Originally Posted by LakeSuperior
It's the temperature measured by the thermometer on the wall about 12 inches down from the ceiling in the sauna I use. The air temperature is stratified in a sauna, warmer on the upper bench and cooler on the lower bench. The newbies will sometimes sit on the lower bench.
On occasion if the stove is hot the thermal radiation tends to burn your legs. The exterior of the stove can exceed many 100s of degrees F. If heavily fired the hot parts
of the stove may glow dull red.
In short temperature measuring is complicated when there is very hot and cool objects in the same room. The temperature measuring device measures some combination of air temperature and radiation temperature. It depending on how it is constructed, how much of the direct radiation from the stove it sees, and the actual air temperature.
boils at 212 deg F but your bodies complex temperature regulating controls cause you to sweat. The water
evaporating from your skin helps to keep you cooler and cleans your skin from the inside out so they say. You could not survive indefinitely at these temperatures but it works for short periods of time.
I have been in saunas where the air temperature was over 100C (212F). I think the Finns -- the originators of what we think of as a sauna -- typically keep their saunas at that kind of temperature.
I don't like it -- it hurts my eyes and my lungs.
I much prefer Russian or Turkish bath where the temperature is less, typically 60C or so in the case of a Russian bath, but humidity much higher in order to give you the same heating
up of the body.
The cold cycle of the process can be done with a cold water plunge, or in winter time, a roll in the snow. The snow is fantastic because snow is mostly air and so is less of a shock than cold water.