I remember as a child my older sister, younger brother and I spending time in a sauna and absolutely loving it! We would splatter some water on the hot rocks and watch the steam rise up and wonder at the temperature rising in the small wooden-paneled room. At some point when we were unable to take the heat any more, we would run out and jump into a cool refreshing swimming pool. Those were great memories!
Saunas have always been one of my favorite things in the world! I’ve been living in Korea for 19 1/2 years and saunas are everywhere! I go often and even buy tickets in bulk at my favorite one! We even have a group called the Saunaholics and we gather for some group therapy and laughter. (When we see each other out in the streets, we usually quip something like~ “I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!” People react in the funniest ways to it!)
Many have asked me, why go to the sauna? Why suffer such heat? My answer is that saunas help us relieve stress. Some would argue that sweating can be detoxifying for the body~ whereas others would disagree. Some take vitamin B3 Niacin and get a flush and sweat out some bad stuff. They swear by it, but others just think that they are being loony. The jury is still out for me.
Sweating is good for us. Then jumping into a “oncheon” (Korean for sulfurically treated water) cold pool and entering a hot tub, then entering a freezer, and reentering the sauna and sweating some more is awesome! The hot is the Yin and the cold is the Yang. Going back and forth from hot to cold helps to balance out the chi, or qui energy in the body. It’s so relaxing to leave the world outside of its doors and just sweat it out.
At the end, we leave and come out feeling fresh and rejuvenated~ and a little sleepy as well. If you need an addiction, then becoming a saunaholic isn’t such a bad thing to become! See you in the heat!