Cedar and Stone Nordic Sauna


Summer Reading List: Great Books on Thermic Bathing Cultures, Practices, and Design

Ready to geek out with us about sauna literature? (You’re going to want to bookmark this.)

Getting into saunas and cold plunges might be all the rage right now, but did you know thermic bathing is centuries old and has a rich, cross-cultural history?

We know it can be challenging to find consolidated, comprehensive material on these practices, which is why we’ve compiled a list of inspired voices on global bathing culture.

If you’ve been looking for a place to start, we love to direct curious connaisseurs to the following publications:

The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition by Michael Nordskog The best example of North American sauna culture and history in printed form.

Sauna: The Power of Deep Heat by Emma O’Kelly “This book honors the old, embraces the new, and plunges headlong into the transformative power of steam.”

Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience Quality Handbook by Sauna from Finland Great resource for those interested in running a public commercial sauna.

With Light Steam by Byron MacWilliams One traveler’s introduction to the Russian sweat tradition: the banya.

Without the Banya We Would Perish: A History of the Russian Bathhouse by Ethan Pollock An exploration of the importance of the banya to the Russian people, their culture, and lifeways.

The Architecture of Bathing: Body, Landscape, Art by Christie Pearson Broad and philosophical text about a diversity of bathing traditions, and their cultural implications, around the world.

Sauna Therapy: Recipes for Well-being by Terhi Ruutu Focused on the unique health benefits of the sauna culture and revives the ancient tradition of treatments.

Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths by Lindsey Bro A visually-driven celebration of the places, traditions, and mythologies surrounding the healing benefits of heat.

The Joy of Sweat: The Strange Science of Perspiration by Sarah Everts All about sweat! With some talk of sauna and sweat-bathing in general.

We hope you enjoy these cult favorites as much as we did. Thirsty for more? Take a peek at our Sauna Business Accelerator program.

This 12-month program focuses on six key areas that every sauna entrepreneur needs to launch a successful business: vision, experience design, sauna build, business model and plan, operations, and marketing. Through our thoughtfully conceived coursework, small group coaching, lectures, check-ins, and networking events you can chart your path toward opening a profitable business that also aligns with your core vision and values. Learn more.

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