The oldest known saunas in Finland were made from pits dug into a slope and primarily used as dwellings in winter. The sauna featured a fireplace where stones were heated to a high temperature & water was thrown on the hot stones to produce steam and to give a sensation of increased heat. This is similar to the sauna here at Steady Slope, although ours is constructed of cedar and above ground. The Steady Slope sauna is heated with wood that is loaded in the back of the sauna stove from the exterior. There are stones inside where you can pour on water to create steam for a more intense experience.
How we like to Sauna
We like to sauna at any time, but we most often enjoy sauna in the late evening. The ambiance is nice with the lights and (hopefully) a clear starry night. We also like to sauna in the evening because it can take a lot out of you and might make you feel tired; sauna is known to help with sleep. When the sauna is hot, ideally about 160-180 degrees, we get in unclothed. Sit or lay down and just begin to adjust to the heat. Take deep breaths & allow your body to relax. Maybe even close your eyes. Soon you should begin to sweat. After 20 minutes, or as soon as we are ready, we go into the cold bath or shower. During freezing conditions, we may just stand in the cold air & cool off with snow.
Heat exposure is known to have many health benefits. The major benefit is detoxification, mostly of heavy metals and impurities we have accumulated and become lodged in our tissues. These toxins are released when you passive sweat by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Passive sweating is when you begin to sweat but you are not moving. Your heart rate goes up due to the high temperatures and blood begins to pump faster heating the body from the inside and causing you to sweat. This is different from the sweat you produce when you are doing physical exercise, as there are different hormones being activated in these two different scenarios. Therapeutic heat and cold exposure has been shown to aid adaptation, reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular conditions. Other health benefits include increased metabolism, increased circulation, pain reduction, improved cardiovascular function, improved immune function, improved sleep, stress management and relaxation, over a long period of regular sauna and cold-exposure. Short-term benefits also include relaxation and improved sleep.
Perspiration is a sign of autonomic responses trying to cool the body. Users are advised to leave the sauna if the heat becomes unbearable, or if they feel faint or ill. The sauna heater and rocks are very hot—one must stay well clear to avoid injury, particularly when water is poured on the sauna rocks, which creates an immediate blast of steam. Combustibles on or near the heater have been known to result in fire. Contact lenses may dry out in the heat. We understand most guests are on vacation and may be planning to have an alcoholic beverage. We just advise you to wait till after the sauna. It is also a good idea to not eat a large meal before the sauna as well. Make sure you drink lots of water before, during and after the sauna to stay hydrated.
Thank you sincerely for your interest in gathering together with your neighbors! We believe that community is place based, and our home can be an integral part of that place. In this spirit of conviviality & abundance, we welcome you to join us, as well as other members of our community, for a communal sweat and cold-exposure. During these open-house sauna sessions we converse, relax, and encourage each other in health and wellness. Coaching for sauna cycles and cold exposure is included; we humbly join you as guides through the experience (for more about how we like to sauna at Steady Slope specifically, read here). Women are invited to join Amanda most Monday evenings from about 7-8:30PM. On Thursday evenings men are invited to join christopher, also around 7-8:30PM. Sittings are limited to six participants, so please RSVP by email to email@example.com. Please check our events calendar here for current schedule.
We stay in the sauna for about 20 minutes or until we feel the need to cool down. Then we go right into the tub of cold water. The tub takes some getting used to, it can feel like quite a shock at first. We generally use the well water and do not add ice. If you decide to cold plunge, we believe that just getting in fully submerged as quick as possible is the best way and then to take some deep breaths. But if you do not make it in the first time try again the second, or third time. If you decide the plunge is not for you, no problem, just splash some cold water on yourself and put your feet in. You can also use the shower to rinse of with cold water. It is important to cool down. We like to repeat this process 3-4 times. Also, it is recommended to end after the cold exposure portion of the cycle. This is more important when the outside air is warm and your body might not cool down efficiently without intentional cooling with cold water.
Cooling down is a part of the sauna cycle and is as important as the heating. However, it is advisable that healthy people and heart patients alike should take some precautions if plunging into cold water, as the rapid cooling of the body produces considerable circulatory stress. It is also considered good practice to take a few moments after exiting a sauna before entering a cold plunge, and to enter a cold plunge by stepping into it gradually, rather than immediately immersing fully. In summer, a session is often started with a cold shower.
During private sauna sessions guests have exclusive access to the six person sauna for two hours. Please give us at least 4 hours notice, 24hrs notice is ideal so we can plan. We prepare the wood for the sauna, fire the stove, and see to every other aspect including towels and simple soaps for the shower. Please book using our calendar here.