The Center

What is an Experiential Sauna? Explained.

by Ancient Ritual
Cultivating curiosity.

5 minSeptember 27, 2023

You’ll never look at saunas the same way again.

You probably know what a sauna is and have heard about its popularity among fitness buffs and the health-conscious. But have you ever heard of an experiential sauna? If you’re thinking, “What the heck is that?” this article will answer that question and break down the distinct difference between a regular sauna versus an experiential one. Be warned, you’ll never look at saunas the same way again.

Let’s define the basics. A sauna is an intentionally heated space used by humans for health and relaxation purposes. The tradition of sauna goes way back (circa 7,000 B.C.) and across many cultures. It's a popular activity lauded since ancient times as something that combines community, bathing, and healing into one—an experience that benefits you socially, emotionally, and physically.

Fast forward to modern times, the foundations of sauna bathing haven't changed much. The same benefits our ancestors sought after have remained just as desirable throughout the ages, and so the  basic design, principle, and purpose of sauna have remained essentially the same. What has changed in modern times has largely been superficial—physical updates like using different materials (wood vs. glass) and different technology (electricity vs. fire pit) for the purposes of convenience.

So what remains to be changed if sauna already does our well-being justice? What more can be added to a health tool already so resonant as to time-travel almost 10,000 years without aging?

For the simple reason that you or I don’t live in ancient times anymore, we don’t share the same problems as our ancestors. We don’t face the same challenges or variables in our day-to-day, and so we shouldn’t expect the same salve from an ancient context to provide a perfect solution for our modern imbalances.

Arc– the world's first experiential sauna

A sauna designed for the senses.

Saunas promote health and well-being. Experiential saunas on the other hand, provide the total health reconditioning of mind and body through the physiological reset of the senses. A health and well-being experience at a significantly heightened level. Experiential saunas are entirely more profound, more immersive, and more effective than traditional saunas to provide the physical, emotional, and mental health relief people use saunas for. Rather than providing just the modality of heat therapy, experiential saunas layer heat, light, color, and sound in a single, complementary "sensory stack" (more on this term later) of healing modalities—an intentional combination of science-backed sensory therapies for the purpose of providing heightened benefits.
In short, an experiential sauna is a sauna for the senses.

Traditional saunas provide a heated experience. Experiential saunas provide a heated experience that’s entirely immersive, multi-sensory, and multi-modality. A sauna session that bathes your senses in warmth, ambience, color, sound, and vibration for optimal neurological and physiological well-being.

Crafted with principles of sensory stacking.

The benefits of an experiential sauna vs. a regular sauna are multifold. When more than one modality is involved, it combines the strength of different treatments to create a more comprehensive and synergistic therapy—what is known as sensory stacking. Combining different modalities leverages the advantageous benefits of each modality while mitigating any weaknesses or stressors any individual modality might bring. For example, stacking sauna heat therapy with sound bathing allows a person to get the benefits of an activated sympathetic state—increased heart rate, increased metabolism, and increased cellular regeneration—while lessening the intensity and decreasing the release of stress hormones like cortisol.

The effect of sensory stacking creates a balanced nervous system and overall feeling of calm even when participating in challenging activities like sauna bathing. Experiential saunas like Arc use sensory stacking to maximize a diverse range of health and well-being benefits from fitness and recovery to mental health and longevity.

Discover the health treatment unlike any other.

In conclusion, an experiential sauna isn’t just another heat chamber. It’s a sensory gateway to a transformative and immersive treatment that renews your body, mind, and spirit. Experiential saunas leverage sensory stacking to curate an array of profound benefits for the modern person. And for what it’s worth, both the results and the process itself are profound. After all, the tell is in the name: Experiential saunas are more than just a sauna. They’re an experience.