The Epistles of the Sauna Guru
Hello, and welcome to Clear the Steam, my new sauna blog! I have been building sauna kits in Waterloo Region, Ontario, for the past ten years. Speaking to sauna enthusiasts about their projects has become a passion of mine. I benefitted greatly from the mentorship of a sauna pioneer, and want to use this knowledge to promote authentic, traditional sauna lifestyles and to dispel many myths and misconceptions around saunas in general. Many of the designs and principles we use are time-tested, and have been documented in our book, “The Art of Sauna Building”. This was first published in 1981 by my mentor, Bert (Pertti) Olavi Jalasjaa, and is currently on the 11th edition. Over my time with Bert, I collected and saved many nuggets of wisdom, which we dubbed “The Epistles of the Sauna Guru”. I hope to share this wisdom with others!
Developments in the Sauna Industry
As the sauna industry continues to evolve, I want to be on the leading edge of changes which can improve the sauna lifestyle, reduce costs for consumers, and change how people use the sauna. There are many cultural aspects to consider. For example, many people only have the option to use a sauna at a gym, but these are often poorly designed and have inadequate ventilation. There is an emphasis on authentic Canadian made products, as many accessories on the market are imported from overseas. There are also technological and design improvements, such as tower saunas. Heaters such as the Homecraft Revive, the HUUM Cliff, and the Harvia Cilindro all have a larger rock capacity, and have rocks to the floor. This seems to be a simple answer to the traditional Finnish saying, “Feet above the rocks”. I will dive into subjects such as these in my blog!
My experience with heat therapy and the Sauna lifestyle
I first discovered saunas over a decade ago and did not think much at first. I have been a life long chronic pain sufferer, and know first hand the benefits of heat therapy. At the same time I started learning more about traditional Finnish bathing practices, and decided I wanted to make it part of my lifestyle. I have an infrared cabin that gets regular use. Although I don’t consider it to be an authentic sauna, I recognize the benefits to be had. Similarly, steam showers are just as beneficial, but nothing beats the blast of loyly from a traditional hot rock sauna. Regardless, heat therapy has many benefits, and I feel my role is to advocate for healthy lifestyles and authentic sauna experiences.
I will be writing a blog entry every 1-2 weeks under my pen name, Robert Furlong. I chose the name “Clear the Steam”, as I wanted to dispel misconceptions about saunas, and educate people on how to properly add the benefits of the sauna to their lifestyle!