $100,000 for personal Turkish hamam it’s better for you to visit my previous post. Unless you are a lucky landowner and can build Russian banya palace on your own site of promise, I’m cooking a special many-course dinner. Still it is for those who have any trouble with free space in their apartments or for those who are not ready to say ‘good buy’ to several hundred thousand dollars.
First of all I want to ask all “chemical brothers” as plastic and others to get out of my pages! There is wood, stones, metal and sometimes glass details in the heater and in the bath-box construction. They are only organic components in my sauna boxes. Their size is small to inhale the aroma of hot inorganic chemical parts!
Look at that cedar sauna-box. There are all of healing remedies of this Wood King box! Do you know that King Solomon built a temple out of old cedar wood to keep his own positive energy? Old fellows talked about the number of rings of a cedar trunk as storing up some kind of energy. Today it is well-known cedar walls emit positive energy. In Cedar houses the air is always clean. It has special spirit and influence. It eliminates tension, develops immunity, and facilitates rapid health recovery after a difficult disease or operation. Yet do you think it is nice to your body to have a sauna procedure in a place made of the King Solomon’s wood?
And what a wonderful result of mini-sauna can come from linden forest! Linden flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are the parts used for curative purposes. Active ingredients in the linden flowers include falconoid, which act as antioxidants, volatile oil, and mucilage components, which soothe and reduce inflammation. The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent. The aroma of linden sauna cabin can make even a melancholic person happy. That sauna-box actually needs just a few linden boards. It saves money. Generally the small size and simplicity of sauna-box design allow mfrs. to make it out of any piece of wood and any kind of wood:
• Do you want to be under the protection of magic aspen behavior? It’s not a problem. Don’t be afraid of vampire now!
• Do you want to feel as old brandy in an oaken barrel? Enjoy yourself!
Moreover you can build it with small heater and reasonable power consumption. Naturally this sauna-box needs so small place to be based that you can put it anywhere. Why don’t you place it in your office? Frankly speaking it’s not my type! I don’t like such condition when I keep my ass in a warm place while my head is jut out and is envious of the fun! But it is such a democratic device!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Living on the last floor you can build your own Turkish Hamam

Now I want to talk about Turkish Hamam. I remember what I wrote about Hamam in my previous post:What's most important in the sauna or banya? I tried to compare different cultures: Russian banya, Finnish sauna etc. in other post: 7 things to learn about banya And there was only my opinion. Everyone is different. I like a “hard style” in the bath procedure. What I love is Russian banya.
But all we want in making is to have pleasure: we make love, we make money and we make a bath steam. Do you really think we make it for president?! I am not sure. May it be for peace in the whole world? No, we do it only for our enjoyment! I feel sorry for those who like to smoke the pipe of peace. And the first thing you think about in any bath is your feeling of satisfaction. Then you can meditate on your health.
Let’s look around. Russian banya was born as an invention made by strong and bearded mouzhiki (they were Old Russians) who liked winter frost and vodka. Finnish sauna was born with “hot Finnish guys” and it can illustrate the Finnish character much better than the famous Nokia phones. And only Turkish Hamam, which traces its roots back to the Roman Empire, was born to experience pleasure in the bath procedure. O tempora, o mores!
Turkish Hamam affects the body through heating with relatively low temperature (45° C) steam and high air humidity (95 %) which has numerous healing effects and is highly appropriate for the individuals who do not like high temperatures. It is definitely used in body beauty treatments such as peeling, baths, wrappings and other therapeutic processes of heating and cooling that have developed during the millennial tradition of Oriental body cleansing culture.
Hamam is an advanced version of steam sauna which originates from the Greek-Roman body cult and bathing culture and was also used later in the Byzantine Empire. Later it was adopted by the Arabs. The first Hamam in the Islamic culture were built in the medieval times in the Jordanian Area. Nowadays Hammams are associated mostly with Turkish bathing culture although it can be found in all across other Islamic countries.
Most people think that Turkish Hamam looks like a huge palace in the Romaine style. That is half-right because we get into the way to the big Hamam. But it can be smaller then Galatasaray Hamam! Yesterday I met some Turkish construction experts who built Hamam cabins even in the apartment (if its size is sufficiently large). Anyhow, on the one hand you get an excellent place for relaxation. On the other hand you get a big problem with your householder. There is so much moisture in a Hamam. But if you live on the top floor you can make small clouds, until you become accused in in doing harm to environment. (if its size is sufficiently large).
Leaving joking, it’s practical to have a hamam cabin exactly as it is on my picture, especially if you have a Jacuzzi. To enjoy a traditional Turkish Hamam you need good ventilation with water filter system and much money. It’s an expensive pleasure to have a real Turkish Hamam in you apartment. Although it does not cost so much as to get a Russian (wood) heater in the apartment house on Manhattan!
In return it is not a problem to build Hamam in you own house. You need an empty 10 on 10 feet (3 on 3 meters) room though 12 on 12 feet (abt. 4 on 4 meters) is better for complete thrill. Of course the style required is oriental with the hookah and eastern sweeties as a blonde on the picture. It’s important to have comfortable sofas with many mild cushions there and to hear Turkish or any Oriental music. Make it and have fun!