How Is a Back Massage Performed?

The Turkish bath or hammam is similar to the Scandinavian sauna, but closer to the Roman hammam. It is based on the same principles as a steam bath, but the focus is more on water than steam. Although the Turkish Hammam is still an important part of Turkish culture, it is an activity performed for both purification and relaxation.

The Ottoman Turks inherited the Roman bath concept as it existed in Asia Minor and adapted this concept to the Turkish culture and lifestyle, giving this activity the name “hammam”. In traditional baths, women's and men's sections are separated, but the activities performed are similar. Nowadays, Turkish people usually prefer to take a shower in their own home, but the hammam is still an important part of the culture, it is both a place of purification and relaxation.

Turkish hammam, which is an indispensable element of Turkish culture, is a traditional activity dating back to the Ottoman Empire. In addition to cleansing and cleaning in the Turkish bath, it is possible to take advantage of many services. One of these must-haves is back massage. Back massage increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. It helps to relieve pain and stiffness. It can also help prevent wounds. Back massage applies pressure to some parts of the back relieving and relaxing the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

What Are the Benefits of Back Massage?

Massages are considered a section of integrative medicine, which is preferred along with traditional medicine. The benefits of back massage performed in Turkish baths can be listed as follows:

  • Reducing stress
  • Relaxation
  • Improvement in circulation and feeling more alert and energetic
  • Low heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improvement in immune system function.

Back massage is an ideal application especially for headaches, neck and upper back pain. At the same time, having a back massage helps to improve the quality of sleep and reduces the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Why Back Massage?

Many people prefer back massage as a relaxation, stress relief and even pain relief. The reason is that the back is subject to tension for the most of the time and there are many types of massage that can be beneficial for this area.

Back massage may be a great way to end a long day or week but it is also beneficial for a better sleep quaility. Back massage is also great at relaxing certain areas that are causing pain or discomfort. Relaxation massage is recommended for those who are looking for a more relaxing, slow and stress-relieving massage. This type of massage typically doesn't apply a lot of pressure, but it's a great way to relax the body. It is possible to see many types of massage in Turkish hammams. You can benefit from the massage service that is most suitable for you by contacting the bathhouse attendant and stating your discomfort.

How Is a Back Massage Performed?

The following steps are followed in back massages performed in Turkish hammams:

  • Lotion, oil or lanolin are used for massage.
  • The bath attendant applies a small amount of warm lotion or oil to his/her hands.
  • To help the person relax, the bath attendant moves his/her hands slowly during the massage.
  • Then lower back massage is done. Both hands are placed on both sides of the spine and the massage is applied towards the shoulders.
  • Circular movements are used while moving the hands upwards. A pressure is applied firmly with thumbs.
  • Same motion continues starting from the shoulders as well.
  • More lotion is added if necessary.

Things to Consider During the Back Massage

The bathhouse attendant checks whether there are any wounds or redness on the person's skin before performing a back massage. Suitable method is used during the massage. If a person says that they feel numbness or tingling in their arms or legs, no pressure is applied to that area. The attendant stops using lotion if it causes a redness or itching.