The steam bath has a long history dating back since ancient times. Long touted for several health benefits including muscle relaxation and skin rejuvenation, these houses of sweat have been popular across different cultures throughout history. We will look into the different types of steam baths and the role they have played in world cultures.
A sudatorium, or moist steam bath, was part of most thermae, magnificent buildings that were originally built around hot springs and rivers. Roman baths were built in most major cities in the Roman Empire, and could be described as combinations of gyms, libraries, malls, and restaurants. Rumor has it that whenever a new emperor ascended the throne, he would open the thermae to the public to curry their favor.
When the Turks conquered parts of the Roman Empire, they adopted some of the customs of the vanquished, such as ritual bathing. Their religion put much emphasis on personal hygiene. Turkish baths, or hammams, as the public baths were known, were famed for being places of entertainment and ceremonies. Massage services were also available in these places.
Native American Sweat Lodge
Even before Europeans came to the Americas, the natives were already performing steam baths as part of religious ceremonies. For instance, sweat lodges were used to prepare for the ritual Sun Dance. These lodges were built in complete silence to pay respect to the environment and the materials used. Most Native American groups today are sworn to secrecy about the rituals that take place inside their steam baths.
While not everyone can go to Rome or participate in a Native American ritual, modern technology has made the benefits of steam baths available to everyone. Today’s steam baths are safer, more affordable, and easier to access than ever before. For a steam bath of your own at home, visit Saunacore.com or call 1-800-361-9485.