THE HAMAM EXPERIENCE
The Turkish bath or hamam is one of those experiences that you know will be appreciated regardless of to whom you recommend it. So, it is with that sense that I write a few words, from first hand knowledge, about one of the nicest ways one can treat and pamper oneself.
If you want to treat yourself to something that you will never forget and most likely repeat as often as possible when vacationing in Turkey. Try spending an hour and a half in a hamam in Kusadasi or Istanbul. It is guaranteed that you will feel as if you are walking on a cloud after you have finished immersing yourself in this delicious activity.
HISTORY: First off, it is a ritualized activity that has been handed down for hundreds of years through numerous generations. Blended from both western influence (Greek/Roman) and eastern Anatolian customs, it has woven the Muslim emphasis on cleanliness and the reverence for water therapy into its character.
It has been used during every milestone in a lifetime. An infant’s first ritual bath, prior to the ceremony of a bride’s wedding day, social gatherings, and mens’ business and political topics were all to be found in the local hamam.
THE PROCESS: The process itself is a combination of heat to open the pores and to relax the body and soul, then a vigorous massage to release tension and toxins from the body, followed by a delightful soap bubble gentle massage to sooth and of course, ample use of water to cleanse and rinse the skin.
RESULTS: Walking out of the hamam feeling invigorated, relaxed, clean both in body and spirit, and feeling an overall greater sense of well-being.
Note: Hamams are totally ethical with the focus of the attendants being on entirely purifying the body and soul with the therapeutic process..