Wedge techniques

The aromatic sauna infusion with essential oils in the sauna is only half the fun. The full pleasure of a sauna infusion is offered by waving, also called waving. Different waving techniques are not only part of the sauna masters' tools of the trade. Waving in the sauna is also part of the craft for private fun on a small scale.

The physical secret

The laws of physics also apply to the sauna: evaporation makes it cold, precipitation makes it warm! Of course, it should be as warm as possible in the sauna, but the perceived warmth can even be increased. Here is the explanation:

  1. Steam is generated by the infusion. This falls as a precipitate onto the cool skin of the sauna guest, where heat energy is released. This heat energy has previously been used up in evaporation on the hot stones of the sauna.
  2. The sweat on the sauna-goer's skin cools - then the humidity in the room suddenly rises. The cooling effect of the sweat is interrupted.
  3. The sauna-goer gets the feeling that it has suddenly become hotter in the room, which is of course contrary to what the thermometer indicates.

This effect is exploited during waving. If the towel or fan is waved, the temperature equalising layer on the skin tears. This is also called the insulation layer and is about four to eight millimetres thick. The heat transfer to the skin is no longer reduced. The result: the sauna guest feels the sauna even hotter.

Wedel techniques for home use

The best-known technique is the so-called propeller. Also suitable for use in small saunas are the "sail", various combinations of the propeller with waving in shapes or the use of a sauna fan for gentler waving techniques. Whichever technique is used, it is always a question of the best distribution of the infusion steam in the sweat cabin, even in the private sector.

Which technique is the right one?

In addition to the propeller and sail techniques, there are several other techniques that basically do not have a name. Every sauna master creates his own movements and techniques, which are adapted by the principle of "trial and error".

The observation of the sauna guests shows whether a technique is well received or not. It is not least the show effect that counts, because basically there is no need for a sophisticated technique. It is only a matter of tearing open the insulation layer described above and thus intensifying the sauna guest's sensation of heat. This means that there is no right or wrong here, everything is permitted that the guests like.

The differences are mainly to be seen in the heat sensation, whereby the pure number of degrees naturally depends on the type of sauna. The Russian sauna is particularly hot, with temperatures of up to 120 °C. It remains to be seen whether anyone wants to increase the heat sensation.

Incidentally, even beating with birch twigs produces the heat effect described, although this variant should be regarded as moderate. The birch twigs belong to the Finnish sauna and are of course not used for waving.

Practice makes perfect

In the sauna, aesthetics are just as much a part of waving as a practised technique. The propeller technique is easy to practise. To do this, a sauna wobble cloth is brought into a circular motion under the sauna ceiling in the sweat room directly after the infusion. This causes the hot infusion steam that has risen to be layered in the lower areas as well, thus filling the entire room. With the propeller, the main thing is to be careful of the sauna guests. The smaller the sweat room, the more caution is required with the propeller.

A gentler form of the wagging technique in the sauna is the sail. Here, the wagging cloth is held similar to a taut sail and then guided in alternating lateral movements. This gently distributes the steam of the infusion throughout the room. This waving technique is particularly popular for the aroma experience of infusion.

The use of a sauna fan is similarly beneficial. The large fan distributes the infusion steam in the cabin by means of lightly fanning movements and only slightly rearranges the air.


Combinations of the waving techniques can be particularly aesthetic if they are implemented in a certain choreography. For example, the propeller movements above the head can also be performed in front of or around the body in sufficiently large rooms. Shapes such as figure eights or circles in the movement also ensure a good redistribution of the air and are also visually fun.

There are hardly any limits to the variety. Simply trying out and practising are the best ways to support the infusion experience with suitable wagging techniques.

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