What is aufguss
An Aufguss is a multi-sensory wellness experience: a purification ritual that takes place in a sauna.
It is run by an Aufgussmeister (sauna master), who pours ice balls infused with essential oils onto the hot sauna stones and uses rhythmic movements of towels to circulate the stream of scented steam.
The ritual requires a large sauna with a central brazier and a "sauna master" who starts by pouring water and snowballs (or ice) impregnated with essential oils onto the hot stones in the brazier.
The water in contact with the stones vaporises, bringing with it particles of essential oil and starts to spread in the sauna environment.
The AufgussmeisterThe hot, aromatic steam, through the rhythmic movements of a towel, and often accompanied by music and lighting, directs the hot, aromatic steam in the direction of the guests, creating an intense and pleasurable multi-sensory experience.
There are many types of Aufguss, which are discussed in detail in the section "Aufguss". What is certain is that this ritual is increasingly occupying a central position in the wellness offer.
The origin of the sauna is lost in antiquity. The sauna, as we know it, derives from the traditions of the Nordic populations and, in particular, of the Finns, for whom the sauna represents a central social role, while in Spain it was misinterpreted and erroneously associated with a concept of promiscuous male sexuality.
As for the Aufguss specifically, according to the most common current of thought, it has its origin in the need for air exchange in the sauna. In fact, being an enclosed space, where people suffer from intense sweating, it is naturally necessary to bring in fresh air from outside to re-oxygenate and rebalance the environment, usually in hourly cycles, by opening sauna doors and windows and letting in fresher and cleaner air. To bring the temperature and humidity of the air to the correct values in the shortest possible time, we start pouring water over the stones of the cooker and distributing the steam generated by turning a towel, and here is the ancestor of the modern Aufguss.
Gradually this gesture, particularly in the Nordic countries and in German-speaking regions, has evolved from a simple act useful for maintaining a healthy environment to a more complex and sensory ritual. It began with the addition of essential oils, to perfume the environment naturally, then moved on to the use of snow and ice which allows greater control in the production of steam and less risk of burning the essences on the boiling stone.
Subsequently, the gestures in the towel movement were refined from very simple movements such as the helicopter and the "wood splitting" to more complex, harmonious and in some cases scenographic gestures. The last steps in the evolution of the Aufguss are related to the introduction of music and, as far as the so-called Aufguss "show" is concerned, the development of a main theme during the casting by coordinating choreography, music, perfumes, etc.