If you at any time check out Morocco (or Barcelona for that matter) then savoring a hammam is an important vacationer working experience, but for the newcomer the words and phrases hammam, gommage and rhassoul could leave you perplexed and anxious as you move into the conventional baths.

But even for the professional visitor, the tkissila, an incredible secret acrobatic therapeutic massage handed down through families and practised in only a pick few areas in the environment, normally takes the hammam working experience to a new degree.

Listed here, I take you through the various stages of the conventional working experience, and disclose the techniques of the tkissila for the extra adventurous spa people.


I have been perplexed by this description, as it is generally explained as a Turkish steam bath. Our hotel in Barcelona for case in point was explained as getting a hammam, which was basically a sauna and a steam room. Do not get me completely wrong, they had been wonderful, but not what I expected.

In Morocco and Barcelona our hammam was a incredibly hot room, with a h2o source, so it was somewhere between a sauna and a steam room. The hammam in Barcelona also experienced a really incredibly hot steam room, a plunge pool, rain showers and Arabian h2o bowls and sinks, so that you could unwind and refresh yourself.

In the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech you basically lie on the floor to permit the heat increase up through the mat into your physique.

Hammams are actually satisfying – specially when it really is chilly exterior – but you do have to bear in mind to drink plenty of h2o – most will give you bottles of h2o to take in if you like – or deliver your have.

Some hammams are blended, necessitating swimwear, and other individuals are one sexual intercourse where by you can go naked – but constantly check 1st – some one sexual intercourse ones nevertheless involve swimwear.

If in question question specifically what the particulars are – don’t be humiliated, they all feel to be various!

Standard Gommage

Literally an exfoliation (in French), in conventional hammams this suggests that another person will 1st wash you, commonly with savon noir (black soap) – which is a gorgeous ritual and then use a gommage or scrubbing glove to scrub all the dead skin off your physique.

When we went to a hammam in Agadir, Morocco, we assumed that there would barely be any dry skin left – after three days on the beach. Also we had been a small little bit fearful by some of the tales from people today who experienced tried out hammams in other places – so we questioned for a gommage doucement – a tender scrubbing.

She scrubbed so tricky it was basically on the edge of staying agonizing, which I assumed a little bit pointless, right up until she scrubbed my forearm and I saw rolls of dead skin sloughing off. It grossed me out and I assumed how soiled the Moroccans should imagine we are – they do this when a week!

Whilst in some areas you can maintain on your bikini and/or paper knickers, actually I say what’s the issue? Following two minutes I was not conscious if she was scrubbing my boobs or my back again. Talking of which, it is the very best back again exfoliation I have at any time experienced. I frequently get an itchy patch between my shoulder blades – she just scrubbed it ideal off – leaving it sleek and tender.

For the following few days I couldn’t assist operating my palms over my skin. And I ongoing scrubbing at dwelling with a glove I purchased in Agadir – seeing the dead skin basically coming off on the glove! Unfortunately it fell aside – so I am now on the lookout for a serious gommage glove in the British isles – but no luck so far!

I have read that gommage is not acceptable for people today with sensitive skin – but I have really sensitive skin and I like it and feel it only does my skin good.

A conventional gommage will leave your skin so sleek you will never be capable to stop stroking it.


Rhassoul is a form of therapeutic mud. And a rhassoul remedy is generally when, generally after a gommage, you are smothered in rhassoul mud, left to “bake” for a while in a hammam, and then washed down.

It can be a small incredibly hot, and if it is your 1st time in a hammam I would basically recommend you give this a pass up – probably make up to it, as a great deal of treatments in just one go can dehydrate you – if you have not drunk ample h2o or just simply due to the fact of the detox outcomes of the therapeutic massage.

I have enjoyed the remedy but have not actually observed considerably of a unique outcome – but it does scent wonderful.


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

A cross between a therapeutic massage and the kind of manipulation you could get from a physiotherapist, the actuality that it is performed on a heated floor suggests that muscular tissues are by now calm and it is considerably much easier.

I professional this at the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech. When you enter the actual hammam, you will never come across opulent, colourful mosaics or indeed a steam room or heated benches to sit on.

