The Strategies Of A Traditional Moroccan Hammam Expertise

If you at any time visit Morocco (or Barcelona for that make a difference) then enjoying a hammam is an crucial vacationer experience, but for the newcomer the phrases hammam, gommage and rhassoul could leave you perplexed and nervous as you step into the common baths.

But even for the expert customer, the tkissila, an outstanding magic formula acrobatic massage handed down through households and practised in only a pick couple areas in the entire world, can take the hammam working experience to a new degree.

Below, I just take you via the diverse stages of the common experience, and divulge the insider secrets of the tkissila for the extra adventurous spa website visitors.


I have been confused by this description, as it is usually explained as a Turkish steam bathtub. Our lodge in Barcelona for illustration was explained as getting a hammam, which was actually a sauna and a steam space. Will not get me improper, they had been fantastic, but not what I anticipated.

In Morocco and Barcelona our hammam was a very hot place, with a drinking water supply, so it was somewhere amongst a sauna and a steam area. The hammam in Barcelona also had a incredibly sizzling steam room, a plunge pool, rain showers and Arabian water bowls and sinks, so that you could relax and refresh by yourself.

In the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech you essentially lie on the flooring to let the warmth rise up by way of the mat into your overall body.

Hammams are seriously pleasurable – in particular when it is really chilly outdoors – but you do have to recall to consume loads of water – most will give you bottles of drinking water to just take in if you like – or deliver your personal.

Some hammams are blended, necessitating swimwear, and other individuals are single intercourse the place you can go bare – but usually examine first – some one sex kinds continue to involve swimwear.

If in question inquire specifically what the aspects are – will not be embarrassed, they all appear to be various!

Classic Gommage

Virtually an exfoliation (in French), in common hammams this suggests that somebody will initial wash you, ordinarily with savon noir (black soap) – which is a stunning ritual and then use a gommage or scrubbing glove to scrub all the dead skin off your overall body.

When we went to a hammam in Agadir, Morocco, we imagined that there would hardly be any dry skin still left – soon after 3 days on the seashore. Also we have been a minor bit nervous by some of the stories from individuals who experienced experimented with hammams somewhere else – so we questioned for a gommage doucement – a gentle scrubbing.

She scrubbed so tough it was in fact on the edge of becoming unpleasant, which I thought a bit needless, until she scrubbed my forearm and I saw rolls of useless pores and skin sloughing off. It grossed me out and I assumed how soiled the Moroccans ought to feel we are – they do this the moment a week!

Whilst in some spots you can keep on your bikini and/or paper knickers, actually I say what is actually the level? Soon after 2 minutes I was not conscious if she was scrubbing my boobs or my again. Speaking of which, it is the very best back exfoliation I have at any time had. I often get an itchy patch among my shoulder blades – she just scrubbed it correct off – leaving it clean and delicate.

For the future handful of times I could not enable running my arms around my pores and skin. And I ongoing scrubbing at residence with a glove I purchased in Agadir – seeing the dead skin in fact coming off on the glove! Regrettably it fell apart – so I am now on the lookout for a serious gommage glove in the Uk – but no luck so considerably!

I have read that gommage is not suited for men and women with delicate skin – but I have very sensitive pores and skin and I adore it and come to feel it only does my pores and skin excellent.

A classic gommage will go away your pores and skin so easy you will not be capable to halt stroking it.


Rhassoul is a style of therapeutic mud. And a rhassoul treatment method is mainly when, typically after a gommage, you are smothered in rhassoul mud, left to “bake” for a although in a hammam, and then washed down.

It can be a minimal scorching, and if it is your very first time in a hammam I would essentially advise you give this a skip – maybe build up to it, as a great deal of treatment plans in 1 go can dehydrate you – if you have not drunk enough h2o or just merely mainly because of the detox outcomes of the massage.

I have savored the therapy but haven’t genuinely found much of a particular outcome – but it does scent good.


Tkissila (also sometimes composed as Teksilla, Teskssila and Tkssila) is an historic form of Moroccan therapeutic massage, which I realize is now only practised by two brothers, descendants of a long line of practitioners, in Marrakech.

A cross between a therapeutic massage and the form of manipulation you could possibly receive from a physiotherapist, the actuality that it is accomplished on a heated floor means that muscles are now peaceful and it is much simpler.

