10 July 2019
The Mental Health Benefits of Hammam Massage
Stiff necks, sore backs, sprained limbs – there are few discomforts a Marrakech hammam treatment can’t improve. But one of the biggest benefits of visiting a hammam in Marrakech is not for its bodily healing. Rather, it’s for its mental and emotional health benefits.
In our increasingly stressful world, both young and old rely on various tools ranging from prescription medications to meditation to relieve their burdens. But the hammam is a powerful aid for boosting one’s mental health. If you’re planning to visit Marrakech in the near future, be sure to visit a hammam. It will give you a clearer mind in ways you may never have expected.
Massage & Touch of Hammam Release “Feel-Good” Chemicals
The autonomic nervous system triggers a release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in “crisis” events. That doesn’t have to mean running from lions or anything dramatic. The hustle and bustle of city living, for example, can leave you in a perpetual state of hypervigilance – your “flight-or-fight” response. Over time, a sustained level of stress hormones depletes neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, both of which affect your mood and wellbeing for worse.
The deep pressure and touch of a skilled practitioner regulate the autonomic nervous system so that the levels of stress hormones in your body drop. More importantly, touch has been shown to release several “feel-good chemicals”. They include neurotransmitters such as endorphins, oxytocin (a.k.a “the love hormone”) as well as serotonin and dopamine. Higher levels of these chemicals will brighten dark moods and reduce troublesome complaints such as racing thoughts and brain fog.
Many who visit the hammam report feeling a profound sense of increased well-being, a result that comes from the touch of hammam practitioners.
Essential Oils Used in Hammam Heal the Mind
Aromatherapy and the essential oils used for this modality have become trendy both commercially and in the media. Essential oils have shown potential to improve one’s mental health in various studies, although the use of these natural compounds has been used for that reason for centuries.
Essential oils work on the brain by stimulating the olfactory system, the part of the brain connecting to one’s sense of smell. The molecules of these oils enter the nose or mouth into the lungs (which can bring about respiratory benefits) and then other bodily organs.
Some of these molecules invariably reach the brain and interact with the limbic system, which is linked to our emotional processing. The organic compounds of these oils yield a positive effect on these brain centres, which can reduce feelings of stress, brighten moods and promote an overall sense of well-being.
Some notable oils that we use at Farnatchi Spa and show benefits to one’s mental health include:
- Neroli Oil – Shows promise in relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Geranium Oil – Shows promise in relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Lemongrass Oil – An increasingly popular remedy for stress and anxiety.
The potent fragrances of these essential oils are magnified and carried by the steam in the hammam, making them more effective in reaching the brain. These essential oils, when inhaled, (and applied on the skin) will balance out your body’s hormones and stimulate the cellular processes required for full-body wellness.
Indirect Mental Health Benefits of Hammam Massage
The hammam massage may benefit your mental health in more subtle, indirect ways, as well. The human body and its various systems are interconnected. For example, researchers have discovered that one’s gut health and detoxification ability play a role in our mental wellness.
Massage therapy improves digestive efficiency, promoting better absorption of minerals and elimination of toxins. Since nutrient absorption and toxin removal is essential to your mental health, hammam massage can contribute to improved feelings of wellness in this regard.
Additionally, massage therapy – hammam procedures included – improves lymphatic drainage, another bodily process which helps eliminate toxins. The drainage of these toxins can relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, especially in people suffering from chronic conditions such as cancer or fibromyalgia.
The Hammam: Your Healing Gateway to a More Peaceful Mind
Life today is no doubt stressful. Even when you’re able to escape for the hustle and bustle of it all, a vacation can still take a toll on you.
With that said, don’t let life bog you down here in Marrakech. By taking part in a hammam massage, you will experience its ability to heal your mind and promote a sense of relaxation that may seem hard to achieve otherwise. Ultimately, you will leave feeling refreshed and re-energized.
Ready to experience a deep sense of relaxation here in Marrakech? Get in touch with us and book a session at Le Farnatchi Spa.← Back to all posts