What is the difference between a sauna and a traditional hammam?

The benefits of heat treatment on the human body are well established. From improving circulation, to detoxifying skin, everything from experience to performance and aesthetics can be improved by regular heat therapy. The sauna and the hammam are the most traditional options for heat/steam treatments and both have centuries of cultural heritage behind them. However, there are some significant differences between the two.

A traditional hammam

Steam and heat. The significant difference between a sauna and hammam is the steam. In a hammam the steam is used as part of the therapeutic process and creates a different atmosphere to the sauna where the heat is dry.

Soothing and relaxing. The combination of steam and heat is renowned for the stress-relieving effect that it has on the human body. A hammam not only enables deep relaxation while you’re using it but can also have a positive impact on sleep depth and quality too.

Massage facility. The traditional hammam is designed to accommodate massage to help de-stress, or to cleanse and energise.

Skin-positive. The steamy environment of the hammam is ideal for renewing and refreshing the skin. Sweating naturally helps to cleanse the skin of bacteria, open pores and remove toxins. The traditional hammam scrub also helps to breathe new life into tired, grey skin.

Rejuvenating and refreshing. Traditionally, the hammam has been a place for scrubbing and massage that is designed to rejuvenate and refresh. Even without a massage therapist on hand, the impact of the steam and heat can make the body feel brand new.

A traditional sauna

Hot and dry. The heat in a sauna is hot and dry so there is no steam like you’d find in a hammam. The type of heat that you prefer will determine whether the sauna or the hammam is the better choice for you.

Detoxifying. The heat of a sauna creates an environment in which your body will start to sweat deeply – it’s much more intense than sweating as a result of light exercise or on a hot day. It’s this deep sweat that flushes the toxins from your body, releasing impurities and making you feel cleansed.

Circulating boosting. The impact of any heat (sauna or hammam) is an increase in the circulation of blood in the body and this has a number of very positive effects. As well as helping the body to relax, increased blood flow intensifies the body’s ability to heal itself.

Immune support. There are a number of studies that have shown regular sauna time can have a positive impact on the immune system, improving resistance to colds and the flu and helping to keep the sinuses clear and healthy.

Anti-inflammatory. The impact of the heat of the sauna can help to reduce inflammation in muscles and joints and promote faster and more effective healing.

At Anasa London we offer a range of luxurious and life enhancing saunas and hammams. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to relax every day or a wellness centre for your home we can help.

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