I seasoned this at the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech. When you enter the true hammam, you is not going to uncover opulent, vibrant mosaics or indeed a steam area or heated benches to sit on.

If you come to a decision to choose for just a therapeutic massage, as my sister did, then you can go bare, as the masseur is woman, but, if you choose for the regular tkissila (pronounced as in tuxedo – tuxila), then remember to make sure you have on your bikini (and make positive it’s a sturdy one particular!)

My masseur and his brother are masters of the artwork of Tkissila, descendants of a lengthy line of practitioners and this is a person of only two spots I comprehend you can have this procedure (his brother operates following doorway at the extra highly-priced spa).

So… very first I was lead by the woman in demand to a uncomplicated brown mobile and requested to sit on what appeared like a yoga mat on the floor.

It could not be everyone’s cup of tea to have huge buckets of heat drinking water thrown over them, but supplied you preserve your mouth closed it can be alternatively like currently being in a great heat waterfall.

She grabbed the black cleaning soap with eucalyptus efficiently soaped me up and remaining me lying on the flooring.

I was a bit disappointed. No steam, no stylish bench, no funky mosaics, just some refined, great lights. It didn’t seem like the most effective spa in the earth. It took me a even though to realise that the warmth in the place was actually coming up as a result of the floor and lying down, my entire body was slowly and gradually setting up to rest.

That is when my masseur came in. Right after a couple of times of covering up from neck to ankle I experienced been a small knowledgeable of my bare legs at lunch. All of a unexpected I was in a little brown cell with a Moroccan gentleman in nothing but a pair of bathing shorts (and I was in my bikini!) But it did not essentially sense unusual when he slipped on his Palais Rhoul gommage glove and started to scrub me all above.

Contrary to my experience in Agadir a couple of several years in the past this scrubbing wasn’t rough at all, but I could see the rolls of useless skin sloughing off. In accordance to my masseur, the affordable gloves (about 20 dh – £1.50) I would acquired in the marketplace have been useless, his sort of glove was a lot much better high quality (about 50 dh – £4) and exfoliated all the useless, soiled skin with out hurting at all. (He offered me with it at the close way too.)

Just after the gommage, he received down to enterprise. It is really amusing, past 12 months I observed a physio who had manipulated my spine and there were times when, even completely clothed, I felt really awkward about acquiring my foot on a guy’s shoulder even though he pulled my leg in the other course. I in fact felt very comfy with it this time all around. Even when I was lying confront down and he was pulling my hips in the air. There were being clicks, a bit of tightness, but very little distressing or even really unpleasant, though I feel I did sometimes breathe in or out in the wrong areas.

Then it obtained bizarre.

My masseur lay down on the mat, his knees pointing up and this is when he asked me to sit on his knees.

I am happy I speak French or this could have been a quite unique assessment.

A single minute I was balancing on my base on his knees, the future I was flying, watching the space go whizzing previous, not quite absolutely sure any more which way was up. All of a sudden I realised why, as the remarkable shape of the doorway flew by, this is a really muted place. If there had been heaps of colors I would have almost certainly acquired dizzy!

When my feet landed on the floor I was giggly. Then he designed me do it once more – this time backwards. I sat struggling with his ft and leant backwards. Anyone who has at any time done that have faith in physical exercise of slipping backwards will understand that I felt elated and ridiculous at the identical time.

At the end I was guffawing and astonished, as substantially by the actuality that I experienced performed it and appreciated it as by the practical experience alone.

He sat me down on the floor and washed me all around, like my hair with orange flower blossom goods. When we ended up all done he rough dried my hair, tied my dressing gown up for me and explained to me I would snooze like a baby that evening.

I sat down for a whilst on the bench by the pool, until eventually the lady masseur arrived to locate me and give me my final relaxing massage (ditching my damp bikini).

Would I do it once again? I am not positive if it truly is a frequent one for me, or a when in a lifetime (our taxi driver reported it need to be 2 times a week!) and I do not think it would be for anyone. When she’d finished she remaining me by yourself in the place so that I could fully take it easy – and it was so hard to get up when she did come back again!

Though my masseur explained the regular regional hammam, gommage and massage as “for the tourists” you can find some thing pretty about that experience way too, and undoubtedly just one I would suggest. But I am so glad that I attempted the tkissila way too. It was absolutely an eye opener and a new stage of practical experience for me.

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