Turkish bath: the benefits and differences with the sauna

Turkish bath: all the incredible benefits (even for weight loss) and the differences with the sauna

Image Source: Photo by Sabine Lange from Pixabay

The Turkish bath it is a treatment appreciated all over the world for its beneficial effects, a water vapor-based wellness path, which has its roots in a very distant past.

He comes often confused with the sauna, but compared to it, it actually has very different characteristics.

But exactly what is the difference between a sauna and a Turkish bath? And what are the benefits of this treatment? Let’s take a closer look at this practice, also known as steam room.

What is the Turkish bath?

Often referred to as hammam, the Turkish bath is a hydrotherapy treatment that involves exposing the subject to high temperatures (around 50 degrees) and to a high level of humidity (which can reach 100%), thus favoring significant sweating.

We can find information about this type of treatment already in the times of the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks, where these baths were considered effective to invigorate the body and spirit.

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the Arabs adopted the tradition of the Turkish bath, renaming it with the name of “hammam”, which literally means “to warm”, while maintaining its main characteristics.

What is the difference between the sauna and the Turkish bath?

As we have mentioned, many people mistakenly think that sauna and steam room are the same type of treatment. In reality we are faced with two very different paths.

First of all, the Turkish bath was born in the Mediterranean areas, while the sauna has Finnish origins. The sauna takes place in a room covered with pine wood, inside which you can find benches positioned at different heights, according to your preferences.

The Turkish bath on the other hand is lined with marble or stone walls. It is a very humid environment, which requires proper and frequent sanitization. You will find Turkish baths made of ceramic or made with other materials. Many people choose to have a Turkish bath made at home, to benefit from the beneficial effects whenever they want.

Diverse temperature

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One of the substantial differences between sauna and Turkish bath, in addition to the aesthetic aspect and the materials used, also concerns the different temperatures provided for in the two treatments. During the sauna it can reach 80-100 ° C, while during a Turkish bath session the perceived temperature is lower, from 20 to 50 degrees, but the humidity levels are higher.

In fact, in the sauna you perceive very dry air and the humidity levels do not exceed 15% -20%, while the Turkish bath is characterized by a humidity of 90-100%.

What are the benefits of the Turkish bath?

At this point you may be wondering what the Turkish bath is good for. We have seen that this treatment promotes sweating and relaxation of the body, but it is believed that the path can offer many other benefits as well.

Let’s see below what are the benefits of the Turkish bath.

Improve blood circulation

It is believed that, thanks to the action of heat, the treatment is able to promote dilation of blood vessels and to stimulate blood circulation. As we will see later, the Turkish bath is however not recommended for those suffering from diseases of the cardiovascular system and high or low blood pressure.

Purifies the skin

The turkish bath favors theelimination of toxins and allows you to open the pores of the skin, thus eliminating dead cells. For greater effectiveness, massage the skin with a horsehair glove, in order to stimulate cell renewal. At the end of the treatment you will have a brighter, softer and more regenerated skin.

Improve inner well-being

Undergoing such a wellness program can also help you relieve the tension and stress of everyday life. Taking some time for yourself is a great way to find your inner balance and doing it by giving yourself this treatment, allows you to relieve anxiety and depression. This relaxes not only the body, but also the mind, even improving the quality of sleep and the ability to concentrate and attention.

Enhance the Immune System

Relaxation of body and mind, reduction of stress, better blood circulation and the elimination of excess toxins are fundamental elements for the proper functioning of our immune system. So the Turkish bath can also strengthen our defenses.

Helps to lose weight

Feeling better and less stressed leads us to be more active and to follow one lifestyle healthier, triggering a virtuous circle capable of positively influencing many aspects of our life.

When combined with a balanced diet and physical movement, the Turkish bath can also promote the loss of excess fluids. Not surprisingly, after this treatment and after the sauna, you may also feel lighter. The effect is due to the loss of fluids.

It is also believed that the permanence in an environment characterized by high temperatures can favor theacceleration of the heartbeat similar to that seen during moderate physical activity.

How to take a Turkish bath?

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If you have decided to book a Turkish bath session, before undergoing the treatment it will be useful to know the various steps that characterize this path.

Before the treatment

Before starting the wellness program it will be important to drink some water or herbal tea. Avoid eating foods within one hour before starting treatment.

Just before starting, you can take a lukewarm shower to eliminate impurities from the skin and prepare it to absorb all the benefits of this moment of relaxation.

During the treatment

The route is divided into several phases. The first phase lasts about a quarter of an hour or in any case no more than 20 minutes. During this time you will be able to stay in a heated and steamy room (calidarium), where you will have stone or marble benches at your disposal.

After that, you can relax in a less hot room, where you can rebalance your body temperature. Then, you can take a shower or immerse yourself in a tub of scented water. You can repeat the entire cycle several times if you wish.

At the end of this path you can relax for another 20 minutes, during which you could also undergo a relaxing treatment or a massage with essential oils.

Who can’t take a Turkish bath? Contraindications to know

We have seen that the Turkish bath can improve our health in multiple ways and you will most likely be looking forward to experiencing the benefits. However, this treatment is not suitable for everyone.

In fact, some categories of people should avoid undergoing this type of path. Among the subjects for which the Turkish bath is contraindicated there are:

  • People suffering from high or low blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders
  • Patients with Venereal illnesses
  • Subjects suffering from conditions e skin diseases
  • Pregnant women or during the period of Menses
  • Young people still in the age of development
  • People often prone to fainting and dizziness

If you are concerned that the Turkish bath may cause damage to your health, ask your doctor for advice before booking the path to the wellness center.

Furthermore, if during the session you feel a strange throbbing sensation in the temples, it is possible that the body has heated up too much, so it will be advisable to stop the treatment immediately.

During the session it is preferable to remain in a sitting or lying position, with the legs higher than the torso, in order to promote blood circulation. Finally, at the end of the session, rehydrate the body by taking unsweetened and non-alcoholic liquids and drinks, such as herbal teas, water and fruit and vegetable juices.

Source: GreenStyle by www.greenstyle.it.

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