The podcast that pressure tests the wellness industry, from the pseudo to the sensible
March 4, 2024

Saunas, Sweat Lodges and Snow Monkeys

Saunas, Sweat Lodges and Snow Monkeys

How heat therapy and hormesis make us stronger

This episode, we invite you to let it all hang out. Frank and Jenny visit the Finnish Church in London to take a pew in the basement sauna that brings everyone together, not just the congregation. There, rector Marjaana Härkönen talks about the connection between spirit and the sauna – ‘löyly’ – and what to drink while you’re busy connecting.

Now look, we know people banging on about saunas can be as annoying as people banging on about ice baths (hey – we’ve got an episode on that, too!), but when integrative wellness professor Marc Cohen told us the full gamut of what these sweat boxes can do for our meat vessels, we were genuinely surprised.

Always one to look at the worst-case scenario, Jenny recounts the grizzly deaths that occurred at the 2010 World Sauna Championships, and in sweat lodges such as that of one-time Oprah mascot James Arthur Ray. But surely she can see the logic in preparing for the worst (her favourite thing to do) by engaging in hormesis – the act of adapting to stress, such as extreme heat, and thus better preparing for future stresses.


Frank’s a lucky fella. He works at Peninsula Hot Springs, so he gets to have a sneaky sauna and ice bath combo every day. To make it up to Jenny, he’s built a grand stone and wood sauna at her place, together with an ice bath in a converted chest freezer.

PS: If you liked this episode, you'll love our sixth episode, Taking the Plunge: Cold Water Immersion.


Wellness professor, Dr Marc Cohen

Finnish Church in London

Leave us a voice message for a future episode on Speakpipe

Spirit Levels on Instagram

Our newsletter

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.