Birching

KLAFS ABC of well-being

Birching refers to the act of lightly whipping the skin during the sweating phase. This is done with boughs of fresh silver birch, which are tied into bundles and then softened in the löyly bucket. During the sweating phase, sauna goers are fanned with the moist boughs of silver birch. The increased air circulation intensifies the heat stimulus. It also fills the sauna with the fragrant scent of silver birch – and infuses the water in the bucket with its fragrance, too, before this is poured over the hot stones. In countries where silver birch is not so readily available, sauna goers often add a few drops of essence of silver birch or another aromatic oil to the water before it is poured over the hot stones.