Have a massage in Hanoi? Try a sauna first

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A sauna is one of the most common pieces of equipment in a destination spa in Hanoi, and yet it is often sadly empty.  Many tourists in Hanoi Old Quarter just aren't that comfortable with the sauna ritual.  And most of sauna at Hanoi spa is not very hot, so it's hard to get the benefit.  But spending time in a properly heated sauna can make you feel great.  The heat stimulates the circulatory and lymphatic systems and induces sweating, which has a detoxifying effect on the body.Ever wonder what you should be doing before having a massage in Hanoi?  This is a wonderful way to get ready. You can calm your mind and body, and be in a more relaxed state when you meet your therapist.

Discover the hidden health benefits of sauna

The sauna originated in Finland and now it’s become popular in the world. You can find a spa with sauna everywhere in Hanoi Old Quarter. People of all ages take sauna together.  No one wears a swimsuit.  Most people are naked, sitting on a towel.  You can also wrap yourself in a towel if you're more modest.  Dry heat feels less hot than steam heat, so there is usually a pail of water and a ladle that you can use to put water on the hot rocks.  Afterwards, you might take a dip in a lake or take a cold shower, then repeat, or rest.


A sauna is a heated wooden room, typically made of Nordic white spruce, cedar, aspen or redwood.  Shower before you go in to start your cleansing and relaxation process.  Take a towel to sit on, and a towel to cover your body if you wish.  Wearing a swimsuit interferes with the body's ability to sweat..

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The sauna in Hanoi spas are electric, with a unit that looks like it has hot rocks on the top. An electric sauna usually has a temperature of around 180 F degrees.  It is a dry heat, so temperatures are higher than in the typical steam room, but it feels less hot. 

Most saunas have a pail of water and a ladle.  You can make it feel hotter by throwing a ladle of water on the "rocks".  It's ideal to stay in the sauna for 20 minutes to make sure you are really sweating, but if you aren't used to it, try staying in for a shorter time.  You can also accelerate the sweating process by brushing, lightly scratching, or tapping the skin on arms, legs, belly, and back.  This stimulates your skin and approximates the gentle "whipping" with traditional bundles of birch branches.


The health benefit of the sauna is even more profound if, when you leave, you quickly jump into a cold shower.  It guides the blood back to the body's core, and fortifies your immune system.  Stay in the sauna from five to 20 minutes.  After your cool shower, you can repeat this sequence if you like, or rest and rehydrate.  Twenty minutes later, you're already clean and relaxed for your massage.

There are people who shouldn't use a sauna. Stay out if you are sick or have skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or open wounds.  Women in the first four months of pregnancy should avoid the sauna, and stay away if you have heart problems. A sauna is also not a good idea for people with severe asthma. A Vietnamese traditional massage after a sauna will be an unforgettable memory about Hanoi.

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