The SUOMAA peat sauna experience has received the first ever UNIQUE quality certificate. Aino Klinikat in Metsäkansan Ainola, Valkeakoski (Finland) is the company that offers the service. The extraordinary sauna experience of Medical SPA Aino combines peat treatment to sauna, also adding elements of art and tastes. Read the description of this unique sauna experience, written by Sauna from Finland’s quality auditor Piija Äijänen.

The peatland has for ages hidden a secret that offers health benefits. This secret is ‘therapeutic peat’ and it has health-promoting effects. Leena Larva runs Medical SPA Aino. Leena is specialist doctor in women’s diseases, and she has conducted research on the effects of peat treatment. According to Leena, the peat affects the lymph circulation. When the treatment is properly carried out, the feeling after the peat sauna is relaxed and refreshed. The SUOMAA sauna concept in Metsäkansan Ainola combines an infrared cabin, a soft-steamed sauna with Aitokiuas stove by Narvi, and a peat sauna – not forgetting the cold pool where one can get cold treatment. At summertime, the sauna experience also includes a tent sauna and a recently built counter-current pool.

The path of the sauna experience

We start the sauna experience with a small savory accompanied with berry water. One should be drinking water before, during, and after the sauna. In addition to that, we eat some rock salt grains. Hydration is an important part of a sauna experience. Leena is sure of the fact that hot-cold variation is good for the lymph circulation of the body and that is why the peat in the SUOMAA concept has a cool temperature. We rub the skin through using a wash glove in the heat of the sauna. This activates the lymph circulation even further.

When the skin is warm it is time to spread the cold peat. We apply the peat all over starting from the feet up until upper body, hands, and the face. Leena helps to spread the peat to the area where your hands do not reach. High-pitched shouting is unavoidable when Leena applies the fridge-cooled peat on the back of the bather. When the peat covers the whole skin, it is again time to climb back on the sauna bench. The sauna has been covered throughout with linen sheets. So are the footboards, benches, and walls as well.

The temperature of the sauna is about +60 Celsius degrees and Leena throws water on the stove regularly. We feel truly relaxed. I am laying on the bench, enjoying myself, and hearing the hiss of the stove from time to time. Above the stove there are rock salt grains that steam up in the air together with the water. The rock salt helps the well-being of the respiratory system and the skin. I am laying on the bench facedown while being whisked with bamboo. This also increases the lymph circulation. The whisking starts from the back and continues through hamstrings and calves down to the feet. The rhythm of bamboo whisking relaxes the muscles in a nice way.

After sauna

After the sauna, it is time to wash ourselves and to massage the peat off the skin. The peat is removed quite easily because it does not harden in the sauna. After the peat sauna we wake the body up in the pool. A quick plunge in the water of +4 Celsius degrees is a shocking experience but the feeling afterwards is refreshed!

Before taking a rest, we wrap ourselves into bathrobes and put a pair of slippers on. The SUOMAA concept takes influence from Japanese manners. We rest and relax in our bathrobes after the sauna in a separate space for cooling down. Small sauna snacks, green tea, and water are offered. The relaxation after the sauna is an important aspect of peat sauna treatments.

After the breather we share our feelings and discuss about well-being. Leena is a reputable doctor, and she has written multiple books and publications on the topic of holistic well-being. She considers that the broken Achilles tendon of mine needs special care and I am offered a laser treatment on my leg. My ankle bends after the laser and peat treatments and I do find that the swelling has reduced a noticeable amount. It is a pleasure listening to Leena speaking. The more you listen to her, the more you understand about yourself. I feel a deeper connection to the inner me after the peat sauna and the conversation. And yes, I am relaxed and refreshed.

After the peat sauna we have the honor to give Medical SPA Aino the world’s first Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience UNIQUE Quality Certificate. The sauna experience in Metsäkansan Ainola is a perfect unity for couples, small groups, as well as for travellers interested about the health benefits of sauna.

More information:

The writer Piija Äijänen has sparred and supported the Sauna from Finland team for a long time. As a quality auditor she has seen many kinds of saunas from one extreme to another. Her viewpoint to the experience comes from the side of a customer, utilizing her expertise and tools of Service Design.

Read more about the health benefits of the therapeutic peat here.

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