NORDIC SPA AND WELLNESS TRADITIONS
Saunas have been part of the Nordic culture for more than 700 years. Even Vikings were known to take cold baths and then soothe their skin in hot wooden saunas with earthen floors. However, Nordic spa and wellness traditions have changed over the years. People now go to spas and wellness resorts to treat their minds and bodies as everyday enjoyment. No wonder that the happiest people on the planet are Scandinavians. So, if you want to learn more about the Nordic traditions of taking care of the body, keep reading. You will discover new and fascinating facts that will help you understand the importance of self-care.
What does a Nordic spa mean?
A Nordic spa consists of several treatments and therapies that use steam and water to cure your body. It involves exposure to hot, then cold water or air, and then relaxation time. These treatments are known to improve skin conditions, help relieve stress, and improve your heart condition. Of course, these treatments have to be accompanied by a healthy lifestyle for the best results. After all, if you want to be happy and healthy like the Nordics, you have to do things as they do. Fortunately, Nordic spa and wellness traditions have become so popular that you can find Nordic-style spas almost anywhere. So all you have to do is take care of your lifestyle, and the rest you can solve at one of these spas. Trust us. There is nothing like experiencing a true Nordic spa.
Which are the most well-known Nordic spa and wellness traditions?
1. Coldwater swimming
This therapy, also known as Scandinavian hydrotherapy, involves exposing your body to temperature extremes. First, you need to heat your body in a hot tub or sauna. It will relax your muscles and start your blood circulation. Then, you need to cool your body down rapidly. To do so, you can dive into cold water or roll in the snow. Yes, you read that right. To release muscular tension and toxins, you need to swim in ice-cold water or snow. Even though it might sound strange, this ritual has increased in popularity. All over the world, people are using this technique to keep their minds and bodies healthy. Coldwater swimming increases life expectancy, boosts the immune system, reduces stress, and releases endorphins. As a result, exercising cold water swimming will make you happy and healthy. Furthermore, you can practice this ritual with other people and have fun together.
2. Geothermal Icelandic spa
A geothermal spa is basically a heated water pool. But not just a typical heated pool. The ground heats the water in these spas. Because of Iceland’s volcanic nature and geothermal activity, the earth has created naturally heated water pools and hot springs. People in Iceland love to use them for their rejuvenating properties. Also, these mineral-rich waters can treat skin problems, alleviate joint discomfort, and relax tense muscles. But, you should visit an Icelandic geothermal spa even if you don’t have any health problems. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you should have at least once in your life.
3. Friluftsliv, or Norwegian walks in nature
Norway is a country filled with beautiful landscapes and nature. And, everyone has heard of the famous nature’s work of art, the fjords. They made Norway famous and a popular tourist destination. But, what most people don’t know is that the landscapes in Norway have therapeutic value, at least according to the Norwegians. They say that a few hours spent in nature can boost your mood, increase energy, and strengthen your heart. And we believe that it is true when we look at the breathtaking landscapes of Norway. Such views can only bring benefits to your physical and psychological state, and if you particularly enjoy them, know that it’s quite easy to move out of the US and start over in Norway. Professional international movers can take care of all the details, and you can start relaxing in Norway by doing friluftsliv.
4. Swedish massage
Swedish massage, as expected, has its origin in Sweden but has become famous all over the world. This massage uses different techniques that help improve blood and lymphatic circulation. Dr. Per Henrik Ling, a pioneer in physical education in Sweden in the 18th century, developed these techniques. They involve massaging the body with long strokes to provide a relaxing sensation. This massage will help you relieve tense muscles, reduce stress and anxiety. It’s the perfect treatment after a long and exhausting day at work. You can have it in almost any spa, and once you try it, you will want it regularly. We know from experience that it can be addictive.
5. Finnish sauna
According to Finnish chronicles, Nordic spa and wellness traditions have been practiced since the 12th century. Back then, people would take a bath, then go into hot wooden saunas and beat themselves with branches. Saunas were socializing places where people would gather to share meals, sleep, or keep warm during the winter. And because they were considered very clean, women would give birth in saunas. Nowadays, saunas are popular worldwide, but Finns outnumber everyone. Estimates show that there are around 2 million saunas in Finland alone. And we can’t blame them. Saunas are renowned for their therapeutic benefits. Sauna treatments can help people relax, relieve pain, and enhance sleep quality. Furthermore, lightly massaging the skin with vihta, or birch branches, during a sauna session will increase blood circulation. Alternatively, you can make your “vihta” with chamomile, mint, or nettle.
Scandinavians are well-known for their beneficial Nordic spa and wellness traditions. Even if some methods can seem unconventional, they have proven their effectiveness. After all, they wouldn’t have become so popular if they hadn’t helped people improve their well-being. But, you must first put these procedures to the test to believe in their therapeutic value. So don’t hesitate to experience some coldwater swimming, a Swedish massage, or a Finnish sauna. Afterward, you will feel relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. You will forget about your tension or stress, as well as the pains that were bothering you. Meta Description: If you want to understand more about Nordic spa and wellness traditions, our article will provide you with some interesting facts and knowledge.