Hammam is one of the types of baths known throughout the world. You can take a steam bath in a Turkish bath not only in the eastern resort. She had fans in Europe and Russia, where similar couples also began to meet. In addition to taking hygiene procedures, in Turkey, visiting the hammam is often accompanied by meetings with friends or relatives. Almost the whole day is spent in the company, in compliance with certain rules and traditions.
The Turkish bath differs from the Russian one in very high humidity and lower temperature indicators., which makes it soft, comfortable, gentle compared to other types of saunas. In the domestic steam room, the dry air temperature can reach 70 or 80 degrees, in the Turkish one - an order of magnitude lower. It is not forbidden for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases to come to the hammam, just their presence in the hall with relatively high temperatures is limited to half an hour. This category of people cannot visit a Russian bath.
What to take with you?
To visit the hammam, no special additional items (such as brooms, hats), which are attributes of the Russian steam room, are required. Everything that is needed is given in the Turkish bath itself. However, after studying the rules of visiting, you can understand that complete nudity while in the hammam is not encouraged, so a swimsuit or sarong may be required to cover up.
In the bathhouse, visitors are given special wooden slippers (cakes), but those who have a non-standard size or those who prefer to use only personal belongings can bring their bath shoes. The same applies to towels: the attendant will definitely give out one for the body, and the second (large) to cover the bench on which you have to lie... Those who wish to have a personalized towel can take it with them. If you need a personal shower gel, you should also grab it from home.
As already noted, in a Turkish bath, they often spend the whole day in a company with friends. In order not to stay hungry, visitors bring with them light snacks that can be consumed in a special room. Sauna workers offer tea or other drinks to visitors.
How often can you visit?
The frequency of visiting a Turkish bath and the time that should be spent there will depend on health, traditions, free time and personal preference. If we take the average figure, then once a week will be enough. Muslims believe that the hammam cleanses the soul and body, so the husband lets his wife go to the bathhouse once a week without unnecessary conditions.
Beginners and people with poor health can stay in Hararete (the warmest room in the bath) from 30 minutes to an hour, with the next visits, the time may increase. There are no time limits in other rooms.
If you follow the old Turkish traditions, then men can visit the hammam from dawn until noon, and women from noon until sunset. Today, when men and women can be provided with different premises, it is not necessary to resort to this tradition. The frequency of visits to the Turkish bath is also influenced by massage procedures, which are recommended to be carried out after a certain period of time.
How to use it correctly?
For oriental residents, the bath is associated with ablution, purity of the body and thoughts. HIn order for the experience of visiting the hammam to remain pleasant, certain rules of conduct should be learned.
- Do not rush, do not fuss, relax, take the opportunity to think about the wise and the eternal.
- Do not be completely naked, cover your body with a towel or sarong.
- An hour or an hour and a half before visiting the bath, you should not eat, so as not to experience bouts of nausea.
- You must come to the hammam sober and not take alcohol during the entire visit.
- Before you sit down or lie down on the stone bench, you must lay down a towel. This is done not only for hygienic reasons, but also to protect the body from prolonged exposure to a hot stone.
- During massage procedures, it is recommended to keep your feet raised above the surface.
- After the end of the massage and complete relaxation, do not suddenly get up from the bench, this can lead to dizziness.
To use the Turkish bath correctly, you also need to know its structure, what rooms it consists of. Then it becomes clear what can be done in each of them. The Hammam is divided into three large rooms.
- Jamekan. The first room where the visitor enters. There are cash desks for payment of services in it. You can leave your outerwear here. According to Turkish tradition, this room is decorated with a small fountain.
- Sogukluk. This prep room is not too hot, it does not exceed the temperature of the human body. Showers and toilets are located here.
- Harareth. The third hall is directly related to the bathhouse. The ambient temperature is 50-60 degrees, and the humidity is maintained at 100%. It contains stone benches, often of marble or onyx, on which you can sit or lie. If the room is endowed with a large space, a chebek-tash is installed in the center. Turks call it the “abdominal stone”, it is a stone table for wellness massage treatments. There is also a kurna in the hall - a special sink that receives hot and cold water. Visitors scoop it up with copper ladles and pour over it as needed.
With swimming pool
There are two types of pool in the hammam:
- the device of some large hararets includes a shallow but spacious pool: no one bathes in it, it only serves to maintain humidity in the room;
- the second pool is functional, they are plunged into it after a massage to close steamed pores and invigorate after relaxing procedures.
You can just come to the hammam to wash, visit the Jamekan and Sogukluk - it will be cheaper and faster. But if you need an extended program, for the sake of which they go to Turkish baths, you should count on a procedure with massage.
Recommendations for the procedure
If you have to go through a complete ritual of visiting an oriental bath, you need to remember that all actions and procedures have been developed for centuries, and you should not violate them for the sake of gaining health benefits.
So, in jamekan, the visitor leaves his clothes in the locker room, takes with him the issued bath accessories and goes to the sugukluk... In this room, a low comfortable temperature of 30-35 degrees is maintained; here you should spend at least 20 minutes for full acclimatization. A shower is also taken here, which helps to free the pores from dust and dirt, to prepare the body for further procedures.
For those who just came to wash, the visit to the bath ends in this room. Those who decided to stay and receive a full health and cleansing course should go to the next hall, the main one for visitors - the hararet.
Sitting on a stone bench in a room with a temperature of 50 degrees and high humidity, you can steam the entire muscular system well. The massage therapist-bath attendant monitors the visitor, and when he is fully prepared, proceeds to the following procedures.
- The whole body is exfoliated using a kese mitt made of coarse goat hair or coconut fiber. It thoroughly cleanses the skin of dead keratinized particles, while freeing the pores. The same procedure improves blood circulation.
- The cleansed skin is prepared for a massage with soapy oils. The attendant in a cotton bag whips an unusual black soap with peach, olive or argan tree oils by hand. In some saunas, a soap foam generator is used, this allows manual labor to be mechanized. Quite quickly, the visitor is covered with a lush cap of soapy water. With the help of massage the remnants of keratinized particles are removed from the skin surface.
- At the next stage, it is proposed to go through the wrapping procedure. The visitor is coated with a mixture of healing clay, sea salt, olive oil and honey, wrapped in a towel. A shower is taken twenty minutes later.
- After massage and beauty treatments, you can relax in the lobby.
- At the last stage, another massage with aromatic oils is offered. This procedure tightens and rejuvenates the skin, improves cell metabolism.
- After relaxing, take a warm shower or take a dip in the pool.
- After going through all the hygiene and wellness procedures, visitors go to the relaxation room, where you can chat with friends, have a snack, drink a few cups of tea. After the bath, the body will need to restore its water balance.
You don't have to travel to Turkey to visit the hammam. You can look for an oriental bath and at large sports clubs. It has been noticed that after training and heavy physical exertion, staying in a Turkish bath quickly recovers strength. The stone in combination with hot steam has a relaxing effect on the muscular system.
The Turkish hammam differs from the rest of the baths in the world with a special oriental flavor, a persistent smell of incense and a kind of music that sounds throughout the visit. Often bath attendants use salt fog. They create it with the help of special equipment, thanks to which a curative finely dispersed cloud of saline solution rises into the air. All this, in a hypnotic way, makes you fall in love with an oriental bath.
After a short period of time, the body prompts that it is time to visit it again.
For what a hammam is, see below.