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History of the Sauna

 

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 homeowner.