Moroccan traditional Hammams : an objective experience

Moroccan traditional Hammams : an objective experience

  I'm sure you're all curious about Hammam and the benefits it provides. Indeed, I recently came from Casablanca, where I attended a great spa called Duo by Noor, which is a combination salon and private Hammam. Now, because I am a staunch believer in "the genuine thing," I don't often wax lyrical about "fashionable" spas that charge a lot of money for only a smidgeon of true treatment. This, on the other hand, was a unique experience: a trendy personal Hammam in the traditional style.

Given that I had booked the day before and came on time, I was first disappointed by the wait in receiving his Hammam. I was ushered into a private Hammam of black tiles and Tadalecket - the typical smooth plaster that is massaged and completed with black soap - after a 30-minute delay that was claimed to be extremely rare. Fatima, an athletic Moroccan Berber who has been giving Hammam for about 15 years, greeted me. She's seen it all and is definitely dedicated to her work. It's important to mention that Hammam is a physically demanding experience that, according to many, is not for the faint of heart.

The chamber is heated to about 42 degrees, with electrical piping heating the floor and seat from underneath. It is not suffocating in any way, nor does it resemble a steam room or sauna. It's more like hot yoga, which many of you know I love.

Moroccan traditional Hammams : an objective experience

After a warm shower, you lie down on the heated tile floor on something akin to a yoga mat. You are washed from top to bottom while lying on your front. Then you turn over and get the same treatment - and yes, you're naked. This may not be for you if you are at all afraid of being naked in front of someone other than your partner or doctor. It is, nevertheless, completely professional and "above board." The creamy Eucalyptus black soap is abundantly applied, and you are then permitted to soak on your back for 5 minutes in a slippery, slimy state. Moroccan Black Soap is composed entirely of olive oil and is therefore completely natural. The soap tingles on your skin as it deep cleans, and it is known to remove toxins and pollutants.

Moroccan traditional Hammams : an objective experienceExfoliation occurs next, after rinsing off the black soap. I'm not talking about the kind with micro silicon particles or laser therapy, but good old-fashioned physical scrubbing with a Kessa or exfoliating mitt. As he removes the first layer of skin, she rubs vigorously, and it does hurt. The only true way to exfoliate and attain smooth, clean skin is to do it in this manner. He removes all the dead skin cells and toxins by going from head to toe and back a third time. She pays special attention to not just your back and legs, but also your feet, between toes and fingers, neck, behind the ears, and even your face when she's finished. She cleanses the crevasses around the nose and chin, as well as behind the ears and under the eyelids!

Then there's a shower to get the skin off the floor - and trust me, there's a lot of it. It's not a pleasant sight, but keep in mind that that was once a part of me! While I'm in the shower, Fatima sprays down the room.

I'm then requested to lie down again, and he uses a typical loofah to apply an intriguing gel douche. Suds are everywhere, and I'm so clean at this point that I'm not sure who I am. I resemble the cat that emerges from the washing machine! This is when he gives me an energetic massage from my toes to my neck, as well as tried a few chiropractic maneuvers because I indicated I had a bad back. He didn't try to re-arrange my entire spine, and I did feel a lot better as a result. 

A final shower and toweling off are required. An Argan Oil massage would have been ideal at this point, but I needed to catch a plane and didn't have time. In Morocco, as well as many other parts of the Middle East, Turkey, and the Maghreb, this is a cultural norm. Most people, on the other hand, are only familiar with a steam bath or sauna, possibly followed by a massage. This is unique and represents an hour of comprehensive body repair. I felt energized and extremely clean when I left. Anyone who claims that there is a better way to clean hasn't tried Hammam."

There you have it: the ideal method for achieving velvety skin. I felt fantastic and cleaner than I have in a long time. Hammam is very beneficial to both the body and the mind.

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