Our friends in Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico like to visit La Casa Del Temazcal. A Temazcal is a type of sweat lodge, heated with lava rocks, used by the indigenous cultures of Mexico and Central America. It has been around for hundreds of years, since the ancient Mayans and Aztecs walked Mesoamerica. To some visiting a Temazcal involves a sacred and powerful holy ritual, perhaps even a shaman! For my friends and I it is simply a very relaxing steam bath that smells great :-)
The Health Benefits of a Temazcal
Visiting a Temazcal has several health benefits such as reducing stress. After my visit I feel relaxed, warm, and I sleep like a baby. At La Casa Del Temazcal they use lavender herbal waters to steam the hut. The smell alone is enough to calm a person. I love it!
The skin scrubs and mud mask they provide are wonderful for your skin. I have used both a coffee scrub and a lemon scrub. My favorite is the lemon. The mud mask is pretty cool, if you have never tried it before. Although be careful. It could stain your swimsuit! My skin feels amazingly soft for several days after my visit.
Our friends like to go every week because they love the way they feel after a visit to the Temazcal. They claim Temazcals can help, not only with reducing stress and maintaining soft skin, but also with various other conditions like skin disorders, blood circulation, digestion, energy, and even menopause. With my busy schedule I find myself limited on time for steam baths though. I try to visit once a month, which reminds me I haven’t been in quite a while! Guess that needs to go on my to-do list.
Things to Remember When Visiting a Temazcal
Don’t go on discount nights. I took my mom and oldest daughter to La Casa Del Temazcal during Mom’s visit in May. It was supposed to be calm, mother-daughter evening, but our group was filled with loud, obnoxious girls. I was biting my tongue the entire time. This evening was not relaxing! I really wanted Mom to enjoy the experience as this was her first visit to Mexico and to a Temazcal. We went on a discount night. The price was 100 pesos or $6 USD per person. Next time I will pay the regular price of 125 pesos or $7.50 USD, and avoid the noisy crowd.
In the beginning Mom felt claustrophobic in our little stone hut. After promising her she could sit by the entrance and leave whenever she needed, she mellowed out. The huts are short. You are not able to stand in them. This keeps the heat confined. The huts can also feel crowded like I mentioned above, if there are too many people, thus leading to claustrophobia.
Be careful not to become overheated. If you do don’t rise quickly. Instead drop your head down to your knees and take deep breathes. When you feel well enough to rise, go out and get a breath of fresh air and cool off.
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When you visit Mexico and you want to relax and try an authentic, ancient therapy, go to a Temazcal. If you can endure the heat and small spaces, you will enjoy the adventure and have a weird tale to tell your friends back home. Maybe your skin will even feel softer and you will get a great night’s sleep, like me. At least on most occasions ;-) Signing off in South Mexico, Tina