For centuries, the hammam tradition has been a major component of the Turkish culture, used for the process of cleansing as well as for the stimulation of the mind and the body. Often regarded as the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, a traditional hammam set-up comprises different treatment rooms and chambers, each offering a range of water-based options.
Although the concept of a hammam first originated in Arabia, the Turkish popularised it by making it available to people of all statuses.
Today, the hammam steam room is a major centre of attraction for foreign tourists visiting Turkey. Due to its increasing popularity, the turkish hammam tradition has also taken pride of place in many regions across the world like the UK, Egypt, Syria, and India.
Owing to the booming spa cultures in these locations, a number of 5 star hotels and upmarket health clubs have included strikingly designed hammam facilities in their spa complexes.
Here’s what happens in a traditional steam bath, or turkish hammam:
First, as you enter the hammam, you will find yourself in an entrance room called the camekan. This is surrounded by private cubicles for changing and a place to have a cup of tea or a cold drink before or after the bath.
Following this, your attendant, also known as the tellak, will give you a cotton wrap along with a pair of slippers or traditional wooden clogs. Once you have changed your clothing, your attendant will then bring you to a transition area called theiliklik in order to adjust to the heat of the hammam room.
Once you’re ushered inside the main turkish hammam treatment room, you will be left to lounge on a heated marble belly stone or a round central platform. Alternatively, you can also take a seat and simply lean against the wall.
The main idea is to sweat and release the body toxins prior to the scrubbing process. The turkish hammams built and installed by Leisurequip UK have multi-functional features like a heated massage table and overhead massage therapy showers for a complete luxury spa experience.
Our designs also have additional features like steam generators and mood lighting LEDs with fibre optic lighting to complement the setting.
Next comes the scrubbing, wherein your attendant will dry massage your body with an abrasive mitt the Turkish call a kese. This unhurried scraping is followed by a massage using olive soap lather.
Often, the process is completed with a final hair wash in a moisturising mask of milk and honey.
For the ultimate spa indulgence, Leisurequip has recently provided Moroccan Hammam saunas for clients in the UK. These bespoke designs come fitted with Tylo steam generators and translucent agate stone with sheet LED colour change light source.