Prior to the first sauna session, give the sauna about an hour to come to temperature with the vents closed. Clear instructions are visible adjacent to the sauna heater controls in the change room. Once the initial heat-up has been established, itʼs far easier to have the sauna ready to use within a much shorter time frame, assuming the user is mindful of conserving the heat with the doors and vents closed between extended session breaks. Be sure that the water bucket is at least 1/3 full so that during the sauna session, you can ladle water on the rocks to create steam.
On a personal level, itʼs best to hydrate! You will sweat a lot, and donʼt want to get dehydrated. Avoid alcohol prior to, and during your sauna sessions; you want to pay attention to your body detoxing, particularly when itʼs signaling to you that itʼs time to get out CAREFULLY, and that can be tricky to do with a buzz on. And besides that, alcohol is dehydrating!
Additionally, itʼs best to get wet; have a shower, go for a swim, dunk in the cold plunge pool or dance in the rain– whatever, and then dry off. The rationale behind this process is that clean, dry skin sweats faster than skin covered with lotion, make-up, dirt and whatever else you might have blocking your pores. Since sweating is a premier part of the process, starting your sauna session clean will allow your body to detox more efficiently. And of course, entering the sauna clean keeps the dirt out, and the space more hygienic.
Dress code conduct: the BARE minimum is a towel: ALWAYS use a towel as a barrier between your skin and the wood.
**cotton fabric breathes, while many synthetic fabrics donʼt, and keep in mind that RELEASING the sweat is part of the process.
Session 1: Grab a towel and head on in. BE SURE THE VENTS ARE OPEN! It’s important to keep a steady flow of oxygen cycling through the sauna. Find a spot that you find comfortable. The seats higher, and those closer to the heater, will be hotter, while the lower seats and further away from the heater will be cooler. Place the towel underneath you. Sit or lay down, whichever you choose.
If you havenʼt done this before, just stay in the sauna for about 5-10 minutes, and no more than 15 minutes. The heat can be intense, and your body will need time to acclimate. Once you feel like youʼre within 2 minutes of stepping out of the heat, do sit up so that your body can readjust to being upright again. Of course, if at any time you feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated, a headache, or any other symptoms of discomfort, promptly and carefully leave the sauna.
Once you are ready to cool down, step outside and choose from a variety of methods. You may choose to rinse off under a cold shower, hop into the cold plunge pool, jump in the nearest body of water, or simply have a seat on the deck and let the cool, fresh air envelop your skin. When you feel ready to move around, do so outside in the fresh air, and then take a seat to let your body relax. The safest way to break between sauna sessions is to wait about 30-45 minutes to let your body fully relax, and remember to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
Sessions 2 & 3: The following sauna sessions should be much like the first. Again, allowing your body to cool down, fully rest, and rehydrate in-between sauna sessions.
Post Sauna: Rehydrate some more! Our bodies lose a tremendous amount of water when sweating out toxins in the sauna, so itʼs important to drink plenty of water after your sauna sessions. Then rest, relax, and enjoy the therapeutic effects the sauna has provided.