Temazcal — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
Temazcal is a type of sweat lodge originally used by many of the pre-hispanic peoples of México to cleanse the body, heal the sick, and prepare women for giving birth. Many indigenous peoples in México still use the temazcal today. In recent years, the temazcal has been discovered by many non-indigenous Méxicans and foreigners because of its perceived health and spiritual benefits.
The contemporary temazcal is usually carried out in a one-room dome adobe building with a fire pit in the center or fireplace off to the side. To induce sweating, water containing medicinal herbs is sprinkled on volcanic rocks heated by the fire, filling the room with hot steam. A massage is usually part of the experience as well. Many believe the combination of the the heat, the steam, the herbs, and the massage heals the body by cleansing it of toxins. Most who try the temazcal, even skeptics of its healing or spiritual benefits, describe experiencing feelings of deep relaxation.
For more information, read the article "Temazcal" by Dr. Horacio Rojas Alba.
- Reforma 402, half-block north of Abasolo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; 9 rooms some w/ AC and/or balcony, $75/$85, (s/d); Most major credit cards; phone/fax 951-516-1165; www.lasbugambilias.com.
- Restaurant La Olla, 2-course Mexican gourmet breakfast included, Temazcal, cooking classes, roof-top terrace, multilingual staff, library with over 500 books, sitting room with TV and internet connected computer, access to medical services, non-smoking establishment, tour info, safe, laundry service, babysitter upon request, free local calls and international calls to the US, Canada, Japan, England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and France.
- Room: Fans, wireless, phone.