In traditional Finnish saunas, sauna whisks are one of the most common accessories. Knowing how to use one and even make one of your own is going to impress your guests and take your sauna experience to a whole new level. But what are they, how many types there are, and how exactly do they help? Well, in this article, we will try to go over all of the essential topics surrounding sauna whisks, and hopefully, by the end of it, you will know everything about them!
If you want to buy an infrared sauna for your home, head over to my full buyer’s guide on that topic where we’ve discussed different models and have given you tips on how to buy the right one for you. Before we get into making and using whisks, we must first answer a few important questions…
What is a sauna whisk?
Sauna whisks, in their essence, are tree twigs that are put together and used for massaging inside the sauna. They are also thought to help promote better blood circulation and have various benefits for the skin depending on their type. They can be found in almost all traditional saunas nowadays since they are the favorite accessory for all frequent sauna dwellers. If you’re building your own sauna, then having whisks as part of your accessories is a must to ensure an authentic experience and feel.
The different types
There are four main types of sauna whisks. Those are:
- Oak whisks
- Lime tree whisks
- Birch whisks
- Eucalyptus whisks
Oak whisks are excellent for people with high blood pressure. Apart from their anti-hypertonic effect, they are also a good choice for people with oily hair and skin. Whisks made out of oak also have anti-inflammatory properties and their scent has a soothing effect on our nervous systems.
Lime tree whisks
Just like oak whisks, the ones made out of lime trees have a calming effect. They also relieve headaches and increase the sweating inside the sauna. Lastly, they have anti-fever and slight diuretic effects on the human body. One feature which is unique to those whisks is that they promote faster wound healing and reduce the risk of wound infections.
Birch whisks are by far the most common ones. They are the perfect choice to use after a heavy training session due to their muscle relaxing and pain-alleviating effects. They help people with rashy skin and improve skin and hair quality. If you suffer from asthma or are an ex-smoker, birch whisks will help you breathe easier inside the hot room. That is thanks to their effect on the lungs which opens up the main bronchi and allows air to enter deeper into the lungs.
Eucalyptus whisks are great for people that suffer from a sore throat or have rhinitis. They also have the highest concentration of essential oils at 3%. Also, like the lime tree whisks, they have slight healing effects for people suffering from various wounds.
Do saunas help you lose weight? Find out by clicking here!
Learning how to use it
Using the sauna whisks is a fairly simple process. Most often, they are dipped in warm water and then used to “whisk” on the back of the person next to you. Apart from giving them a light massage the whisk will also release earthy scents in the air and will make everyone inside immediately feel more relaxed and involved with the experience. The whisk will also improve blood circulation beneath the skin and clean it better.
Here are the necessary steps to ensure a proper “whisking”:
- Dip the whisk in a bucket with water (preferably cold) for roughly half an hour. That must happen outside of the sauna
- Take the whisk out and turn it around with the leaf part up and let it sit like that for 30 more minutes
- Upon entering the sauna, dip the whisk in another bucket (or the same one) with warmer water this time
- After you’re done using it, let the whisk dry up by hanging it
If you don’t have much time before the sauna you can use 15 + 15 minutes instead, or even less, just make sure that you spread the time evenly between soaking its bottom and top parts.
How to make your own sauna whisk
To make your own sauna whisk you will need birch branches (with leaves), a knife, and a birch sapling. You can also use other types of trees and leaves but you will miss out on the amazing scent of the birch whisks.
Start by gathering the branches that you like the most with the leaves still on them. You can also look for rowan or willow trees as they are a decent alternative to birch. Gather as many branches as you can comfortably hold in one hand. Clean the bottom part of the branches from all sorts of leaves and twigs. After you are done with that, tie all the branches together by having the large branch or branches in the middle surrounded by the smaller ones. Tie them up with a birch twig that is young. To be easy to tie, you need it to be no thicker than a pen. Use the steps above before using it in the sauna and enjoy it!
If you want to learn how often it is considered safe to stay inside the sauna, head over to my full article on that topic.
Using sauna whisks is definitely going to take your whole sauna experience to the next level. These accessories have been used since the invention of Finnish saunas for a reason. They have numerous health benefits varying from type to type with the birch whisks being, without a doubt, the best ones to use. They have excellent aromatherapy features as well as a multitude of health benefits for whoever is on their receiving end.