The popularity of the Finnish sauna tradition grows around the world. In parallel grows the number of scientific studies supporting the role of saunas and thermotherapy as a wellness tool for health issues. This article gives you an overview on how this tradition of a small nation up North has become trendy also outside Finland.

Superstars sweating out their stress

An important aspect in where trends go, of course, are trendsetters. As an outcome of the ground-breaking results of the scientific medical studies and the effective marketing of these results, the thermotherapy’s magic has reached into lifestyles of celebrities. You may have seen in the media that celebrities like Joe Rogan and Kourtney Kardashian talk about the amazing detoxifying and overall wellness increasing effects of sauna bathing. Also, many influencers have even got a sauna in their home so that it is easier to sauna bathe every day.

Effective immune system helps to battle future viruses

When we talk about trends in the 2020s, we cannot bypass the on-going pandemic that affects the whole world. Pandemic or not, it is still beneficial to strengthen your immune system so that your body has a better ‘inner armor’ for battling viruses in the future as well. Regular sauna bathers suffer from flu symptoms less often than people who do not have a sauna regularly. Notice that sauna only works preventively and does not help if you are already sneezing and coughing because of a common cold!

Finnish sauna is the temple of wellbeing

The year 2021 could be the year when all travel becomes wellness travel. During the era of stressful remote work, self-care and staycations have become a huge trend to create contrast in the grey daily life – and an authentic Finnish sauna experience is one way for this. The healing power of nature is in the core of Finnish sauna. Around 75% of Finland is covered in forest and there are more than 188 000 lakes in the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes’. Therefore, the authentic way to sauna bathe is often situated in a shore of a lake or the Baltic sea. However, even high-quality urban saunas, for example in hotels, one can feel the nature through all the natural elements included in the experience: wooden benches, sauna stones, steam in the air, and plunging into a hot tub or icy water to cool off.

Child in a sauna

Australian and American bathers relax in the sauna

What many of us despite nationality can relate to is the hectic lifestyle filled with pressure to be better every day. This might end up causing feelings like stress and anxiety and affect sleep schedule. In 2016-2017, Hussain et al. (2019) conducted a survey that gathered the wellbeing effects and experiences of sauna from a global audience. The results indicate that in addition to Finnish people also especially Australians and Americans who take a sauna regularly are keen to utilize sauna bathing as a tool to make relaxing easier. Particularly in these countries, the people reported to have a better state of mind and quality of sleep after having a sauna.

Companies and associations working for spreading the Finnish sauna culture in the US:

  • The North American Sauna Society – Read more here.
  • Nordic Sauna – A family company with years of experience building custom-made Finnish saunas in the US.
  • Cedar Stone & Sauna offers a chance to try sauna and teaches Finnish sauna culture. Experience the ice sauna in winter 2021!
  • The Sweat Shack is on a mission to share the healthy lifestyle in Finland to its customers in California.
  • Diamond Sauna & Steam – The #1 sauna installer in Texas providing saunas for individuals, businesses, medical facilities and schools.

Hussain, J., Greaves, R., & Cohen, M. (2019). A hot topic for health: Results of the Global Sauna Survey. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 44, 223-234.
Laukkanen, J. A., Laukkanen, T., & Kunutsor, S. K. (2018). Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence. Mayo Clinics Proceedings, 93(8), 1111–1121.

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