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The science of sweating

On a cool night in 2019, nearly 20 people were packed into the scorching sauna at the spa in Berlin, waiting for the Orfgas ritual to begin. The word orfgas means “injection” and spa-loving Germans talk about it as if it were a spiritual experience. A sweaty missionary called the Orfgas Master spread the ceremony to spas throughout Europe and elsewhere.

With a wooden bucket and a ladle, the Orfgas master stepped into the sauna to begin the ceremony. He scooped water infused with lemongrass essential oil into the hot rocks of the sauna, emitting a pulse of scented steam. Then he picked up the towel and started whipping it overhead.

In many cultures, ritual sweating rituals are practiced. It happens at some point in history, if not now. Marble hammams are scattered throughout the Middle East. Native Americans have sweat lodges. Koreans often play Jjimjilbang. Russians drink vodka in vanilla. Finns export saunas to Western countries. For many, heavy sweating can be both calming and cathartic.

The fascinating towel work is at the heart of the Orfgas style, as it disperses thick gusts of hot air around the sauna. Feeling cold Like the opposite of the cold winter winds, the sultry and strong winds make the sauna feel hot. A good Orfgas Master will blow enough wind in a 10-minute ceremony to keep your hair breeze even when sweat falls on your skin.

Sweat is not the only thing that overflows. Scientists believe that in a hot and humid sauna, 30% to 55% of the rolling liquid is actually condensed water. The skin temperature of the sauna is a few degrees higher than usual (about 109 ° F), but the remaining space is usually about 175 ° F to 195 ° F and the steam exceeds 210 ° F. Since your body is one of the coolest objects in the room, the evaporated water condenses on it like the steam of a kettle in a cold winter window.

The science of sweating

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