The Turkish Hammam is a popular form of bathing enjoyed by many in the modern day and age. But you may be wondering: what exactly is involved in the Turkish Hammam? What makes it different from other bathhouses or bathing techniques? In this blog, we are answering some of the questions you may have about the Turkish Hammam.
About Turkish baths
The Turkish Hammam evolved by combining Roman and Ottoman bathing habits when the Ottomans took over Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul). The Turkish people named the bathing ritual ‘hammam’, which means bath, or ‘spreader of warmth’.
Traditionally, a Hammam will have three rooms that connect to each other for separate purposes. These are known as the camekan, a hararet, and a soğukluk:
- An entrance hall that is warm, where you can fully or partially undress and use a towel (sometimes known as a peştemal) to cover yourself.
- A hot room, usually domed, with raised marble platforms on which you can lie and receive an intensive scrub with an olive oil soap from your masseur, or tellak.
- Soğ This is a cool room where you can unwind after your treatment, rehydrate and relax.
What can you expect from the bath?
Potential separation from the opposite sex
Depending on how traditional the Hammam is, the first thing you may notice is that there are separate areas for males and females, or that males and females use the Hammam at alternating times. Another thing that may be clear if the Hammam is more traditional is that the masseur will be same-sex.
It is good to be prepared for the customs before entering a Hammam. One of these customs you may encounter is nudity. Some people prefer to be fully naked, while others remain partially clothed – usually with their bathers on. In any case, you should only do what you feel comfortable with, however, a same-sex attendant may help you feel more at ease.
While other saunas tend to use dry heat, the Turkish Hammam is hot, humid, and quite literally steaming. Temperatures may even reach up to 50 degrees Celsius. At first, you will generally enter the hararet (main room) before your masseur and wait for ten or so minutes. This allows your pores to open and your skin to sweat, which will make the bathing process easier.
Part of Turkish Hammam is assisted bathing. In this step of your experience, your masseur will give you a vigorous olive oil scrub to remove dead skin cells. Your masseur may incorporate the Kese, or Kessa, mitt. This is a rough mitten that helps to exfoliate your skin. Your masseur will then rinse away the soap using clean water.
The benefits of a Turkish Hammam
The Turkish Hammam holds a number of benefits. Some of these include:
- Detoxified skin
- Smooth skin after the exfoliation process
- Stress relief
- Released muscular tension
Where to experience a Turkish Hammam in Victoria
In Victoria, there are a few different wellness centres or spas where you can experience the Turkish Hammam. Two popular hotspots for the Hammam include:
- The Amara Wellness Centre: Located in Brunswick, the Amara Wellness Centre has a number of available Turkish Hammam packages.
- The Peninsula Hot Springs: Located on the Mornington Peninsula, the Hot Springs are set in beautiful, relaxing surrounds. They offer a Turkish Hammam package that is therapist-assisted. For 60 minutes, your experience at the Hot Springs will involve olive oil treatment using the Kese (Kessa) mitt, as well as bathing in the bathhouse. For bathing only, your basic Hot Springs bath house ticket will include access to the Turkish Hammam.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Don’t let the relaxation of your day at the Peninsula Hot Springs be preceded by a stressful journey to Mornington. The last thing you want is to worry about arrival times, traffic and parking. Instead, consider booking a shuttle to the Hot Springs so that these factors are already taken care of. Our shuttles operate on a pick-up, drop-off service that is organised before the relaxing day so that when it comes around, you don’t have to worry about anything. Simply get in touch with us to organise a shuttle today on 1300 55 86 86.