A Temazcal is a pre-hispanic steam-bath that was in common use in mesoamerican cultures. The oldest traces can be found in the archeological zones such as Palenque in Mexico and Piedras Negras in Guatemala.
Its use throughout history has been ceremonial as well as therapeutic. The practice survives today thankfully to the oral tradicion of mexican indigenous communities.
The word "temazcal" comes from the nahuatl language. It means "steam house" (temaz=steam, calli=house).
The Temazcal is a small closed structure. Red hot porous rocks are placed in a center pit over which an infusion of medicinal herbs is poured, producing a curative steam. The symbolism of medicinal herbs represents the destruction of sins and the hot rocks of the Temazcal represent the womb, life's starting place.
The Temazcal we have is build out of adobe, mud and river rocks. It is heated with firewood in order to combine the four elements of nature: earth, water, wind, fire
. Once the fire and water ritual has finished, coming out from the temazcal brings the feeling of have been born again.
The bathers lay quiet and relaxed. They are taked to a herb and smoke ritual to get rid of negative energies, so they can get into the temazcal. After the temazcal comes a bath with room ambient water, then a therapeutic massage lasting about one hour.
¿WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
It is well known that the temazcal acts as a respiratory and digestive debbugger. It tones the skin, reduces stress and anguish. It also improves blood circulation and helps to lose weight, soothes bothersome premenstrual cramps and calms pains after childbirth. The temazcal detoxifies the body and helps in bone and muscle problems through the heat of bath and the healing properties of the medicinal plants used.
You only have to get into the Temazcal to recognize its qualities of spiritual order. The relaxation offered by the experience, encourage introspection, reflection, and a full attention to a dilated perception of time passing. Its features are unique and exceptional, its study encourages and enriches the deep knowledge of the popular wisdom that is fundamental to our history and our particular appreciation of life.