|Tauern Spa Kaprun close to Zell am See|
For those who have not visited a Spa, or had a sauna, the experience can seem pretty daunting, in terms of the rituals and procedures, the following advice might be of help and may be of interest?
When to Shower?
If in doubt shower! before bathing take a shower, before taking a sauna have a shower, after or between saunas take a shower, seems to be the golden rule, you never can be too clean!
The contrast in temperatures has the beneficial effects of opening and closing the pores, which brings the blood to the surface, and improves the bodies circulation, and enlivens the body, and sharpens the mind with the enhanced blood flow.
Allow plenty of time it is supposed to be an enjoyable experience:-
1) Allow plenty of time to enjoy the opportunity, there is a rule of thumb, that it should be to a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2, so for every 20 minutes in a sauna, 20-40 minutes resting / chilling or dozing around 2-3 hours or more will allow you the time to obtain the maximum benefit from the experience. By rushing you will not get the most from the experience, resting mind and body, cleansing body and mind is what it is supposed to be all about. This is your well deserved opportunity to unwind, to relax, soak up the heat, snooze and to enjoy the experience.
2) After the shower enter the steam room, ( this is the one which looks like a cloud!) normally with a glass door. Watch out for the steam pipe! more often at ground floor level, tends to get hot so best avoided! Try not to leave the door open too long, the idea is for the heat to build up and not be allowed to escape. Quite often the steam is scented with Eucalyptus, which has a beneficial effect on the chest and sinuses, and acts as a decongestant opening up the airways, making it easier to breathe.
3) Some spas will have plunge pools, some of quite cold temperatures, a bit of a shock to the system, but quite invigorating at the same time. And a lovely contrast to go from the cold of the water back into the warmth of a sauna, or steam bath. After the plunge towel down and back into the sauna, maybe a warmer temperature sauna this time?
4) Saunas come at different temperatures, quite often there will be some form of indication on the outside as to the temperature. It is worth remembering the lower levels / benches within the sauna will be at a lesser temperature. Take your time, start at a lower temperature and build up your confidence, and acclimatize to the heat. On the wall of the Sauna there is normally a sand timer, which can be used to time your stay, around 15 - 20 minutes is the norm, then time for a shower, and then take a dip in a pool.
5) Some traditional "Turkish baths" have interconnected chambers, (as opposed to new spas where the saunas will be physically separated) you will soon discover which is the hottest chamber and which are the cooler chambers. Sometimes the Latin names are used to describe the differences the Tepidarium ( warm as in tepid), the Calidarium ( hot ) and finally the Laconium which is the hottest room. After the sauna experience, comes the time to relax, there will normally be beds where you can recline, stretch out and relax ( in Latin this area is called Frigidarium ), as opposed to what is signified by the name, this area will be at a pleasant temperature for you to lay with a towel or maybe in a dressing gown, and relax and maybe dose, or read book.
Spa Use summary
Please observe the following General Spa - Sauna Rules:-
- Take a shower prior to entering the sauna.
- Please remove your slippers prior to entering the sauna.
- When entering the sauna open and close the door as quickly as possible to conserve the heat.
- Please only sit or lay on towels in the sauna, including your feet on the towels!
- In the steam rooms ( the one with the fog remember?) your towel will get soggy, so don't take it in!! but do remember to wash the bench down before and after you have been sitting down.
- Please take a 20 minute break between sauna sessions and get some fresh air.
- Please use the sauna whose temperature which best meets your physical needs /constitution.
- Please be considerate to other users and keep the noise down, these are supposed to be tranquil places.
Beneficial effects of Saunas / Spas - Well-being
6) The water, the steam, the warmth has a beneficial therapeutic effect on the body, the skin and musculature, it allows the body to relax, and has a reported beneficial effect on aches and pains, freeing up joints and easing movement of the body.
In terms of overall wellness, this is very much a personal matter, on what makes you happy. But it is widely reported the de-stressing impact a sauna / spa experience can have on body and soul.
In a busy world it is important to set aside "me" time to unwind, relax and perhaps a pamper.
|To bare or not to bare on a nude beach|
Trip-advisor in a recent survey of its users, asked whether they would or wouldn't go naked on a beach? The survey identified the different percentages, bare all based on their geographic area (Australia, USA, Canada, UK and Europe) the numbers differ slightly but around 50% from each area said that they would be prepared to to go and bare all.
In Saunas it is the protocol for health reasons, that users should sit on their towels ( including feet!) Some argue how the wood is considered sacred and should not be touched with bare skin. However in the steam rooms ( the one with the stem / cloud) because of the high humidity this is not practical, so there is normally the provision of a tap with hose to wash off the seating before and after use.
For further info on being naked in a spa, I would recommend Rick Steve's excellent spa experience blog on the subject, he looks at it from an American perspective, but gives an humorous account of his spa experience in Baden Baden in Germany, sounds like it is worth a visit. ( perhaps on the drive over to Austria as a place to stop overnight?)
|Da Vinci's Vitruvian naked man|
The Magazine, the Economist in a review of the book "The Politics of Nudity" deals with some of the history of going naked, from Adam up to the present day.
For another perspective read Lesley McKnight's amusing account here, it gives a lovely North American / Canadian version of a visit to an Austrian spa with a friend.
And finally for a further perspective on being naked in a spa, read this amusing account by Ron Karpinski in one of his life stories.
In Austria Spas in the Salzburgerland area include:-
- Tauern Spa Kaprun which is close to Zell am See ( opened November 2010), there is a textile (clothed) sauna area and a non-textile nude / naked area.Also a brine swimming pool area.
- In the Gastein valley around 30 - 45 minutes away from Zell am See / Kaprun, there are two further brilliant spas the first is at Hofgastein the Alpen Therme is further up the valley is the
- Gastein Spa conveniently opposite the Bad Gastein railway station called Felsentherme.
- Another Spa close to Salzburg is at Bad Ischl Eurothermen complete with brine baths, as you would expect in Salzburg the City of Salt.
The Salzburgerland website gives further information on Spa and Wellness facilities in the region.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay for 3 to 9 persons? the apartment has the benefit of three bedrooms and three bath / shower rooms, conveniently located in Kaprun, which is great for the new Tauern-Spa-Kaprun and around 30 minutes away from the Gastein valley Spas. Salzburg is around 1 hour 15 minutes away. Then please take a look at http://www.austria-holiday-apartment.com/
|Holiday Rental Accommodation in Kaprun Zell am See|