History of the
Humans have been sweat bathing since the late Bronze Age, perhaps
as early as 1000 B.C. Saunas evolved from the primitive home heating
method of heating stones in a pit. The Finnish people originally
named this bath the “savu,” their word for smoke, which described
the room heated by wooden logs. The Finns brought the sauna culture
to America in the 1600’s, when they began settling in Delaware and
Philadelphia. With the arrival of electricity, the modern day sauna
evolved using electric stoves. Today, in Finland, a country of 5.1
million people, there are 1.7 million saunas. There are more saunas
than cars in Finland!
Bathing in a sauna, like the Native American sweat lodge, or Japanese "furo",
was originally a ritual event approached with some seriousness.
Saunas have always been considered healing places. Today, with more
interest in health maintenance and disease prevention, the sauna is
not just for the spa or health club. They are now an amenity for the