Sauna rules

Please ensure that you are familiar with the following conditions before entering the sauna and steam room facilities:

Be aware that:

  • A sauna operates at 85-100°C. Make sure the temperature is comfortable for you by varying your position in the sauna.
  • The higher benches are the hottest, the lower benches cooler.
  • The sauna controls should only be adjusted by an authorised person.
  • Contact lenses will dry out and glasses become very hot and hence should not be worn in the sauna.
  • Care should be taken when adding water to the stove for this will rapidly cause an increase in heat. Respect the needs of other users and seek their approval or warn them before putting water on the coals.

The potential hazards are:

  • Hot stove burns or bruises from a slip on a wet floor or bench.
  • Fire or fumes from towels placed on or above the sauna stove.
  • Slipping injuries caused by wet flooring.

You should not use the sauna if you:

  • Have a serious illness, or have a heart condition, high or low blood pressure, or respiratory condition or any other medical condition which may affect your reaction to heat.
  • Are taking medication for any of the above conditions or of which you are unsure as to the advisability of using saunas.
  • Are susceptible to migraines – saunas can trigger these.
  • Are a diabetic with damaged feet or peripheral neuropathy who experiences reduced sensation in your feet.
  • Have a contagious disease, infectious skin condition, open sores or wounds.
  • Have an illness causing an inability to perspire.
  • Have had a heavy meal within one and a half hours.
  • Are under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • Have recently exercised. Time should be allowed to enable body temperature to return to normal levels.

How to use the sauna safely:

During sauna bathing, always drink plenty of water to replace the fluids lost during perspiration, but avoid alcohol. If at any time in the sauna any feelings of illness are experienced, leave the sauna immediately and consult with staff or seek medical advice if necessary.

A typical sauna experience:

  • When changing, remove any metal items such as watches or jewellery as they can become very hot.
  • Have a warm shower to remove any perspiration or deodorants and to moisten the skin.
  • For hygiene reasons, take a towel to sit or lie on.
  • Enter the sauna cabin and sit or lie on a bench at a height where the heat is comfortable to you. This will raise the body temperature and start perspiration.
  • When the heat becomes too uncomfortable leave the sauna and cool down, either gradually by sitting in a room outside the sauna, or take a cold shower/use the plunge pool. Some bathers jump into icy water but such direct contrast should only be contemplated by those in very good health who have experienced such dramatic sensations previously with no ill effect.
  • When you have cooled you may return to the sauna to experience more heat. This is when, with the approval of your fellow bathers, you could add water to the rocks to produce steam and increase the sauna heat. Again, leave when you feel too uncomfortable – a sauna should be a pleasurable experience, not a trial.
  • The hot/cold cycle can be repeated as often as comfort allows. However, bathing for too long may result in nausea, dizziness or fainting so don’t overstress yourself.
  • When finished, cool off for the final time, enjoying the sensations the sauna has created until your body temperature has returned to near to normal.

Are you in one of these groups?

Children: No one under the age of 16 years is allowed in the sauna.

The Elderly: As the body becomes older it becomes less effective at dealing with the cardiovascular stress. Consequently elderly people should modify their bathing regime to ensure that they are not overstressed.

Pregnant Women: Pregnant women are advised not to use saunas or similar heat treatments or should seek medical advice before doing so.

Diabetics: People with diabetes may need to check with their doctor before sauna bathing (see peripheral neuropathy section above).