Mikkel Aaland

"It's All An Adventure"

The first ever Perfect Sweat Summit was held at the Archimedes public banya in San Francisco on March 11-12, 2014.  The invite-only event brought together a lineup of of over 50 sweat researchers, academics, and aficionados from all parts of the country and the globe (names and affiliations listed below).


During the two day event the participants explored the growing body of research that corroborates and expands on what the ancients have long known: that sweating is a valuable aid to healing and health. It was Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) who wrote: “Give me the power to create a fever and I shall cure every illness.”


The conference agenda was loosely arranged around five categories:


• Social sweating, which includes sweat etiquette, manners, and communal customs and approaches.


• Spiritual Sweating, which includes rituals and customs that take the bather from the every day to the eternal.


• Healthy Sweating, which includes all the physiological aspects of sweating, from both an allopathic and homeopathic point of view.


• Sweat Structures, which includes issues around the physical structure and design of the sweat bath.


• Sweat History, which includes just that, interesting historical accounts, reports, data on sweat bathing practices around the world.


The program was organized and directed by Mikkel Aaland, and supported by Mikhail Brodksy, founder of San Francisco’s Archimedes Banya; and Greg M. Moga, Executive Producer of the Perfect Sweat documentary series.


The event was filmed by Emmy Award winning director Doug Pray.


Here is an excerpt from the  press release announcing the event.  “I am so pleased to see that, through this summit, the sweat and sauna experience will be given such a prominent showcase. We hope the findings and collective brainstorming that will come out of this in-gathering of sweat cognoscenti will bring more attention and respect to this world-wide tradition that brings together people in a healthy and meaningful way.”


The Location


Archimedes Banya in San Francisco is the vision of Russian immigrant Mikhail Brodsky who has created a total bathing experience, blending Russian style bathing with other sweat bathing traditions and rituals from around the world. This is not your typical bathhouse! Archimedes Banya features several sweat rooms, a cold plunge, and rest areas with breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. It boasts a world-class restaurant, exercise rooms, and several well-equipped meeting rooms. banyasf.com


Special Thanks: Hein Catering & Smokehous and The FruitGuys


Perfect Sweat Summit Participants


Leonard Koren  Author and Publisher of Wet Magazine

Larry Holman Former Manager of Seattle Banya

Perry Garfinkel   New York Times

Doug Pray           Director

Clint Carlson                    Minnesota

Michael Nordskog         Author Opposite of Cold     Wisconsin

Risto Elomaa            President International Sauna Society    Helsinki

Byron MacWilliams     Author With Light Steam (Culture of the Bania)

Stephen A. Colmant      Las Cruces, New Mexico

Jarmo Lehtola            CEO Finnish Sauna Society            Helsinki

Mika Hotakainen, Co-Director,  Steam of Life

Phil Cousineau      Author

Cynthia Bridgeman Josayma   Balneology Institute     Bay Area

Glenn Auerbach            Sauna Builder; Editor Sauna Times            Minnesota

Timo Myllyntaus        Sauna Historian (Smoke Sauna) Dpt. of Finnish History

University of Turku            Turku, Finland

Sean Mullen     physiological & psychological effects of heating the body.   Illinois

Surinder Bains       owner Miraj Hammam Spa Vancouver, BC

Mary Bemis          Publisher, Insiders Guide to Spas Oregon

Mal Sharpe            TV and Radio Personality

Markos Kounalakis       President and publisher emeritus of the Washington Monthly

Molly Reichert            Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota School of Architecture

Matt Wiggins*            Bohemian Capitalist, Hospital & Health Care                        mmwiggins@gmail.com

Nell Waters         Founder,  SOAK, Whole Body Tonic

John Pederson

Dr Reinhard R Bergel            CEO H-e-a-t.Inc.

Alexander Generalov            Consultant for the Sanduny banya in Moscow

Kathy Nelson          Manager Kabuki Hot Sprints

Patty Zubov             Producer

Maggie Hallahan       Maggie Hallahan Productions

Riku Hämäläinen     Adjunct Professor, Study of Religions Helsinki, Finland

Danielle Douglas            volunteer

Bruce Yelaska            Graphic Designer

Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff, PhD Assoc. Professor, Faculty of Social Work University of Calgary

David Ewing Duncan journalist, Newsweek & New York Times

Ariel Sutro, speaking on the San Francisco Sutro Baths

Asha Baxter, Integrated Awareness Healer/ Volunteer

Dave McCabe Oregon

Mikhail Brodsky, president Lincoln University; owner, Archimedes Banya

Jean Rintoul, Senior Biosignal Algorithms Engineer: Basis Science

Stephen Kiesling, President of the Gold Hill White Water Center, and founding editor of Spirituality & Health magazine

Jamie Underwood, L.M.P. and Director of Spa Services – Ladywell’s Vitality Spa and Sauna

Irem Guroglu, sharing on the Turkish Hammam – Seattle Banya 5 Member

Barefoot Ted McDonald, sharing on Seattle Banya 5 culture – Founder, Luna Sandals

Crystal Carlson, Owner and Operator – Ladywell’s Vitality Spa and Sauna

Mary Bemis, Founder & Editorial Director, Insider’s Guide to Spas

Cassandra Blank Archimedes Banya

Roxy Blank Manager Archimedes Banya



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