Aufguss, German term to define what in Italy we call “jet of steam”, is a ritual of physical and mental well-being, practiced inside a sauna, which grants a notable feeling of well-being and favors the elimination of a large amount of toxins and metabolic waste.
In Finland, the country of origin, the Aufguss known as Hyvä Löyly, consists in pouring cold water and / or ice on the hot stones of the stove, thus raising the relative humidity of the environment and the perception of body heat. .
The difference between the Finnish Löyly and the German traditional Aufguss is that the former has no precise schedules and patterns and is performed by any sauna guest, while the latter is performed at regular intervals by an Aufgussmeister.
The ideal Sauna for making an Aufguss is the “Achteck Sauna”, octagonal in shape with the brazier positioned in the center of the cabin; this arrangement allows the Meister, with particular ventilation techniques, to take the steam that rises from the brazier and direct it uniformly towards all the guests.
From the original need to ventilate the Sauna, introducing fresh air from the outside to re-oxygenate the environment, the figure of the Aufgussmeister or Master of Aufguss was born, who today leads and regulates the Aufguss ritual.
The Aufgussmeister is the central figure in the execution of the Aufguss, as he chooses the modalities, the type and the duration of the same; from the origins, which only provided for the pouring of water / ice on hot stones.
Today with the introduction of the figure of the Aufgussmeister, the art of the Aufguss has evolved, enriched by the use of essential oils (100% pure, possibly certified organic), music, waving techniques and great professionalism in the Sauna.
The Aufguss as we said, consists in pouring water and / or crushed ice on the brazier, with the addition of essential oils, which in contact with the heat of the hot stones placed on the stove, create a cloud of water vapor that rises towards the ceiling of the sauna.
The Aufgussmeister, through the most varied techniques of waving (classic or modern), with a towel or other suitable tool, moves the hot and humid air so that it is distributed throughout the sauna environment towards the guests. The immediate effect is an increase in the perception of heat on the skin, dilation of peripheral vessels, a drop in blood pressure, a rise in heart rate, an increase in body temperature up to 39 °, as well as a further increase in blood pressure. sweating of the body (with loss of fluids up to 1.5 l).
The “non-verbal communication” during the Aufguss is a fundamental component. It is that part of communication with the guests, which, after the initial presentation, begins in silence, with the beginning of the actual ritual .. the language of the body. What is called the “kinesic system” includes all communicative acts expressed by body movements, for example eye movements, such as eye contact with guests, to make them perceive the Aufgussmeister’s interest and attention to the their exclusive well-being; facial expressions, that is, everything that is communicated through facial expressions .. a smile, a wink, a nod; the posture of the Aufgussmeister, another element of great importance, which generates security in the guest and consequent abandonment to relaxation. The topic of “non-verbal communication” will be dealt with in more detail on the site by Dr. Francesco Milanese.
The Aufgussmeister uses the following techniques appropriately:
The Aufgussmeister adequately uses the following techniques in addition to the 4 classic ones described above with 1 or 2 towels at the same time:
Wellness centers usually set the Aufguss time at the end of each hour and the ritual is underlined by the sound of a gong, a bell or simply by the call of the sauna attendant. The door of the cabin remains open a few minutes before to renew the air inside, the guests at this juncture await with order, outside, the authorization to enter.
Guests will take their seats on the benches, taking advantage of the indications previously given by the Aufgussmeister, looking for a place based on their experience and stamina in the sauna; remember that the perception of heat is greater in the higher benches and it is recommended to those who participate for the first time in an Aufguss, to position themselves low to perceive the heat less and not risk having to go out tired before the end of the ritual; the cloth must also be positioned on the bench in such a way that the whole body sweats on it, to preserve the wood of the benches and for obvious hygienic reasons.
The Aufgussmeister at this point introduces itself, lists all the indications of hygiene and safety, the duration of the ritual, the oils used (essential notice to inform any allergic / intolerant guests present), the type of Aufguss, also emphasizes that the ‘guest can go out at any time he feels a state of fatigue, recommending to take a shower starting from the lower limbs, then moving on to the upper limbs and lastly the head, before diving into any tub in the center, for obvious hygienic reasons (cooling of the body is essential to induce the constriction of peripheral vessels in order to increase blood pressure and thus normalize the heart rate).
After the presentation, the Aufguss ritual begins, the hourglass is turned to give an exact perception of the residence time and the three pouring cycles, called “throw”, begin.
