15 Jun HAMMAM MYTHS VS FACTS: REVEALING THE TRUTHS!
There is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than a traditional, soothing ritual in a Turkish bath. You should try this extraordinary experience at least once in a lifetime. Treat yourself to a bit of luxury! Yet, you should know there are a number of myths that have little to do with hammam’s reality. If you are a newcomer and want to get some useful info, read this insider’s guide and find out how to separate hammam truths from all the gossip. Some of them may really surprise you! Don’t wait any longer and check our hammam myths vs facts list!
UNVEILING THE MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT HAMMAM
These are many examples of questions and myths you may have in mind when thinking about Turkish baths. So, let’s have a closer look at the most common misbeliefs and misconceptions regarding hammams. What about other hammam myths vs facts?
MYTH #1 HAMMAM IS ONLY FOR WOMEN
Fact: Some hammams may have separate sections for men and women. Yet, many modern Turkish baths offer mixed-gender, men-only sessions, or women-only rooms. Until some time ago, in traditional hammams, women could meet in a safe circle of close relatives, friends, and neighbors. Turkish baths were one of the few spaces where they could feel at ease outside of their homes and family circles.
It’s true that most of the traditional public baths still consist of representational spaces for men and women. However, times changed and more and more hammams offer mix-gender couples experience these days. You can enjoy a relaxing massage or an aromatherapy treatment together with your loved one, all in a beautiful interior and unique atmosphere!
MYTH #2 HAMMAMS ARE UNSANITARY
Fact: Just the opposite! Turkish baths are required to adhere to strict hygiene and cleanliness standards. They include regular disinfection of surfaces and equipment. Besides, the hammam is a marble palace. This noble material is easy to clean and is also water resistant. For these reasons, you don’t have to worry about germs in a Turkish bath.
Also, remember that you don’t get a long soak in the hot water. According to Muslim customs, people always preferred flowing water rather than immersive baths. As you can see, you don’t have to bother yourself with thinking about the lack of hygiene rules in hammams!
MYTH #3 HAMMAMS ARE ONLY HOT BATHS
Fact: While hammams are certainly relaxing, they also have numerous health benefits. Some of them include improved circulation, detoxification, and skin rejuvenation. Hammam massage is great for stiff muscles and tension in your body. Stress relief and deep relaxation will improve not only your body but also your soul, bringing you the calmness and peace of mind that you need.
Turkish bath doesn’t only provide a deep cleansing ritual but also a unique cultural experience. Turkish hammams became a social element of city life and gathering points of local communities ages ago. To some extent, they still fulfill these functions.
MYTH #4 HAMMAMS ARE ONLY FOUND IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Fact: This myth is the most blazing reveal of the hammam myths vs facts discovery. While hammams are most commonly associated with the Middle East, they can be found in many countries all around the world. These include Morocco, Spain, and Russia, only to name a few.
Budapest has many spectacular Turkish baths built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century, including the oldest – Kiraly and Rudas Bath. Some of the best hammams can be also found in modern luxurious SPA centers and hotels in the United Arab Emirates.
MYTH #5 HAMMAMS ARE ONLY FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Fact: While hammams are often used for special occasions, such as weddings or holidays, they can also be enjoyed on a regular basis. Keep in mind they have numerous health benefits! Many people enjoy the complete ritual even once a week, making it a relaxing routine after a stressful work week.
If you don’t have any contraindications for health reasons, visiting a Turkish bath isn’t limited. Only a professional peeling isn’t advised more than once a week. Other than that – bathe and enjoy all the massages, aromatherapy, and other services as much as you want!
MYTH #6 HAMMAM MASSAGES ARE PAINFUL
Fact: No, they are not! Hammam massages can be tailored to your comfort level and are designed to be relaxing, not painful at all.
The tension that causes you pain and discomfort can be eased immensely after a Turkish bath experience! The heat and massage itself will soothe your sore muscles and headache tension if you suffer from any.
Don’t worry about heat stress either. The temperature in hammams is lower than in a sauna, and you may move to a cooler room anytime you want. It’s even better if you make it your regular health and beauty ritual at the end of a stressful week!
As you can see, many of the myths about Turkish baths have little to do with reality. Like oriental paintings of exoticized women in hammams in the past – a romanticized version of the East seen through the eyes of a Western tourist. So, maybe it’s about time to treat yourself to a Turkish bath!
MYTH #7 HAMMAM HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Fact: Actually no! People are asking “are you really losing weight in a hammam?” the answer is, not because you’re sweating, you are losing weight. We wish, though! There’s this minimal weight loss, which is only temporary because you’re sweating off water weight. High temperatures increase your heart rate in a way similar to a workout. Yet, it only causes a slightly higher calorie burn than while you are resting.
Traditional body scrub and foam massage improve circulation and work against cellulite. They have, however, nothing to do with losing any weight. All in all, a Turkish bath isn’t an effective tool for real weight loss!
MYTH #8 HAMMAM WILL MAKE ME STOP SMOKING
Fact: There are many health benefits of a Turkish bath that can make it slightly easier for you to quit smoking naturally. They include decreased stress, improved blood circulation, and an immune system. However, does a hammam help to quit smoking?
They aren’t a solution to the smoking addiction and hammam may only be slightly helpful. You should know that the process of quitting smoking is much more complicated and a lovely hammam experience won’t be enough to achieve it!
MYTH #9 HAMMAM MAY DAMAGE MY TATTOOS
Fact: Many people are avoiding hammams because of their tattoos’ safety and as “can I go to a hammam with tattoos?” Of course, you can! Yet, you need to keep your fresh tattoos away from moisture. It means you should stay away from Turkish baths when your tattoo is brand new. Your body needs time to heal before you can expose the skin to excessive sweat and the wet environment of a hammam.