International Sauna Association (ISA) is an association of national and other sauna societies and private people. It was founded first time in 1957 but the real operations started in summer 1977 after the meeting in Helsinki. There it was decided that the domicile of the association is Helsinki. From the founding members Austria, Germany, Japan and Finland have been continuously members. Besides those there are today 13 other members. The President has been all these years from the Finnish Sauna Society. Current President of the ISA is Mr Risto Elomaa from Finland.
ISA shall pursue the goal of publicizing the sauna and promoting its use on a global scale by rallying supporters of sauna activities in different countries. This goal is served e.g. by acceptance of the Definition of Sauna recorded in Aachen 1999 as well as promoting the scientific study of the sauna from e.g. such viewpoints as social history, folklore, medicine and technology. A particular emphasis is given on the collection and compilation in archives of the results of such scientific studies as well as other written material on sauna. This material can be found from the web pages at www.saunaliteratur.de created by Professor Eberhard Conradi, German Sauna-Bund and ISA.
Probably the most visible form of activity of the ISS is the organizing of an International Sauna Congress roughly every four years. In fact, this tradition got started already in 1956, long before the ISA was founded. So far there have been 16 congresses, held in Germany (five times), Finland (four times), Austria, former Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan and Lithuania. The latest congresses took place in Tokyo, Japan in May 27th-28th, 2010 and in Vilnius, Lithuania in May 30th-31th 2014.
You will find more information on ISA on the International Sauna Asssociation web pages.