What Are Moroccan Hammam Rituals?
Every year, without fail, you are guaranteed to hear about the new trends in health and wellness – each claiming unheralded discoveries to unlock the ‘new you’. And while new discoveries can be exciting and fun to try, the fact is this: wellness and relaxation are age-old arts, practised and refined over generations.
Whether it be modern adaptations of the meditative practices of Buddhism, Hindu-inspired yoga (no, it didn’t start in California) or the ancient hammam and bath-houses of the world, the West has often borrowed from the East.
Here at Spa de Marrakech we draw upon the ancient rituals of the Moroccan hammam to deliver a beauty and relaxation treatment which stands the test of time.
What are hammams?
A hammam is a public bath house where people go to cleanse, socialise and relax. There are generally two types – the Turkish hammam and the Moroccan hammam – with Moroccan hammams focusing on steam and renowned for the use of black soap and Argan oil.
Hammam rituals are the traditional cleansing treatments that occur at a hammam, which include washing, steaming the body, deep cleansing, exfoliating and massage. Hammam rituals, as they are known today, have a long, rich history – with the first recorded public bath dating back more than 2,000 years to the Roman empire.
These public bath houses quickly gained popularity throughout Europe and the Middle East, with Morocco one of the first countries to adopt this new idea. The hammam became an integral part of life for many Moroccans who didn’t have access to running water at home. And it also became an important ritual for the predominantly Islamic society to cleanse before prayers.
Today, hammams remain popular – thousands of Moroccans attend their local hammams weekly – and are seen as an important method of cleansing both the body and the mind. The ancient rituals have also become immensely popular with tourists who want to experience the history and physical benefits of this tradition.
What’s involved with hammam rituals?
Hammam’s can differ slightly depending on where you go. Generally, you will begin in a steam room to heat your body and soften the skin. Then a hammam attendant will douse you with water before applying a black soap to your skin and gently scrubbing it, with a special exfoliating glove, to exfoliate dead skin and other dirt from the body.
To finish you will be cleansed with water and covered in oil, with the option of receiving a massage. The vigorous all-over body cleanse scrubs away dry skin away better than any other treatment and at Spa de Marrakesh, there are a two different experiences available.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to this traditional treatment. Steam softens the skin, increases circulation and eliminates toxins. Then the exfoliation gently removes dead and flaky skin to reveal a smooth, glowing, full-body complexion. At the end of this treatment, your skin will feel hydrated and soft and nourished with vitamins and minerals.
In addition the physical benefits, hammam rituals also benefit your mind, encouraging relaxation and serenity. Throughout the experience you will feel as though you’re floating on air as your mind lets go and you release any stress and tension.
Experience traditional hammam rituals at Spa De Marrakech
Our classic Hammam treatment is a purification ritual that uses black beldi soap to gently scrub the body.
Both of these treatments can be experienced by yourself or with a partner or friend. And if you feel like indulging a little longer, you can finish off with a lunch or dinner package.