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Saturday 23 March 2019
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20 Jun 2018
International Sauna Congress brings together delegates from around the world

The 17th International Sauna Congress took place earlier this month in the twin cities of Haparanda and Tornio, on the border between Sweden and Finland.

Organised by the International Sauna Association (ISA), the event is held every four years in different parts of the world, and is a mixture of scientific presentations, workshops, sauna bathing, food, music, excursions and activities. Presentations and workshops cover three areas: health science, history and culture, and technology and design.

More than 200 people from 24 countries attended the event, including delegates from new sauna countries such as Pakistan and Kenya, as well as a group of 20 delegates from Japan.

Presentations covered the globe, from Sydney to Seattle. Seminar topics focused on research into saunas and health, including the effects of saunas on cardiovascular health and gene expression; cultural presentations on shinrin yoku (forest bathing) and sauna; the vanishing practice of Estonian smoke saunas; and modern Lithuanian baths.

Technology, design and architecture were explored in presentations on sauna stoves, contemporary sauna architecture, design vs function, and the new sauna movement in the UK.

Twelve workshops delved in to topics including Finnish sauna design, building a mobile smoke sauna, sauna as a part of radical inclusion and a place to connect, Russian banya and youth culture, and sauna culture in Japan.

An opening barbeque at Kukkolaforsen celebrated the International Sauna Association’s 60th anniversary, was followed by a chance to explore the 18 area saunas in a Midnight Sun Sauna.

“An important part of the event is the practical side, meaning sauna visits in interesting historical places, whisking, making whisks according to old habits, etc.,” said Risto Elomaa, ISA president. “We hope that the visitors can bring some of that sauna culture and experiences with them when going back home.”



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20 Mar 2019
Irene Forte joins GWS advisory board
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has appointed Irene Forte to its advisory board.
05 Mar 2019
Jeremy McCarthy to receive 2019 ISPA Visionary Award
The International SPA Association (ISPA) will present the 2019 ISPA Visionary Award to Jeremy McCarthy, director of spa & wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group at the ISPA Conference & Expo taking place at The Venetian in Las Vegas from 11-13 September, 2019.
05 Mar 2019
Fonteverde takes top honours at World Spa & Wellness Awards
The winners of the World Spa & Wellness Awards were announced at a gala dinner last week during the World Spa & Wellness Conference in London.
27 Feb 2019
Mick Ebeling to receive Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award
The International SPA Association (ISPA) has announced philanthropist and changemaker Mick Ebeling will be the closing keynote speaker at the 2019 ISPA Conference & Expo, taking place 11-13 September 2019 at The Venetian Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.
26 Feb 2019
Sweat 2019: boutique fitness sector still thriving and nowhere near 'breaking point'
The current boutique fitness boom is nowhere near reaching a 'breaking point'.
26 Feb 2019
FIT Summit launched to 'connect Asia’s fitness and wellness industry'
A new event – marketed as the first major business gathering for Asia's health, fitness and wellness industry – will be held next month.
25 Feb 2019
ukactive expands annual awards – adds Active Training Awards to schedule
ukactive has revealed a shake-up of its annual awards by adding a raft of new categories.
25 Feb 2019
Beijing 2022 organisers reveal outline of legacy plan
The organising committee for the Beijing 2022 Olympics has outlined its legacy plans for the Games.
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