Finnish Sauna – the history and health benefits

Did you know that the sauna is an old traditional concept in Finland? The earliest versions are believed to be from 7000 BC, but one of the first written mentions of what is believed to be the sauna customs of the forefathers of the Finns was written by the Nestor the Chronicler in 1112

Saunas had a huge importance in Finnish lives in the old days. It was the place to give birth and a place where dead bodies were washed before funerals. You can still find people in Finland who were born in a sauna. Also, it was the place to wash when there was no running hot water. Saunas provided warmth, which during the winter months was deeply appreciated.

Visiting the sauna, an indispensable tradition

Finnish sauna still has huge importance, and it is just as popular in the summer as in the winter.

Because of this, many studies and much research has been done to learn more about frequent sauna bathing. A recent review of research on the health effects of sauna bathing found that, as far as Finnish saunas are concerned, there is a long list of benefits.

One study conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä shows that frequent sauna bathing can lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in middle-aged and elderly people.

The research found that the mortality rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD) among people taking a sauna four to seven times a week is 73 percent lower than these using sauna once a week.

Other separate studies found that people who regularly went to Finnish saunas have lower risks of vascular diseases – such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and strokes. Additionally, lowering the chance of pulmonary diseases – like asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Work out while you kick back

Finnish Sauna has a number of real health benefits on top of mental relaxation. The heat makes your organs work as if you were doing mild exercise, so you might burn a few extra calories, and it lowers blood pressure.

When you visit Finland, you will see for yourself how most Finnish residents have their own sauna. There are over 5 million inhabitants and at least three million saunas in Finland. Have you ever seen the Finnish Parliament House in Helsinki? It has a sauna as well.

But before you go and enjoy your sauna bathing in Finland you should learn the language. That will make your sauna time more valuable when you can enjoy chatting with Finns. You can find more information on Expat Finland.

If you are a healthcare professional considering moving to Finland for work. You’ll already be aware that clear communication with a patient is key. Please read more information about MEDI Connection’s online medical language courses.

Be sure to check out our other articles on Finland and Lifestyle.

You may find these articles interesting:
Healthcare in Finland remains world-class in 2018
Happy Finland keeps its smile in 2019
Water in Finland purest in the world

The writer of the blog post:

Mahdi Ahmed

Sauna bathing reduces heart mortality risk for elderly
Research shows that frequent visits to Finnish saunas could make you live longer – and a long list of other health benefits – Business Insider Nordic


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