Close-up of Christmas ornaments on a green Christmas tree with the fireplace diffused in the background

Heat that lowers your heart rate in the run-up to Christmas

December is a hectic period for many of us. There are long lists of Christmas presents to be bought, food to be prepared and all that cleaning and decorating to be done. Do we have enough food? Have we remembered to get and do everything? Does my Christmas finery still fit? Where did we stow away the Santa outfit after last Christmas? If you can feel the tension building in your shoulders and your stress level rising, we recommend you get a log fire going and enjoy gazing into the flames, feeling the warmth on your skin and listening to the crackling sounds of the fire. Research shows that a log fire helps carry you into a more relaxed and meditative state.

Watching flames has a relaxing effect

Christopher D. Lynn, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alabama has tested a theory that a wood-burning fire has a relaxing effect on people. He measured the blood pressure and stress level of 226 participants before and after looking at a log fire. The findings of the study leave no doubt: Watching a log fire lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, promotes relaxation and reduces stress. The study also found that it has a beneficial effect on the nervous system and thus aids better sleep. 

It will hardly come as a surprise to anyone who already has a wood burner and enjoys putting their feet up in front of a real fire on a dark autumn evening or cold winter day that relaxing in front of a crackling fire has clear health benefits. But now it has been scientifically proven once and for all!

Unwind with this exercise

The research report also concludes that the flames helped improve the participants’ ability to concentrate and focus. And what could be better than sitting in front of a crackling fire feeling completely at ease and enveloped in a sense of calmness and serenity? Here’s a simple three-step exercise that we can recommend:

Blonde woman sitting in front of a white wood-burning stove Scan 83-2 with a cup of coffee in her hands

  1. Rest one hand on your stomach and slowly breathe in as deeply as you can through your nose. You will feel your stomach rise. Count to 4 as you are breathing in.
  2. Hold your breath and count to 7.
  3. Then breathe out through your mouth as you count to 8.

Repeat this 4 times and feel your body and mind going into sleep mode and any tension draining away. This is called the 4-7-8 breathing method and it was developed by the American doctor Andrew Weil and inspired by both yoga and meditation practices (source: NHI). If your chest expands more than your stomach, you have probably not got the breathing technique quite right. But not to worry... practice makes perfect!

Engage your senses in front of the fire

The research findings also show that when we experience the log fire with more than just one of our senses, it has a greater effect on our well-being. This accords completely with Scan’s philosophy and product focus since its establishment in 1978.

The stove is a designer piece of furniture that has a natural place in most homes and provides comfortable warmth from a perfect flame. Large glass panes in the wood-burning stoves ensure maximum visibility - tailored for a high quality of life. In our laboratory, we are working continuously to make the combustion process more efficient and compliant with the strictest approval standards while extracting the maximum amount of heat out of each log .

As well as bringing us comforting warmth and the sight and sound of crackling flames, a log fire heightens the smell of Christmas in the home. And what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than filling the air with the fresh scent of a Christmas tree, oven-hot ginger biscuits, incense, ginger, cloves and cardamom? Mmmm... fill a glass with mulled wine, sit in front of the fireplace or stove, take a deep breath and feel the joy of Christmas.

Light your Scan stove with a clear conscience

When you know that a clean-burning Scan wood stove and correct burning do not have an adverse impact on your carbon footprint, it feels even better to sink into your fireside armchair surrounded by your family or just you and a good book. Wood is a renewable resource and is considered carbon neutral according to organisations such as the state enterprise ENOVA, which is playing a key role in Norway’s transition to a low-emission society, and Norsk Varme, the trade association for stoves, fireplaces and chimneys in Norway.

In other words, a wood stove or fireplace from Scan is a good choice for you today and for future generations. Now that in itself is a warming thought!

That said, we wish you a happy, healthy and comfortable run-up to Christmas.

 

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