The birth of the Moroccan Hammam can be traced back to the famous Greek and Roman baths. This practice began to develop in 600 AD under the influence of Mohammed the prophet, who believed the properties of Hammam heat were both healing and rejuvenating. In Arabic, Hammam means “that which spreads the heat”.
Because of Mohammed’s convictions, the practice of Hammam became associated with religious purification. That is why Hammams are often attached to local mosques. As opposed to the famous Greek and Roman bath houses, Hammams were built to be small and intimate, encouraging quiet reflection and tranquility.
The Silent Doctor: Hammams are particularly helpful to the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, the liver and the kidneys. A Hammam opens your pores, eliminates dead, impure skin and bacteria, opens the sinus cavity and nasal passages, eases muscular pain and benefits the pulmonary system. If you suffer from asthma, bronchitis, have allergies or if you have rheumatism or bursitis, the Hammam will calm your symptoms. It is also excellent for people with sleeping problems. After centuries of use, Hammams have taken on the unofficial name as the ‘silent doctor’.
De-stress yourself: Better than anything else in today’s fast-paced society full of pressures, the Hammam offers us the time and space to take a pause. A fog of warm, thick vapour wraps you in its comforting arms and takes you far from everyday worries and stress, calming you to your very soul. Close your eyes and breathe deeply … feel the tension in your body evaporate.
Hammam vs. Sauna: The air of a sauna is heated by porous hot stones which create an enduring heat. There is little humidity, as the saunas are habitually furnished with wood. In a Hammam, it is the water vapours which transmit the heat and the surroundings are covered in marble and stone. The temperature of the Hammam is far lower than a sauna, even though one may have the opposite impression.