If you choose to choose for just a therapeutic massage, as my sister did, then you can go naked, as the masseur is woman, but, if you choose for the conventional tkissila (pronounced as in tuxedo – tuxila), then remember to make positive you don your bikini (and make positive it really is a strong just one!)

My masseur and his brother are masters of the artwork of Tkissila, descendants of a lengthy line of practitioners and this is just one of only two areas I have an understanding of you can have this remedy (his brother performs following door at the extra high-priced spa).

So… 1st I was guide by the woman in demand to a very simple brown cell and questioned to sit on what seemed like a yoga mat on the floor.

It could not be everyone’s cup of tea to have large buckets of warm h2o thrown over them, but delivered you maintain your mouth shut it really is somewhat like staying in a wonderful warm waterfall.

She grabbed the black soap with eucalyptus proficiently soaped me up and left me lying on the floor.

I was a little bit upset. No steam, no sophisticated bench, no funky mosaics, just some delicate, amazing lights. It did not feel like the very best spa in the environment. It took me a while to realise that the heat in the room was basically coming up through the floor and lying down, my physique was slowly and gradually setting up to unwind.

That is when my masseur arrived in. Following a few days of masking up from neck to ankle I experienced been a small conscious of my naked legs at lunch. All of a sudden I was in a small brown cell with a Moroccan guy in absolutely nothing but a pair of bathing shorts (and I was in my bikini!) But it did not basically feel weird when he slipped on his Palais Rhoul gommage glove and started off to scrub me all over.

As opposed to my working experience in Agadir a few years back this scrubbing was not tough at all, but I could see the rolls of dead skin sloughing off. In accordance to my masseur, the low cost gloves (about twenty dh – £1.fifty) I might purchased in the current market had been useless, his kind of glove was considerably superior good quality (about fifty dh – £4) and exfoliated all the dead, soiled skin without the need of hurting at all. (He offered me with it at the conclude way too.)

Following the gommage, he got down to enterprise. It truly is funny, last yr I saw a physio who experienced manipulated my spine and there had been moments when, even thoroughly clothed, I felt really uncomfortable about getting my foot on a guy’s shoulder while he pulled my leg in the other way. I basically felt very comfortable with it this time around. Even when I was lying face down and he was pulling my hips in the air. There had been clicks, a little bit of tightness, but absolutely nothing agonizing or even actually unpleasant, while I imagine I did sometimes breathe in or out in the completely wrong areas.

Then it got weird.

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

I am happy I talk French or this could have been a really various assessment.

One particular moment I was balancing on my bottom on his knees, the following I was traveling, viewing the room go whizzing previous, not very positive any longer which way was up. Suddenly I realised why, as the extraordinary form of the door flew by, this is a really muted room. If there experienced been plenty of colors I might have almost certainly got dizzy!

When my toes landed on the floor I was giggly. Then he made me do it once again – this time backwards. I sat struggling with his toes and leant backwards. Any one who has at any time performed that have faith in work out of falling backwards will have an understanding of that I felt elated and ridiculous at the exact time.

At the conclude I was laughing and impressed, as considerably by the actuality that I experienced performed it and enjoyed it as by the working experience alone.

He sat me down on the floor and washed me all over, which include my hair with orange flower blossom items. When we had been all performed he tough dried my hair, tied my dressing robe up for me and informed me I might snooze like a baby that evening.

I sat down for a while on the bench by the pool, right up until the woman masseur arrived to come across me and give me my ultimate enjoyable therapeutic massage (ditching my wet bikini).

Would I do it once again? I am not positive if it really is a frequent just one for me, or a when in a life time (our taxi driver stated it should really be two times a week!) and I don’t imagine it would be for everybody. When she’d completed she left me on your own in the room so that I could thoroughly unwind – and it was so tricky to get up when she did arrive back again!

When my masseur explained the standard nearby hammam, gommage and therapeutic massage as “for the travelers” there is some thing attractive about that working experience way too, and absolutely just one I would recommend. But I am so happy that I tried out the tkissila way too. It was absolutely an eye opener and a new degree of working experience for me.

Source by Pearl Howie