But what is an Aufguss?
An Aufguss is a sauna wellness ritual which involves pouring water or ice (or even snow) mixed with aromatic or balsam essences onto the red-hot stones of the stove and then wafting a towel to direct the powerful hot jet of steam towards the sauna users. This is all done by the Aufgussmeister, the Aufguss or Sauna Master, who performs the amazing ritual, first breaking the aromatised ice onto the boiling hot stones and then creating the movements and turbulence of the very hot air, as if in a dance.
The wellness ritual normally involves three cycles of pouring water and fanning, during which everyone one remains silent and no one should enter or leave the sauna. At the end of the third cycle, it is recommended that you remain in the sauna for a little while longer, to return your blood pressure to normal levels.
The total duration of the Aufguss treatment is usually between 7 and 12 minutes, during which the temperature in the sauna remains constant: it is only the movement of the steam which gives an impression of an increase in temperature. However, the intensity of an Aufguss can vary considerably and it is normally notified if there are multiple Aufguss cycles.
For an Aufguss, users must take their places in the sauna without clothes or swimsuits (the synthetic fibres used in swimsuits emit toxic substances at high temperatures, as well as the synthetic fabrics blocking the heat), sitting on a large towel, made from cotton where possible. Always remember that the higher positions are the hottest ones.
After an Aufguss, it is crucial to take a cold shower to get your circulation to react and to restore your heart rate to normal, washing first your legs and arms, working towards your heart, finishing by washing your head to prevent headaches. You can also immerse yourself in the ice tub, always starting with your feet and slowly lowering yourself in.