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The 'baking' of a person in a hot steamy room to stimulate diaphoresis, circulation, immunity, nervous system, skin, etc.
Contraindications Cardiovascular disease, children
Complications Collapse, death


(so′nă) [Finnish]
An enclosure in which a person is exposed to moderate to very high temperatures and often high humidity, produced by water poured on heated stones. A stay in the sauna may be followed by a cool bath or shower. Sauna water is not sterile and may contain harmful microorganisms, including yeasts and molds. Even though the sauna has no proven benefits in preventing illnesses or promoting fitness, the regimen does help to promote relaxation, relieve aches and pains, and loosen stiff joints.


Saunas are not advised for those with fever, those who are dehydrated, or those who are unable to sweat. Those who have recently used alcohol or have participated in strenuous exercise should not use a sauna. If soft tissue has been traumatized in the past 24 to 48 hr, the sauna should not be used. Prolonged exposure to the sauna may be dangerous due to induced hyperthermia, dehydration, and renal failure.


n full-body dry heat treatment. Benefits include relaxation, perspiration, and cleansing. See also thermotherapy.
References in periodicals archive ?
It appears in the chapter on religion, which notes that hunters prayed to bears in the sweathouse prior to hunting them, requesting the bear to deliver itself to them.
He takes on the job of culture hero, but he does so within the character of Coyote, the trickster, not that of KWEELSH-tin, the Sweathouse.
In fact, over past hunts I'd spent weeks in sometimes bug-infested sweathouses, and I didn't always get a buck.