In Merzouga, as in many areas of the Moroccan desert, the sand bath, also known as psammatotherapy, or sand otherapy, is a practice of alternative medicine adopted by many people affected by rheumatism. The sandbath takes its name simply from the method of practice itself, consisting of burying a good part of one’s body in the very hot sand of the Merzouga Sahara.

Disclosed by local residents, it now attracts hundreds of Moroccan and foreign tourists, trusting this practice and its medical benefits. We speak of “health tourism” or “therapeutic tourism“, and this offer is often included in organized travel programs in Merzouga.

Merzouga Bain de sable - Equipe médicale



Psychotherapists will find some benefits against rheumatism and back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, etc. The sandbath does not end to talk about him and the benefits he could spread.

Other benefits of the sand bath are its effects on the treatment of joint problems. It is also a good slimming program that is very effective when it comes to reducing weight.

However, the practice and its benefits have not been subject to serious and thorough research. It is advisable to carry out this immersion of the body in the burning sand with the authorization and with the accompaniment of a doctor.

Therapeutic tourism: Medical excursion to the Merzouga sand baths

An initiative was taken by Dr. Abdellatif Hanaoui: therapeutic excursions to the Merzouga sand baths.

Before starting the treatment, the doctor explains to the patients the steps of the operation and its effectiveness in an equipped bivouac. It then measures blood pressure and heart rate.

The benefits of the sand bath have been observed through the followers. It is a treatment for ailments and not a treatment of diseases. It is an effective natural cure. The importance of the medical side is to avoid certain dangers related to diseases incompatible with this practice, which the adept must know before bathing. There must also be a medical check during the operation. ” Dr. Abdeltif Hanaoui.

Then, towards the Saharan sand of Merzouga, where the holes are already ready and welcome visitors who were buried one after the other. The duration of the sand bath does not exceed 10 minutes. In any case, it must absolutely not exceed 15 or 20 minutes. All of this happens before the doctor’s control during and after the operation.

This first initiative aims to establish a rigorous and controlled method of this therapy, far from the uncertain and imprudent practice that can harm the health of tourists.

Accompagnement médical Bain de sable Merzouga

Warning :

The medical accompaniment must be carried out by a doctor recognized and registered in the National Order of the Doctors.

Many groups promote trips “with medical support” without mentioning the medical team in charge.

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