Sauna has been used for thousands of years in Finland and the experience in the world’s happiest country is very different from the usual dry hot box us Brits usually find in our local leisure club.

There are some key differences when it comes to an authentic Finnish sauna experience and probably the biggest one is the production of the hot evaporating steam which Finnish people call call ‘Löyly’ (pronounced Low-Lou).

It’s produced by pouring water onto the hot stones of the sauna heater (kiuas).

Finnish saunas are properly ventilated and are always followed by either a cold plunge or cold shower.

The endorphin-releasing process is often repeated for hours, quite different from the usual UK experience when dry heat is usually endured for a short while after a gym session.

The hot and humid atmosphere is particularly beneficial to the functioning of our organs actively supporting our brain health and mental wellbeing.

Recent studies have found that regular sessions protect the head from the perils of ageing and even a more occasional visit certainly helps to reinvigorate the mind.

Robbie Thompson works in PR for UK Finnish sauna specialists Finnmark ltd. They’ve produced a well-sourced health section on their site with an aim to help educate people about the numerous sauna health benefits.

​He spoke to us recently, “Members of our team regularly go out to Finland to try the real deal to find out why taking sauna is such a sacred thing for them.

“It’s part of everyday life and over two-thirds of adults there take them regularly.

“We’ve personally become aware of the relaxing and invigorating aspects of bathing but when we started to study the subject in-depth for the series it was particularly revealing to find out how many ailments can be helped by taking the traditional Finnish version regularly.

“When it comes specifically to brain health, we learned that the overwhelming feeling of calmness and mindfulness for the bather post sauna enhances brain neural network relaxation and improves cognitive performance.

“We also found out that men who sauna bathed several times a week had a huge reduced risk of developing psychosis later in life.

“Thorough studies have shown that people who sauna bathed four to seven times a week were 66 per cent less likely to develop dementia and 65 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to those who did not. The data was collected from over a 20-year period and from over 2000 people.”