/Jan Seepter

How does sauna affect your mind?

Naked woman in water looking at an Iglusauna

The effects of sauna are based on the physiological and psychic reactions of the body. These are expressed as a response to heating as you sit or lie or whisk in a heated room. And also to the drastic alternation of the hot and cold when you cool yourself in the water, shower, snow, or cold air.

The intensity of the sauna experience and the very humanity of both its invigorating effect on body’s defence systems and broadening effect on the mind are the reasons why sauna traditions are timeless and known all over the world. Sauna has been enjoyed by indigenous people as well as very different civilisations in the Orient, Europe, and Central America. And although every tribe and nation has their own sauna traditions and each sauna goer in turn has their own practices, based on the universal physiological and psychic properties of the human body and mind some things can be underscored that one should pay attention to in the sauna.

You should go to the sauna only when in good company. The effects of sauna derive from relaxation and we can relax in a situation where we do not have to hide behind roleplays and masks and hence the importance of the sauna company. This is the origin of the saying that in sauna all are equal, be you a king or a pauper. And once you step over the threshold of the sauna door, all the hatred and ill blood must be left behind. Just as important is the mood you have when preparing to go to the sauna. Thus, it would be perfect that you were not pushed for time to be somewhere else both while in sauna and after having a sauna.

Traditionally, after sauna time was taken to spend with yourself, guests and family. It is an old folk’s belief that after sauna no work should be engaged in. Those who broke that rule could expect to suffer ill fate and their toil would have no blessing. If you take the time and give yourself an opportunity to enjoy a “new reality” stemming from the relaxation of the body and tranquillity of the mind, then sauna offers relief to stress for sure and some wow experience from time to time. Just as you start hearing the sounds of nature once you have left the noise of the city behind, this change in pace offers a chance to notice what goes on in your mind and consciousness. This also explains the new ideas and magical experiences of those that participate in sauna rituals.