The first time I went into a massage and sauna centre it was a purely dramatic and adventurous. My perception of sauna changed instantly.
I thought a sauna was conditioned with a spontaneous and soothing atmosphere; a place where people go to savour a purely relaxing moment to take away their stress and are after treated to a relaxing massage for a complete pleasurable package.
So I went to La Sanitas a secluded club in Kicukiro. The lady told me to undress and wrap myself with the Kitenge she gave me.
As I entered a hall that leads me to the actual massage and sauna parlour, I saw a bunch of half-naked fat men lying on mats! I tried not to look bothered and finally I saw the room written on sauna.
A wave of scorching heat mixed with a smell of heated local herbs hit my face as I plunged my head in the small room. This was something I least expected given my preconceptions. Not wanting to look a fool I quickly sat on a log of wood among totally sweaty men.
Overlooking the steaming water filled with herbs, I saw the furnace below that heated up the place. That’s when I started figuring out the essence of this whole sauna thing.
The men noticed the disappointment in my face and asked me what I expected. They chuckled before taking me through the benefits of a sauna and the importance of the herbs.
They told me that the herbs emitted in steam form and enter the body through the skin pores and nostrils to clean out all the poisonous substances and also go a head to heal many infections.
I closed my eyes and my thoughts evaporated as the steam took charge. I felt light and relaxed as I imagined all the poisons drain out of my body. After a while, I opened my eyes and saw the last of the sweaty men walked out. The thought of remaining alone in that room, forced me up.
Closing the door behind me, I welcomed the cool breeze that whooshed over me.