Some coastal spas specialise in thalassotherapy treatments which utilise the health benefits of seawater on the body. In a thalassotherapy spa, seawater is drawn directly from the sea, and sea based products such as seaweed and alluvial mud form the basis of the spa treatments on offer. The fundamental health benefits of thalassotherapy spa treatments are due to the trace elements contained in seawater combined with the benefits of hydrotherapy.
Our hectic lives often result in depleted levels of essential minerals such as potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium and iodide. The body’s plasma is of a similar make up to seawater, so the theory goes that by immersing the body in warm sea water, minerals are able to pass through the skin into the blood stream to enrich it with what it is lacking. The temperature of the water is also important – bathing in warm seawater is much more beneficial than taking an icy dip in the ocean – and much nicer too! The warmth helps open the skin’s pores to further facilitate the absorption of the essential minerals. Although the cited health benefits of thalassotherapy have not been proven scientifically, many swear by its benefits and no one can deny its use to promote relaxation and psychological wellbeing.
Thalassotherapy spas must be within 1000m from the sea’s highest water level and they pump pure seawater in to the spa. They offer a range of facilities including warm ocean pools with water jets, marine mud baths and the options for seaweed or mud body wraps – all designed to purify your skin, relax your body and achieve balance of mind and soul.
An ocean pool has different areas offering different health benefits to your body. In a counter-current walk-through, you walk against a current in warm seawater as water jets massage your legs to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation. Swan-neck showers pour gallons of warm sea water over your neck, shoulders and upper back to release tension and give you that wow factor. Within the pool you can also relax on ergonomically designed seats with water jets targeting your back, or sit in an area reminiscent of a hot tub – lots of lovely seawater bubbles.
In fact thalassotherapy spas compete with one another to offer slightly different equipment all designed to immerse your body in warm sea water and then drench or pummel it with more seawater via jet baths or shower heads.
Away from the pool area, the thalassotherapy theme continues with a variety of marine influenced spa treatments. Body wraps will involve you lying in a warmed spa suite whilst a therapist covers your body in the warmed seaweed or marine mud concoction, and then wraps you up in a thermal blanket to retain the heat. Marine mud is mixed with seawater and applied directly to the body and is well appreciated for its dexotification and anti-inflammatory actions; seaweed acts like a concentrated form of seawater and is applied as a body wrap particularly to remineralise and revitalise the body.
The sea water minerals will help detoxify the skin by drawing out impurities. After being unwrapped, the therapist will massage your body to further stimulate the circulation which helps in the purification process. After a warm shower to remove all traces of the product, your skin will be glowing and you will feel completely refreshed.
The many health benefits of thalassotherapy spa treatments can be summarised as:
· Producing a sense of calm and relaxation, leading to good quality, restful sleep
· Deep cleansing of the skin leaving it radiant and healthy looking
· Improving blood circulation to help minimise the appearance of cellulite
· Improving the body’s metabolic rate and so aiding in weight loss
· Boosting the body’s immune system
· Toning of the muscles
· Helping with chronic back pain and inflammation such as in arthritis
· As an anti-ageing spa treatments as the skin is so effectively detoxified and hydrated
There are many thalassotherapy spas in Europe close to the sea. You can enjoy double the benefits – a range of thalassotherapy therapies within the spa coupled with brisk walks on the beach breathing in that wonderful sea air – one of nature’s most invigorating and refreshing therapies.