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Sweat Lodge Safety Guidelines

  • Lodge leader (pourer) training
    • Each person who leads a sweat lodge at the Center for Peace has been trained in Native American traditions.
    • The leaders share their knowledge with each other and work towards safe practices in all of the lodges.
  • Length of lodge
    • Our lodges range in length from one to four rounds. Each round is approximately 15 to 30 minutes in length, with the door being opened at the end of each round for 5 to 10 minutes; generally more hot stones are brought into the lodge during that time.
    • At the end of each round participants are checked on and asked if anyone wants or needs to leave.
  • Construction of lodge
    • The lodge at the Center for Peace is constructed using cedar branches covered with blankets and a black plastic shell. The plastic shell is used to keep the blankets dry during times that the lodge is not in use. To assure that there is air circulation in the lodge during the sweat, our lodge has two doors. During the lodge both doors are opened several times to provide fresh air into the lodge.
  • Health of participants
    • The lodge leader checks with the participants prior to the lodge to be sure that each participant is in good health regarding heart health, blood pressure and lung function as well as general health condition. If the leader feels it is not appropriate for a person to participate inside the lodge, an opportunity is made available for that person to come to the door between rounds and receive a lodge blessing.
    • After each round (15 top 30 minutes) the lodge leader also checks in verbally with the participants to assure well-being of each person.
    • Prior to the lodge all participants are told that they are responsible for their experience and that they may leave the lodge at any time by letting the leader know of their desire to leave. Our teaching has been that when someone leaves the lodge, they take with them something that others are also working to eliminate and are given our gratitude. There is no guilt associated with leaving.
    • Participants are encouraged to drink lots of water prior to entering the lodge and are provided with fresh drinking water upon their exit from the lodge.
    • Electrolyte replacement (Gatorade, Pediolyte or Emergen-C) is also available at each lodge.
  • Capacity
    • Our lodge will physically hold about 25 people. Generally the number is limited to 20 or less, except when there are several leaders present in the lodge to monitor the well-being of the participants.
    • If there are more than 20 participants, the lodge may be divided into two separate experiences.

For more information, call 865-428-3070