Nordic bathing – how & why?

We continue our health journey in the Nordic culture, discovering the bathing and sauna tradition.

On the country side, close to a lake, a wooden heated sauna, maybe even placed straight on a used small jetty.

A group of people, with your family, or why not all alone?

Pouring water into the sauna heater to heat up water for rinsing off and cooling the body when done. Sitting on the sauna slab as long as you possibly can, if in summer, running out and screaming jumping into the lake, naked as God created you, or if in winter gathering snow and rubbing it into your pinkish steaming skin. Hot cold, several times, until you can almost hear the blood pumping in your ears. Yes, that is Scandinavian traditional sauna.

The extra spice

Just as in a Hammam, you have to wait until your skin is ready to be cleansed. In Scandinavia we use young Birch twigs that have been softened in water before using. The twigs have to become soft and pliable to get the right effect. You gently whip the skin to get the result, the scent of fresh birch fills you and you get and naturally detoxified.

Hmm, good feeling, yes, brings a great sense of total relaxation, a moment to contemplate or for intimate, soft conversation.

Hurray – Go Nordic!

The tradition of saunas and cold baths runs deep in Nordic bathing culture. At the very first Swedish bathhouse, founded in 1269, the women who worked there used birch twigs to whip client’s skin to a tingling pink freshness. But by 1726, bath houses had fallen into disrepute
and were closed down, not opening again until the 1820s. Respectability restored, the Nordic bathing ritual of today is more gentle and caring. The scent of birch still pervades this age-old tradition and the combination of sauna and cold water, dry brushing or the use of Birch twigs means you will emerge every bit as enlivened as our Nordic ancestors did 700 years ago…even in a modern and contemporary sauna in Scandinavia…


For more information about Nordic bathing in spas;

P.S We have now launched our own Facebook page, finally! Here we will be posting a bit more informal stuff, if you want to join in the conversation – Like us 🙂 the more the merrier!


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