The sweat lodge (also called purification ceremony, sweat house, medicine lodge, medicine house, or simply sweat) is a ceremonial sauna and is considered an important tradition in some Native American cultures. Sweats are often done for purification, both physical and spiritual. It may be a deeply spiritual experience. Others participate for social and cultural reasons.
There are risks involved in the use of sweat lodges, especially when run by unauthorized and untrained persons. When organized with due respect to the process in both its physical and cultural aspects, sweat lodges offer valuable experiences for many.