A sauna whisk can be made from several different plants
Probably the most well-known whisk is made from birch, and especially from silver birch. Traditionally, birch whisks have been made during Midsummer for the entire winter. However, the whisks can be made from many other plants. Birch and oak are best suited for drying, but mountain ash, alder, maple and juniper are best suitable for use as fresh whisks. You can combine different plants in birch whisks or make your own whisk from these plants. A juniper whisk is an effective cleanser and is available all year round. Many people who have tried juniper whisks fall in love with them and always use juniper whisks whenever the opportunity arises. You shouldn’t be afraid of the needles, be bold and try a juniper whisk, but start gently.
Juniper is suitable for whisking all year round and provides a lasting whisk that you can use several times. Juniper is antiseptic and a highly cleansing herb from which both berries and needles are used. It is associated with cleansing in folk healing and is believed to bring healing energy. Juniper needles contain essential oils and in particular, new growth tips (called ‘kerkkä’ in Finnish) are rich in vitamin C.
Making a juniper whisk
Juniper is not a protected tree, but it is valuable, so the branches should be cut carefully. Collect branches infrequently and take only one branch from one juniper – a juniper tree will like this, and the light pruning accelerates its growth. Remember that you need permission from the landowner to collect juniper twigs. Collect the twigs into a good-sized bouquet, remove needles from the handle part of the stems and try to arrange the branches so that you get a smooth spherical twist. Tie the stems with a string in two places so that you get a sturdy handle.
Whisking with juniper
You will get the best experience when you do the whisking treatment with a partner by taking turns whisking each other. Of course, you can feel good whisking alone, but it’s always more relaxing when you take turns. Spread the linen on the benches and when the whiskee has warmed up in the sauna steam a bit, they can lie down on their stomach.
Prepare the whisk
Dip the whisk into the water container up to the handle. Unlike a birch whisk, a juniper whisk does not need to be soaked in water before use, just a dip in the water is enough. Take the handle of the whip between the palms and rotate the whip for a moment above the stove so that the handle points to the ceiling of the sauna. This allows the heat from the stove to get inside the whisk. When you start whisking, make sure the whisk is not scorching hot.
Whisking with a juniper whisk is more like a light touching rather than traditional whisking. Sure, you can try even hard whisking, but I personally recommend gentle stroking or tapping. Start lightly from the upper back and progress towards the lower back and legs. At first, ask your partner if the intensity is enough, but then let them finally immerse in relaxation, quietly whisking.
Whisk through the whole backside in a calm rhythmic movement a few times. You can occasionally dip the whip in water and swirl it over the stove for a while, so the whip becomes warm and the fragrance of the juniper essential oils becomes more intense.
Finally, you can gently press the sore areas, for example the shoulders, with the whisk. Occasionally, bring the whisk close to the whiskee’s face so that they can smell the energizing juniper.
Small traces of red spots may be left behind on the body from the whisking, but these are harmless and disappear in a few days.
After use, rinse the whisk with warm water and place it in a cool place to dry, with the handle in a container of water. This way the whisk is preserved for the next sauna.
Healing juniper moments,