Dick Abare embodies the "love what you do" mentality — even after an impressive 45 years in the...
The National Swimming Pool Foundation has announced the winners of its annual Instructor Awards,...
LPI recently announced that it had acquired Phoenix-based Atera Spas. The Johnson-City,...
"The main difference is the sauna has so many additional health benefits that you don't get in another leisure product," says Mark Raisenan, general manager at Finnleo. "Customers first come in seeking it for a place to get warm or a place to relax, and they come away amazed at all the health benefits."
"Sauna use helps you sleep better, helps with pain in the joints and overall is good for relaxation," says Beatrix Von Ungern-Sternberg, owner of Scandia Manufacturing.
RELATED: 11 Tips for Better Sauna Sales
While these are compelling benefits, the one that ultimately sells the most saunas is this: sweating detoxifies the body. "Most people don't realize how many heavy metals and other toxins are in our bodies, whether it be plant chemicals in our food or metals that are in animal products," Raisenan says. "They don't get out unless you sweat them out."
Here's another fact: regular sauna users are less likely to catch a common cold or flu.
"Remember when, I think about 10 years ago, they were talking about the bird flu?" Von Ungern-Sternberg says. "The government of Finland required people to use a sauna to clean their bodies to stay away from it."
Studies have shown frequent sauna use builds antibodies and white blood cell count. This is because the traditional sauna temperature, 170 degrees Fahrenheit, is hot enough to artificially induce a fever. Doing that multiple times a week is like giving your immune system a workout.
For people already suffering from a bad head cold or clogged sinuses, Raisenan recommends putting a little eucalyptus in the water before tossing it on the rocks. "You get almost instant relief," he says.
As amazing as all that is, for Von Ungern-Sternberg, who grew up around saunas, their best feature is their timelessness.
"People have been taking sauna for over 2,000 years," she says. "The Finns used to use saunas as their hospital, so if anybody got sick, they would take a sauna to help recover. If they had a fever, they would go to the sauna. They would give birth in the sauna. It's so hot that bacteria cannot live. The cleanest part of a household was the sauna."
RELATED: Sizing Up Saunas
The biggest news about the health benefits from saunas is coming from an ongoing study at the University of Eastern Finland. The Kuopio Ishaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study, as it's called, has medically examined over 2,000 middle-aged men in Finland since 1984 and produced over 500 peer-reviewed academic articles. The study is meant to record trends in cardiovascular health, but some researchers found a correlation between frequent sauna use, a cultural staple in Finland, and improved health.
One such finding: people who use a sauna four to seven times a week are 50 percent less at risk for elevated blood pressure than people who use a sauna once a week.
"The sweat is the part that is the most important," Von Ungern-Sternberg says. "It is so hot in the sauna, it gives you a cardiovascular workout."
Here's another finding: People who use a sauna four to seven times a week are 66 percent less likely to get dementia than people who use a sauna once a week. This finding is the most pertinent to Raisenan, who encourages his dealers to use it when selling saunas.
"It's such a modern malady that I think everyone knows somebody pretty close to them affected by it," he says.
The KIHD Study is expected to continue into the 2020s, and more research into the correlation of frequent sauna use and improved health is expected to come out during that time.
"It's amazing when you look at how sauna is so health and wellness driven," Raisenan says. "We could talk for hours on some of the things that are coming out."
Himalayan sea salt is growing more and more commonplace; you may even have used it in your home cooking. That's because Himalayan sea salt is considered by some to be beneficial to your health.
By itself, proponents believe Himalayan sea salt improves a long list of respiratory and skin-related ailments. Combine Himalayan sea salt with a sauna and the health benefits compound.
"As a matter of fact, I believe German insurance policies now cover Himalayan sea salt therapy," says Kristen Daley, director of operations at Scandia Manufacturing.
"We're talking allergies, asthma, basic congestion . . . any respiratory and skin conditions such as eczema, flaky skin, psoriasis," Daley says. "Not only does the Himalayan sea salt itself improve these conditions, but when it's combined with heat, you're actually releasing 84 trace minerals and negative ions that are associated with healing.
"When people come into a Himalayan sea salt sauna, they can taste the salt on their lips, they can smell the salt in the air — and they're coming out of the sauna with very profound transformational experiences."
Dick Abare embodies the "love what you do" mentality — even after an impressive 45 years in the pool and spa industry, he's nowhere near ready to quit. Abare owns Algae Busters, a Tampa, Fla.,-based service company with only three employees on the payroll: his wife, his brother and himself. While the company...
I am too often asked for my opinion on which manufacturer a business should choose. I say “too often” because it’s always difficult for me to frame an answer to this question. Unless I’m consulting for a company, I am hesitant to offer specific names because I know it would make someone upset.
I do however feel strongly that choosing a manufacturer deserves serious contemplation; and probably for reasons that may not seem obviously apparent.
If you make the right choice, you...
Most of us have heard, "Do you have thirty years' experience or one year of experience repeated thirty times?" The other one we have heard is, "The definition of insanity is 'Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results!'" The point is the same in either case. Are we learning and changing?
As the new year begins soon, it's important to reflect on our victories as well as our failures. What did the company do really well over the past year, and, just as...
2017 saw a rash of Legionella outbreaks at public swimming pools and spas. In July, three members of a Gold's Gym in Kennewick, Wash., fell ill with Legionnaire's disease, a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. In May, the community pool and spa at Foothill Ranch in Lake Forest, Calif., closed...