We all know about Finnish saunas and the benefits they hold.
A conversation with Renato Roncuzzi – Aufgussmaster trained at the Cron4 school – transports us to the world of sauna ceremonies. More precisely, to the world of the Aufguss, a word which means ‘jet of vapour’.
“Put very simply, what the Aufgussmaster does is pouring water, crushed ice and essential oils over a brazier, so that they can then direct the aromatic vapour towards the participants, with movements that gradually increase in intensity.”
In reality, there is a lot more to it than that…
“Every ceremony is a journey, a story that I tell starting with the synergy that is formed between music and aroma,” Renato explains. “In ten minutes, I introduce three pieces of music that I associate with various essential oils. I begin with a base fragrance, usually of wood such as pine or silver fir; I continue with a core essential oil, such as lavender or a green mix; then I finish off with a top note. Depending on the essential oils used, the sensations will differ. The Aufguss can be very relaxing, if, for example, you finish with the essence of jasmine, or it can give a burst of energy, if you end with mint.”
The Aufguss, therefore, is a ceremony that touches on multiple aspects, ranging from the more specifically physical to the emotional side.
“From a physical point of view, the Aufguss allows for a more enhanced effect than the Finnish sauna, because it tricks our heat receptors. The jets of vapour give our bodies the impression that their surroundings are much hotter than they actually are, thereby increasing vasodilatation and perspiration, which allow for the release of toxins. Ideally, you would end the ceremony with a cold shower, to rebalance blood pressure. Let’s just say that, apart from particular medical contraindications, it’s a practice recommended to all!
As it's already been said, though, from an emotional point of view it’s a journey that we take together. The Aufgussmeister accompanies those present also with musical touches and aromas on a journey which provides relaxation, but which can also energise and – why not – be of great fun”.
Yes, have fun. Renato then tells me about one aspect of the spa experience I wasn’t aware of. Using real, genuine stage costumes, Renato brings to life sauna shows of an ironic and entertaining tone, which he sometimes performs alongside his ceremonies. Because, quite often, there’s nothing more relaxing than a good laugh!