A Finnish steam bath; steam is produced by pouring water over heated rocks; SYN. sweat room.
Bath causing perspiration by means of dry heat. It consists of a small room in which the temperature is raised to about 90şC/200şF. The bather typically stays in it for only a few minutes and then follows it with a cold shower or swim. Saunas are popular in health clubs and sports centers.
The sauna derives from a Finnish dry-heat bath in which small quantities of steam can be produced by throwing cold water over hot stones; this is traditionally followed by a beating of the skin with birch twigs to stimulate the circulation, and a plunge into a lake or snow outdoors.
Bathing that involves exposure to warm air and steam, followed by massage and coldwater immersion. Originating from Roman and East Indian traditions, the concept was introduced to Western Europe by the Crusaders but only became popular when hot water could be supplied in sufficient quantities.
1. A room where facilities are available for a steam bath followed by a shower and massage.
2. A steam bath, followed by a rubdown and cold shower; Also called: steam bath, vapor bath, vapour bath.