Here’s another fantastic reason to fall in love with Turkish bath rituals — a hammam spa treatment releases happy chemicals in your brain. Every aspect of hammam, from the meditative steam room experience to the traditional body scrub and massage all trigger the brain to release the fab four feel-good chemicals: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins.
Moroccan and Turkish hammam treatments are a brilliant way to hack the brain into releasing mood enhancing happy hormones and lowering stress levels. The meditative vibe of the hammam steam room helps to release serotonin and increase the production of dopamine. The mindfulness meditation experienced during hammam can aid in decreasing inflammation and stress hormones in the body.
The therapeutic touch involved in a hammam treatment, the body scrub, foam bubble wash and massage all help to release oxytocin and endorphins. These happy hormones lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as calm the nervous system.
The power of the human touch has been much discussed in the era of social distancing. It is well known that physical contact can nurture the immune system, lower blood pressure, decrease stress hormones and release natural pain killing brain chemicals. Go on, give someone a hug! You will both feel better for it.
Research has conclusively held that adults who receive massage boost their white blood cells, which help the body fight viruses and other pathogens, and have fewer inflammatory cytokines associated with autoimmune diseases.
A hammam treatment makes you feel happy and also has many health perks!
Take a look at the Top 10 Hammam Health Benefits here.
All four of these natural body chemicals make you feel good and happy. It’s amazing what the body can do when prompted — and all it takes is a hammam spa day!
The release of this happiness chemical is like giving yourself a reward. Dopamine is the ultimate feel-good neurotransmitter and you can hack it with self-care activities like taking a walk in a park, soaking up sunshine, and relaxing in a hot Turkish steam room or sauna.
Get in touch with your good friend serotonin through regular mindful meditation and personal reflection. This happiness chemical is all about mood enhancement (and it helps improve sleep and appetite). You can hack serotonin by creating an opportunity of personal satisfaction, like completing a marathon or winning a gold medal, or you can book yourself a Turkish hammam spa day!
When the body releases oxytocin you experience feelings of love and attachment. Even hugging a friend will send this happy chemical surging throughout the body. Physical touch is key to get oxytocin flowing, this is why Moroccan and Turkish massage are so beneficial. Touching, massaging, even petting your cat will help to release this anti-stress hormone and make you feel better.
Hack into your body’s endorphins for the best natural high! These neurotransmitters are released when you do something you enjoy, maybe that’s playing tennis, laughing, or most likely, shopping on the high street! They are commonly known as the body’s natural pain relief; stimulating endorphins can result in a feeling of euphoria (which can help to alleviate pain and depression). If having a full body massage makes you feel good, then you already know how to hack your endorphins. Make massage treatments a part of your personal health care plan and keep those euphoric feelings flowing!
Each of these natural brain chemicals have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. The good effects range from increased sensation of pleasure and satisfaction to decreased anxiety and stress.
Now you know how to hack your body’s happiness chemicals! You can hack them whenever you want, as your brain already has these neurotransmitters just sitting around waiting to be used. Even the most simple activities can boost these happy chemical messengers to your system.
Eating whole foods and taking time to exercise a little every day will help your brain to release dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. Cuddle a baby, hold hands with your partner, or hug a friend and your body will reward you with some happiness in the form of oxytocin. Meditation is another way to reduce stress and feel at ease. A hammam steam room or sauna experience both help with mindfulness meditation as the heat of hammam and sauna relax the body and calm the senses so getting into a mindful state is facilitated by the spa environment.
If you have a hectic lifestyle with little free time for exercise or cuddling you can schedule in health services to keep your body and mind nurtured. You at least owe yourself that! Find yourself a day spa with a range of massage services and book a treatment or two.
Massage is one of the best ways to release those happiness chemicals we all need to survive and feel good. Just the touch of a massage therapist’s hands on your back immediately sends a signal to the brain to release those feel-good friends of yours: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Right away your body starts to relax, your thoughts begin to drift…all because your body’s happiness factory is pumping out the good stuff.
Studies have found that regular massage therapy increases both serotonin and dopamine in the body, and decreases the production of cortisol, the stress hormone everyone hates. Serotonin can be released into the body during a relaxing hammam steam room and massage treatment; it is the hormone that enhances your mood in a positive fashion. Dopamine gets released with self-care activities, and regular massage treatments are ideal for increasing your motivation and improving personal productivity.
Speaking of massage therapy, the largest, most luxurious spa set to open in the UK!
Este Medical Group is bringing the happy to Birmingham with a new day spa and a hammam facility. Este Spa & Hammam will offer both Moroccan and Turkish bath and massage treatments. Find out more here.
For more information on all these feel-good treatments see our spa service menu.
See our guide on Hammam Etiquette: What You Need To Know.