How do I Hammam? Soma Hammam and Spa
Though I’m not always able to carve out time to visit a spa, I’ve always been a fan of massages. Between the regular strength and powerlifting training I do, and working a full-time desk job, I’m normally more series of muscle knots than actual human. That being said, I would hardly consider myself a connoisseur of the types of spa treatments that are out there, though I’m always up to try something new. Naturally, when Soma Hammam and Spa invited me in to try their signature ‘Grande Hammam’ treatment, I of course said yes.
Soma opened the doors to its Seton location at the end of 2015. Though they also offer your standard massage, facial treatments, and mani/pedis, the main focus of this location is around their Hammam treatment, which Soma refers to as a ‘Calgary take on a Turkish cleansing ritual.’
Considered Turkey’s oldest, traditional cleansing ritual, Hammam has evolved through time to become a sought-after spa experience. The ritual draws deep impurities, accelerates blood circulation, releases toxins, and relaxes the mind and body. Considered Turkey’s oldest, traditional cleansing ritual, Hammam has evolved through time to become a sought-after spa experience. The ritual draws deep impurities, accelerates blood circulation, releases toxins, and relaxes the mind and body.
Source: Soma Calgary
The procedure takes place in a heated room, and the usual massage table is swapped out for a heated marble surface. The whole treatment essentially takes place in 3 parts. First; a head-to-toe scrub with a sea salt scrub meant to promote detoxification and exfoliation. Next is a full body wash to rinse off the scrub, which includes a scalp massage and hair wash. (The best. Who doesn’t love scalp massages?) At this point there’s some tea and fruit infused water to quickly refresh, followed a massage that mainly focuses on the back and shoulders caps of the treatment.
Though there are components of Soma’s Hammam that are similar to your more ‘traditional’ massage, I certainly would not describe the treatment as a massage per se. For the Hammam, you bring a bathing suit to wear during the treatment, and the whole treatment is spent lying on the heated marble table in the treatment room. This set up definitely feels a lot different when compared to the cushioned massage tables and heavy blankets you typically experience with massage treatments; don’t be surprised if you feel a little bit more exposed in the Hammam set up. Between the lack of blankets, and the scrub and rinse process that’s part of the treatment, there were certainly a few moments where I felt a bit like a dog at a dog wash! That being said, this treatment is absolutely wonderful. My aesthetician explained everything and made me feel incredibly comfortable, and I left feeling relaxed and with skin that was dewy soft for days afterwards. I would just encourage Hammam first-timers to keep an open mind, and of course discuss any concerns with your aesthetician throughout the treatment.
For those that aren’t feeling as adventurous, there is still lots that Soma Hammam and Spa has to offer. I also had a facial with a mild peel that was excellent, and exactly what you would expect from a more ‘conventional’ spa treatment. Their space is absolutely beautiful, and I would definitely recommend a visit, regardless of your spa adventurousness-level.