At the end of the ritual, after the necessary cooling phase, a period of rest is recommended, and the reintegration of liquids, essential elements to prepare the body for a subsequent entry.
without music, with the use of the 4 classic waving techniques (helicopter-flag-shovel-comb) and essential oils not sought after paying attention to the base-heart-head sequence, with the possibility of using even 1 single fragrance for the entire ritual. It takes place in “religious” silence, aimed at the relaxation of the guests, who with their eyes closed, concentrate only on the noises existing inside the cabin cell produced by the water, by its evaporation, and by the air moved by the towel. A variant of the Aufguss Classico is the Aufguss Relax which sometimes includes the addition of romantic, relaxing and very low volume music.
The modern Aufguss is accompanied by musical pieces of any kind, possibly aimed at either the relaxation of the guests or their entertainment. The classic waving techniques are also accompanied by more complex techniques and the most sought-after oils used or blends of several oils. Today it is the type of Aufguss most appreciated by guests, because they are able to obtain the same psycho-physical benefits, living the ritual with more “lightness” and .. time flies. in the daily program from the structures in red or with 3 stars (***) for the excessive heat that is reached in the cabin and the intensity of the music volume and a third cast often with the use of mint essential oil , which activates the skin circulation, gives new energy and instills vitality
* hot ** very hot *** very hot
The Aufguss Show is the most theatrical part of the ritual. Over the years it has carved out an important space in the wellness sector and today it is highly appreciated by the guests of the centers, above all for the exclusivity and rarity of the occasions in which it is presented, considering that in the daily management of a center they are not practiced. In the organization of events, a theme to be developed is often indicated, while at the Italian and World Championships, where the show component is one of the parameters of judgment in the judges’ vote, it is the Aufgussmeister who decides the theme and around it, builds your own Aufguss-Show, with the use of music, lights, stage costumes and scenographic accessories and essential oils often linked to the theme itself.These are real theatrical performances, concentrated in 12/15 minutes, where the ability is developed synthesis of the Aufgussmeister, in bringing to the “stage”, musicals, films, stories taken from books, making guests understand the theme and its development during the duration of the Aufguss, without the use of words except in the initial presentation of the Aufguss, all conveyed therefore by the philosophy of “non-verbal communication” which we have already treated.
The Meditative Aufguss has a longer duration than the canonical Aufguss, but a lower heat intensity also thanks to the re-oxygenation of the cabin and the lesser use of water and / or ice on the brazier, it replaces music with sounds, Tibetan bells, gongs, shamanic drum, hang, didgeridoo, rainstick, ocean drum. For those who love meditation, the silence of the Sauna is certainly the ideal place to free the mind from thoughts and fully experience the experience. Listen to the sounds of the different Tibetan Bells when the body acts as a sound box, perceive the different vibrations and feel them rise to the body level with the rising of the tones. A cathartic experience. The human being is linked to polarities and more often negative polarities (-) prevail, as if we were more attracted to them. Freeing your mind from thoughts, controlling your breath, closing your eyes, letting yourself be carried away by relaxing and enveloping gusts of warm air, listening to the sounds and breathing in the essential oils that promote meditation (vetiver, juniper, sandalwood, incense, rosemary, orange, grapefruit), the Meditative Aufguss, will help you find the positive polarities (+), coming out at the end of the ritual, regenerated.
The Aufguss in the Turkish Bath is carried out in a very different environment than the Finnish sauna, due to the lower temperature (50 ° at the level of the head and 20 ° at the level of the feet) and for the high hygrometric degree (90- 95%), an environment sometimes preferred to the Finnish sauna, especially by subjects with arterial hypertension problems or vascular problems in the lower limbs. The ventilation is carried out surrounded by a warm cloud of steam, which is carried with an open towel, towards the guests to promote circulation and the opening of the skin pores. The most frequent treatments inside The aromas are mixed in the preparations for srub-peeling treatments that can be carried out inside vary from body and face scrub-peeling (based on essential oils and smoothing products of saline or sugary origin), to real masks that benefit from the open state of the skin pores and the temperature to which they are exposed, and therefore count on a greater possibility of action due to an increased absorption from superficial hyperemia
At the end of the ritual A KNEIPP path is recommended as the ideal cooling method
(more information see description Anna Webhofer expert Kneipp method)
AISA (Italian Saunas and Aufguss Association), advises and promotes with particular attention:
the use of 100% natural essential oils, possibly certified organic
the Sauna according to the Nordic tradition “no textiles”.