Ice-swimming or immersing yourself in ice-cold water is a traditional ritual that for many is part of the Finnish sauna tradition. Ice-swimming has gained a solid amateur community, and the practice has been reported to relieve many ailments. For example, ice-swimming is said to increase efficiency in blood circulation as well as relieve pain in the back, neck and shoulders. If ice-swimming is unavailable, many Finns will instead seek relief from the heat of the sauna with a dip into fresh snow, acting as a substitute for the ice-cold water.
At Ritavalkea Mountain resort in Pello, our ice-swimming hole is kept open in winter, and the sauna is often kept warm as well.