Of course, as foreigners, it can be a daunting prospect to take part in such a highly regarded and sometimes confusing pastime, where etiquette can seem overwhelming hurdles to some. However, fear not as we have put together our list of top tips to help you overcome any concerns and help you enjoy the purest of Finnish experiences!
1) Shower First
Just like using a swimming pool, it is good courtesy to your fellow guests to make sure you have a shower before you enter the sauna. At Jeris’ Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa you will find plenty of showers to use before you embark on your sauna experience, with all the water coming straight from a nearby spring.
2) Nudity isn't a requirment
It is true that traditionally Finns go to the sauna in the nude. However, there is nothing wrong with wearing a swimsuit or a towel if you feel uncomfortable with going ‘natural’.
3) It's ok to ask
Traditionally families go to the sauna together and men and women sauna separately. However, if you find yourself in a mixed group that is about to go to the sauna don’t be afraid to ask and discuss who should go with who. One of the great things about Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa is that there is not just one sauna to choose from, but five, meaning that it is very easy to spend time with different people in the various saunas should you want.
4) Respect the sauna
A sauna is a place for physical and mental cleansing, not selfies and romance. Many Finns feel that you should behave in a sauna as you would in a church, keep quiet and just relax. Traditional Finnish saunas are dimly lit and free from any music for this very reason. The ‘Fire sauna’ at Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa is the most traditional of the saunas at Jeris and the perfect place for those looking for a more authentic Finnish sauna experience.
5) Let yourself acclimatise
It is a good idea to sit on a lower bench where the heat is not quite as intense to start off so that you can let yourself get used to the heat and steam of the sauna. The ‘Earth sauna’ at Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa is a great place to acclimatise too as it features four separately heated sections, North, South, East and West which all offer different temperatures from mild to hot to help you get used to the heat of the sauna.
6) It you want more steam, don't hold back
There are no rules on how often you should pour more water on the coals when using a traditional Finnish sauna. If you feel like you want more steam then go for it! Alternatively, if you are enjoying a sauna experience at Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa, why not try one of the various different saunas on offer to find your ideal sauna experience. With the ‘Earth’, ‘Fire’, ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ saunas all offering different temperatures and atmospheres, there is plenty of opportunity to find your perfect relaxation spot.
7) Keep hydrated
You will be sweating heavily during your time in the sauna, so it is important to make sure you stay hydrated. Water is the best option but you can join the Finns and enjoy a beer or cider if you prefer! The good news is that food and drink are served in Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa, with the tap water being supplied by a nearby underground spring, which is excellent for drinking and full of minerals too.
8) Immerse yourself in the ice
Although it might sound a little daunting, an ice bath is a very traditional part of any Finnish sauna experience. Immersing yourself into ice-cold water after spending time in the steam of the sauna is a great way to increase your blood circulation. Alongside its range of innovative saunas, Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa also includes a revitalising external ice hole swimming area, for this very reason. if you are feeling particularly brave, why not try a quick roll in the snow too!
9) Try the local techniques
It might seem little strange to us but gently whipping yourself with a bundle of fresh birch twigs is a very traditional part of any Finn’s sauna routine. Known as ‘vasta’ or ‘vihta’ depending on the region, the twigs are really good for helping the skin feel smooth thanks to the essential oils released from them. Alternatively, why not try one of the many spa treatments available at Arctic Elements Lakeside Spa. From restorative massages to sauna honey face masks, there are plenty of experiences that all make use of natural and locally sourced ingredients to experience.
10) There are no real rules
When it comes to sauna, how they are done really depends on the occasion. The most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy the experience. Don’t worry too much about all the little details. Instead, take the opportunity to enjoy the chance to cleanse the body and mind just as the Finns do.