Another important element of the Russian Banya is the use of a special “Venik”, usually a bunch of dried birch, oak, eucalyptus, fir, or juniper branches with leaves. It is used to fan the hot steam from above closer to the human body. Another its use is to massage or scrub the body to increase the effect of heat and improve blood circulation, especially in combination with cold water. The Russian sweat room promotes healthy immunity, speeds up metabolism, restores nervous and muscular systems, and promotes weight loss.
Medicinal herbs can be added to produce healing effects when inhaled, and honey, salt and other products can be used for body treatments.
Headwear of some sort is usually recommended to protect the head from overheating.
The loss of fluids occurs as the body produces large amounts of sweat, and it is extremely important to replenish the loss by drinking water, herbal tea, juice, Russian kvass, or mineral water between the sessions. We strongly advise against drinking of alcohol as it would further dehydrate the body.
The best time to use the Russian Banya is 1.5 – 2 hours after a meal.
Beginners should exercise caution and enter Banya no more than three times in one visit. When inside, assess your level of tolerance and don’t overdo it. It is generally recommended to use Banya from once per month to three times a week to achieve the best health effects.