Sometimes people make a vasta (or vihta); they tie together small fresh birch branches (with leaves on) and swat themselves and their fellow sauna bathers with it. Vihtas can even be bought from a shop and stored into a freezer for later (winter) use. Using a vasta improves blood circulation, and its birch odour is considered pleasing.
We use the vihta or vasta, made of fresh, preferrably young birch twigs, to beat ourselves to get the blood circulating in sauna. Sounds very medieval, but the scent of birch leaves is delicious in the sauna!
Soap: sauna, Birch scent
Birch tree leaves at russian banya...super therapeutic
Leafy Oak Tree Twigs - "Oak Venik"-A must have for the Russian Banya.