The culture of Indian sweat houses developed with no influence from ancient European civilizations, yet it in some aspects is very similar. It is known that ancestors of American Indians lived in Asia most likely, that is where the idea of the steam originated.

Even though Indian tribes were on different stages of development, nearly all civilizations of North and Central America had a tradition of using steam for healing as well as for religious purposes. Recent archeological discoveries have proven that hot-air treatment was very well-known by Mayan people. Steam rooms of about 1,200 years old were found in Piedras Negras, Chichen Itza, and El Paraiso.

Temescal (derived from Aztec teme, to bathe, and calli, house) is a small hut with a fire that heats stones, on which the water is poured to give off the healing hot vapor. American Indians used sweat lodges as a way to treat such common sicknesses as cold and rheumatism. Aztecs even had a similar tradition to the Russian venik platza, where they used bunches of herbs to treat bodily disorders.

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