Venik Platza is a Russian hot massage using a venik, performed in the Russian steam banya.

Venik is the "tsar of banya" – a leafy, fragrant bundle of birch, oak, eucalyptus, juniper and other tree twigs. The venik helps with muscle and joint pain. It cleans the skin, accelerates the healing of wounds and scratches…. and it smells wonderfully. Its special virtue is that it widens the small bronchi, aiding in the removal of phlegm and improves the ventilation of the lungs. The leaves contain essential oils, tanning substances and vitamins A and C.

Birch Tree Venik:

This Russian classic helps to relieve pain in the muscles and joints after physical exercise. It cleans the skin well, speeding up the process of regeneration. Birch tree veniks also have a relaxing and uplifting effect on your emotional state. It also has a dilating effect on the small bronchi, which clears passageways and improves lung function.

Oak Venik:

This type of venik is good for people with oily skin: it makes it more elastic and has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Oak tree aroma helps to keep blood pressure stable while in Russian sauna. This venik calms nerves down and relieves stress.

Condiferous Venik (fir tree, juniper):

Increases sweating, intensifies blood circulation deep in the muscles and even in internal organs. Coniferous venik is great for pain alleviating spine massage.

Eucalyptus venik:

Contains 1-3% of essential oils that give it well-known healing power. It works especially well in treating sore throat and other cold related symptoms.

Venik Platza is an amazing technique that combines the natural healing power of tree leaves with revitalizing heat of a Russian steam room. Platza is a type of massage improves blood circulation both overall and in the specific areas of application.

Fresh birch or oak tree veniks can be used right after they are soaked in warm water for 10-25 minutes and are heated up for 2-3 more minutes in the sauna itself. Usually the platza starts with a masseur gently patting a person lying on a bench with a venik, starting from feet and going up to the neck. The reverse movement should also cover arms. There should be about four repetitions of this movement, each taking approximately a minute.

The next stage of the venik platza involves a careful tapping of the back, loin, thighs, calves and feet. As a rule, this procedure lasts for only about a minute, and is often followed by a quicker phase of patting.

At this point one can make use of another important technique - venik compression. The masseur directs a couple of gentle taps at a part of the body (usually, starting with a back), then pulls the venik in the air, turns it upside down, and lays it down on the body and presses it with a hand for several seconds. This way, the hot part of the venik is now compressed to the body, which makes it possible to provide an intensive and localized heat therapy. Venik compressions are extremely useful during recovery from physical stress.

The above techniques of venik platza can also be used when a person is lying on the back. Venik platza can be repeated in several sauna sessions. The last one sometimes includes rubbing the venik on the whole body: the leaves are slightly pressed to the skin with a hand of a masseur. This helps the skin to receive that final portion of vitamins and essential oils contained in leaves of a venik.

Why Banya