Desert sands and heats are used for curatives purposes as that of “sand baths" which is used by a larger scale of people living in the urban cities. The joint pains, particularly rheumatism, that people living in the urban areas suffer from in the main cities of northern Morocco with a humid climate are healed thanks to these now famous "sand baths". These are practices of immersion in the hot sand during the summer period during which the temperatures are very high.

The hot sand is between 70 to 80° C would absorb the excess moisture contained in the whole body and more particularly that in the bones. This practice has been developing in recent years and affects many urban citizens and tourists from the north countries who come to recover from their bones diseases. A sand bath costs an average of five to ten euros. At its end, to not cool the body too brutally, the "swimmers" are wrapped in a blanket.

Mhamid Elghozlane & Merzouga best sand baths destinations

Morocco’s famous desert places of sand baths are Mhamid Elghozlane and Merzouga. A lot of camping and hotels in the regions are offering sand therapy. The suitable time for the sand bath in those regions is at the beginning and end of the summer because of the high temperature.

The sand is heated by the sun and contributes to the cure of many diseases. The urban populations of the humid Atlantic coastal regions and the cities of northern Morocco are taking care of their joint pains and particularly their rheumatisms in the "sand baths" which have become very famous.

The practice of sand bathing started in Morocco during the late 1980s along with the expansion of Saharan tourism. At that time, the only tourist accommodations were under the tent, which is considered as a special place to live in during your days in the desert, and which offers various attractions, especially the sunset watching and the sand baths enjoyment. The said baths are famous among local citizens before that dates as they used to use it very frequently during summer. The habits of sand baths become familiar after that time to the urban people living in the north region of the kingdom and has also attracted immigrants based outside Morocco.

Sand baths medical treatment need doctor advice

The sand bath in the Sahara Desert is an ancient Berber treatment for curing ailments affecting the joints, muscles, and tendons. It is best performed during the hottest months of July and August. As a tourist destination, the appearance of sand baths in Morocco takes place simultaneously in the Tafilalt and further west in the Saharan region of Mhamid Elghozlane. These two places have in fact undergone formations of significant size. Several interpretations are given as to the origin of these singular cures. The first is provided by the inhabitants of Merzouga and Mhamid who would have invented the practice to attract tourists.

Mhamid and Merzouga are calm during the year, but they are very different in summer because it is a suitable time for sand bathing. People come in groups and families from different cities of Morocco and from all over the world, some of them come especially for the purpose of sand bathing and others for both exploring the region and taking a sand bath.

Prior to taking a sand bath as a form of treatment, it’s advisable to seek the advice of a specialized doctor. Those suffering from blood pressure or other heart-related ailments are advised against taking a sand bath due to the intense heat.

Description of sand baths operation

For the preparation of the bath, a hole is dug in the sand the size of the person taking the bath and about 20 centimeters deep. The hole is left open for half an hour to allow the desert heat to penetrate into the sand. Once sufficiently hot, the person lies in the hole and is “buried” in the sand, obviously leaving the head free. The person spends typically from 10-30 minutes in the bath, during which water is available for quenching thirst.

The "sand baths" are typically organized during the hottest hours of the day; between 11 am and 1 pm. They consist of an immersion of the body in the burning sand (70 to 80° C) which is supposed to absorb the excess of moisture in the body, especially that in the bones. After laying out a small degree in the sand, the patient's guide/assistant invites him/her to lie down and covers it with sand except for the face and chest. It is, therefore, necessary to be seconded. Women are with girls and men are with young men or boys from the village. It is advisable to find a small dune, a slightly sloping surface is necessary because it makes it possible to lie down the slightly elevated head. Finally, the assistant deposits a protective fabric on the face to protect it from the sun and remains next to the SPA for the duration of the bath.