Yes! It's that time of the year! As the cold and freezing air is slowly arriving, what better way to keep warm then to enjoy some wellness time with a sauna or hammam! We need to have good things to look forward during this hibernation time, right?! It's a place to relax, unwind from the busy day, detoxify your body and enjoy a special time for yourself or with your friends!
Hammams (also called turkish baths/steamed room) have been used for centuries, since the Roman Empire, in many countries. Women in the Middle East have used hammams as a wellness ritual, a special quality time where they could meet. It was a place where no social distinctions existed. A place for the body and mind to connect. A place where you could feel rebirth. Even though it lost a little bit of its significance, hammams are still an enchanting place to let your mind wander while your body rejuvenate.
Saunas, on the other hand, come from the North. They're originally from Finland but you can find them in many houses in scandinavian countries. It is also a social and family tradition and has been used for the past 2000 years.
The main difference between a sauna and a hammam is the humidity. Saunas use dry heat and is composed of woods with vulcano rocks to heat it up in a little cabin, and it goes up to 100°C /200 °F while hammams contain 100% humidity with a lower temperature. The time spent in saunas is around 15 minutes maximum due to the high heat.
There are wonderful benefits of saunas and hammams:
- They are stress relievers. They relax your body and mind and can also help your tense muscles and that is why they are great after a workout to recuperate.
- They improve your circulation.
- They help get rid of toxins.
- They cleanse your skin and improve its elasticity as the sweat detoxes your pores and you'll come out with a glowing fresh face!
- They help strengthen your immune system, which is a good thing in winter!
If you have any health problems, it is better to consult your doctor prior using them. It isn't recommended for people with heart issues, high blood pressure and inflammation due to the high temperature. It is also important to keep hydrating yourself, so don't forget to drink water before, during and after.
Do you go to saunas or hammams? Do you have any rituals around them? I'd be happy to hear about them! I often go with my girl friends and it really is a time for wellness and self care in good company. What about you?!