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Saunas originated in Finland some 2000 years ago, where the weather was cold and damp. The Finns used saunas to warm up, and to also rejuvenate the mind and body. The traditional Finnish sauna uses steam to heat the body and make the sauna bathers sweat.
Swedes modified the Finnish sauna by changing to use “dry heat” instead of steam heat, originating the dry sauna. The Swedish saunas were usually heated in the same way as the Finnish saunas, with hot stoves and heated rocks, but where the Finns would pour water on the rocks to generate steam, the Swedes wouldn't, resulting in “dry heat.”
As the popularity of saunas has spread around the world, people now have the option of picking steam saunas or dry saunas to relax in. They can either sauna like the Finns do, with steam and vapor, or like the Swedes do, with a higher, dry heat.