Turkish Hammam: 4 Health Benefits of the Ancient Bathing Ritual
The Turkish hammam is a culturally significant activity compatible with Islamic nature in its promotion of personal hygiene and cleansing. Different to prevalent bathing rituals, Turkish hammam takes the individuality factor out of the equation. Where the practice served an equally significant social value and was a communal gathering that brought locals together for lighthearted or serious conversations.
The marble bathhouses first originated in Arabia, and were later made prevalent by the Turks who mimicked this practice later merging the concept with that of the Romans. Traditionally, Turkish hammam was a building with several chambers and a large center containing a fountain of hot steamy water. In modern days, the Turkish hammam still has these architectural qualities and remains a popular activity scattered all across the neighborhoods of Turkey.
History of Turkish Hammam
The concept of public bathing spaces originated in Arabia, but the Turkish hammam blended in qualities from the Roman Thermae. Unlike the Turkish hammam, Roman Thermae could be a private or public bathhouse; the latter usually provided for the imperial segment and elites of society. The concept the Turkish Hammam took from the Roman Thermae is the rooms with a heat gradation alternating between cold, warm, and hot, with allocates rooms for undressing.
The Turkish hammam had an exquisitely intricate plumbing architecture where a boiler connected to a waterway such as a river produces hot water and steam. Whereas hot air and smoke are channeled through an underground pipe.
The visitors of the Turkish bath had an experience of relaxation where same sex staff would rub their bodies with soap followed by a scrubbing session that removes dead skin. The session ends with bathers washing off with warm running water.
Benefits of the Turkish Hammam
The benefits of the Turkish bath have remained the same as the practice evolved to involve more luxury twists that make the experience exceptional.
1- Removes Toxins
Steam rooms, saunas, Turkish hammam, and any facility that places the body in a hot environment has a detoxifying effect. Research shows that increasing body temperature activated the body’s fever response. The body assumes it’s under infection and in turn produces more white blood cells strengthening the immune system.
Similarly, the act of sweating in general is beneficial for the body. The turkish bath hammam is known for encouraging sweating which improves circulation around the body and removes toxins and harmful chemicals found in the organs, blood, and tissues. It also removes excess salt from the body which alleviates bloating and prevents the formation of kidney stones if you regularly take a Turkish bath.
The steamy environment in a Turkish bath also increases the metabolic rate of the body.
2- Activating HSP
HSP is short for heat shock proteins and they are multi-purpose elements that in the long run give the body significant benefits.
The body begins to produce these proteins as soon as it senses a thermal environment. These proteins have a healing power where they can repair and recycle damaged cells as well as increasing their longevity by strengthening their resistance to future damage. In fact, these heat stress proteins help with DNA repair, activating stem cells, and even reducing the risk of tumor formation.
These HSP’s have also been found to have a major role in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. People with a family history of diabetes are encouraged to use Turkish hammam more regularly. Where the spike in HSP produced by the Turkish hammam help correct insulin resistance by stimulating insuline sensitivity.
In a study involving diabetic mice, HSPs had a 31% decrease in the insulin levels of the mice over a 3 month period of 3 sessions per week. This is similar to the effects of a Turkish bath.
3- Skin Purification
Turkish hammam offers benefits that cover both the health and aesthetic aspect. The heat in a Turkish bath opens the portes of the skin and through sweating helps the body get rid of toxins. But the act of sweating in it self stimulates skin renewal. The changes on the skin after a Turkish bath are immediately visible, it helps the body shed the layer of dead skin giving it instant brightness.
Consistently going for this practice will improve skin elasticity giving it a rejuvenating effect.
4- Mental and Physical Relaxation
The Turkish hammam has a similar impact to exercise and helps the body de-stress both mentally and physically. The high heat puts you in a relaxed state by loosening muscle tension and the increased circulation feeds the brain cells. All of which helps you declutter from the boisterousness of real life.
How often Should You Go for a Turkish Hammam?
Health practitioners recommend a Turkish hammam on a regular basis to maintain the benefits. But the key here is to not overdo it. Typically once or twice a week would make for a beneficial routine that allows your to obtain the long term effects such as insulin sensitivity and tumor suppression without reversing the benefits.
The easiest way to incorporate this in to your routine, is to reside somewhere near the facility. Many residential robe ta in Turkey offer a Turkish hammam which brings the community closer while helping you easily get into the habit.
It makes the turkish bath easily accessible where you can find luxury bathing houses just under the building. Early morning or late at night, visiting the hammam would be a breeze. Contrary to committing to the schedules of off-site hammams where you are likely to commute and get stuck in traffic on the way to and from.
Some Options for Property in Turkey that have Turkish Hammam
Turkish bath is an ancient practice that merges the perks of both Arabian bathhouses and Roman Thermae producing an intricate architectural building with cave-like chambers circulating a fountain. The marble bathhouse offers sitting places where visitors can engage in social activities and chatters bonded by a practice that is typically an individual activity.
The hot and steamy setting of a Turkish hammam stimulates many health benefits for the body. Where it triggers the production of important proteins that help the body regenerate new cells, recycle damaged cells, detoxify the body, manage insulin resistance, and promote tumor suppression. The turkish bath also calms the mind, relaxes the muscles, and removes dead skin, and correct hyperpigmentation.
The use of natural soaps helps hydrate the body and couples with a cup of Turkish Cay, becomes the perfect way to either start the day or seal it. All of which makes it a sacred tradition in the rich history of the Ottomans one that had to be passed down from on generation to another.
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