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The author states that one of the most important tasks of physical medicine is to submit well established physical procedures to an impartial scientific investigation.
The Finnish "sauna bath" became popular in Europe after the Olympics in 1936. At that time the Finnish athletes considered the regular use of "the sauna" to be so essential to their physical fitness that they had a sauna bath built in Berlin.
The sauna bath is a sweat bath heated by a stone oven in a small enclosed room. Basically it is a dry hot air bath, but steam is produced occasionally by sprinkling a small amount of water on the hot stones. Flagellation with birch twigs is done to promote hyperemia of the skin. Cooling is performed by a brief plunge into cold water.
Dr. Ott has compiled his data on the effects of the sauna bath over a period of several years.
Die Sauna: Ihre Geschichte—die Grundlagen ihrer Wirkung—ihre Anwendung zur Prophylaxe und Therapie mit einem Anhang: Bau und Betrieb der Sauna. JAMA. 1948;138(3):248. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900030080028