What is Vihta? Sauna Vihta, or Vasta (Finnish) or Venik (Russian)

Published: 10th February 2011
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Sauna massage with Finnish "Vihta" (also called vasta – in Finnish as well or venik – in Russian) stimulates blood circulation, detoxification and breathing. It strengthens the immune system of the body. Tree leaves of twigs absorb sweat and pollutants coming out from the skin and apply natural fragrance essential oils. For the best results they use bunches of Birch, Oak, Beech, Maple tree twigs.

The Birch (Paper, River, Gray, Black, White European, Yellow Birch trees are usually used) vihtas are good for their advanced sweat absorbing. They are very flexible. It provides a pleasant scent and health improving substances from birch leaves: essential oils, tanning substances, vitamins C and A.

Birch vihtas help with muscle and joint pains. They accelerate wound and lesion healing and provide with strong anti-inflammatory effect.

Birch vihtas are especially recommended for smokers and those suffering from asthma. The massage with Birch vihta helps with removal of phlegm and ventilation of lungs because of the Birch special property to widen small bronchi.

After soaking Birch twigs in warm water you can use this water to rinse your hair. It will strengthen your hair and destroy dandruff. The Birch vihtas are durable: you can use them up to 2 times.

Oak vihtas are popular among those who prefer aggressive or vigorous massage techniques and hot temperatures. When it is used for whisking or special sauna massage it seems that the temperature is hotter.

Oak vihtas are good for strongly built men, experienced sauna bathers and those experienced in hot steam temperatures. Usually men and experienced bathers choose this type.

Oak vihtas are also recommended for people with oily skin. They make the skin smooth and resilient. Oak leaves are rich in tanning substances, their scent creates a sedative effect, strong anti- inflammatory effect and stress relief.

Oak vihtas are also popular for its long-lasting properties, as you can use them for 3 - 5 times.

The Beech vihtas are very similar to the birch, but the scent is a little different. They tend to be softer then oak, but same leafy and strong to be used for up to 3 times.

Maple vihtas are very light and gentle, they deliver very soft heat to the body and the women especially enjoy them a lot. They also are very easy to work with. The sauna enthusiasts say the the maple vihtas are the most afrodisiac of all, however this quality applies to all kinds of vihtas and vihta massages.

Rudy Peters,

Spa Smart, Marketing / Development

Montreal – Toronto – Ottawa – Calgary – Vancouver



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