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Bill’s Story: Learning to Love the Sauna

Bill came to appreciate traditional sauna bathing through a series of encounters with the practice - both at home and abroad.

Bill came to appreciate traditional sauna bathing through a series of encounters with the practice – both at home and abroad.

Taking a sauna is a tradition that spans time and cultures, so it’s always interesting to see how individual people have come to enjoy the practice. Enter Bill Sheehy, owner of an Almost Heaven Sauna. We asked Bill to describe his background with saunas, whether it was something he grew up with or grew into, as well as a couple other questions to prompt his sauna-centric narrative. Here’s what he had to say:


My first experience with using saunas began during my college days at the University of California, San Diego. The workout room for the students included a wonderful 15 person sauna. After a rigorous workout, it was always a welcomed treat to be able to relax and unwind in the sauna.

After college, I worked for Universal Studios in Hollywood. When I was assigned to work on a television series or a movie, it would typically be “on location”. This meant I was working long hours, away from home, and living in hotels. Fortunately, most of the hotels were very nice and offered saunas to their guests. So of course I took full advantage of that offer.

Fast forward to 2013….I was visiting a German girlfriend of mine who resided south of Hanover, Germany. We decided to do some traveling around Europe together in September of that year.

We began our travels in the Black Forest area of Southern Germany, specifically Freudenstadt.

We stumbled upon a recreational facility in Freudenstadt called “Panorama”. It was a huge place full of indoor swimming pools, restaurants, shops, steam rooms, and YES, saunas.

The saunas at Panorama are located outside the main facility. They all look like small mountain cabins. Each one was just a little bit hotter than the next. There were five different saunas available for the guests to enjoy. Each sauna accommodated about 30 men, women, and YES, even children were allowed to use the sauna if approved by their parents.

Once you worked up a sweat, you could go back outside and jump into a very cold swimming pool. If you were the slightest bit tired, this would certainly wake you up.

It was at that point in Freudenstadt that I decided to purchase my very own sauna once I returned home to Las Vegas. Sauna bathing was something that I loved, and something I could share with my friends and family members.

Owning a sauna in a place like Las Vegas might seem a bit redundant, especially in the summer months where the temperature ranges between a cool 101 degrees at night, all the way up to 116 degrees during the day.

My neighbors thought I was crazy when I announced I was building a sauna in my garage. They may have had a point, but I marched ahead.

I started browsing the internet looking for a sauna that would fit my needs. I looked at the infrared as well as traditional saunas. There were many companies and choices to choose from, but ultimately I chose “Almost Heaven Saunas” based on overall quality, great customer service and support, and the design.

I went ahead and placed my order with Rick and then proceeded getting my garage ready for the big day.

My sauna arrived just as promised, wrapped perfectly to protect all components.

Bill_Sheehy-012516I have a wonderful neighbor who offered to assist me in building my sauna. To be honest, I am not all that mechanical and was a bit apprehensive about the process of putting this thing together.

Happily, my worries were totally unfounded, as the process was not only simple, but a lot of fun. We had the sauna completely built in about four hours. The only thing left to do was to run the 220 volt for the heater, and the 110 for the light within the sauna.

We decided to have a “sauna party” that evening, so neighbors were invited over for the “Grand Opening”.

I entered the sauna, turned the heater on, and it fired up just as advertised. Within 12 minutes, my brand new “Almost Heaven” sauna was ready to use.

The one amazing thing about owning a sauna is that my electric bill has remained the same. I assumed that powering a 220 volt sauna heater would require a great deal of electricity. Turns out not to be the case at all.

Obviously, living in Las Vegas, one would think that using a sauna in an already hot garage in the summertime would be silly, but it’s not. I actually use the sauna all year long. On average, I use it no less than three times a week. So don’t let your geographical location deter you from owning a sauna.

The maintenance with a sauna is almost nonexistent. All that is required is to be sure to sit on towels during your session, and follow the detailed instructions that come with the sauna on how to keep it clean. Owning a sauna is light years easier to maintain than a spa.

Since using my “Almost Heaven” sauna on a regular basis, I have noticed that my skin is healthier, my muscles less tense, and my sleeping has been significantly improved.

There is little doubt that the health benefits of using a sauna are well documented. In countries like Finland, where saunas are a national obsession, the life expectancy is well above the national average of our country.

The bottom line is this…..using a sauna is healthy, relaxing, and enjoyable to the body and spirit. Combine all that, and you will naturally live a longer, healthier, and HAPPY life.

January 25, 2016 •