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SPA TREATMENTS AT HOME

Except for the rules above, the pronunciation is close to Spanish or Italian, with softer consonants.

avanto. A hole in the ice of a frozen lake or sea.

avantouinti. “Ice hole swimming” is the loose translation. It means swimming in a frozen lake or sea. Swimmers cut a large opening through the ice (avanto) and either take a quick plunge or swim for a few minutes. It might sound crazy, but avanto swimmers maintain that it restores their vigor and makes them feel refreshed.

kippo, kauha. Ladle used to throw water on the hot rocks.

kiuas. A sauna stove or heater. It has rocks (kiuaskivet) on top for increased heat production. Humidity is increased in the sauna by throwing water on the hot rocks.

kiulu. Small pail or bucket to contain the Idyly water. It is usually made of wooden boards secured together with wooden hoops.

lakeinen. The opening in the ceiling of a smoke sauna through which the smoke escapes during heating.

lauteet. The elevated platform or benches in the sauna. Heat Irises, so this is the place to relax when you are seeking the hottest temperatures. A single bench is called laude.

loyly. Steam or vapor created by throwing water on the heated stones. Loyly refers to the resulting steam or to the overall heat, humidity, and temperature in the sauna. Heittaa loylya is the action of throwing water on the stones. The hot steam raises the sauna temperature temporarily, and bathers on the top bench might find themselves ducking to avoid the loyly near the ceiling. Loylyhuone means “the hot room.”

Duct or vent on the sauna wall close to the ceiling. The size of the opening is often adjustable to allow more or less ventilation.

sauna. A Finnish-style sweat bath or the room where the bath occurs. The correct pronunciation is sow-na (as in “cow”), not saw-na. Related words include saunoa (the act of bathing in a sauna) and saunoja (a person bathing in a sauna).

savusauna. A smoke sauna, which is the original form of sauna, with no chimney. While the room is being heated, the smoke from the burning wood under the stove fills the sauna and escapes through a hole in the ceiling (takeinen) and through the door, which is usually kept slightly open during heating.

tiku, kisu, kitku. Unpleasant fumes in a smoke sauna right after heating. The fumes dissipate in an hour or two, after which time the sauna is ready. Thanks to electric heaters, tiku is no longer an inevitable nuisance for sauna users.

vihta, vasta. A thick bunch of birch twigs about 16 inches (40 cm) in length, which is used to swat oneself to promote blood circulation and cleanse the skin. The twig whisk is not supposed to hurt; rather, it’s intended to make the skin tingle for a while. The vihta is made from young twigs with many leaves, making the flagellation soft and pleasant. Vihtoa is the action of using the vihta.

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