Thalassotherapy, a gift for body and soul

From ancient times until today, in our country we have developed a very close relationship with the sea. If you ask a Greek living abroad what is the first thing that reminds him of his homeland, he is most likely to talk to you about the endless blue of the sea.

However, although contact with seawater is a part of our lives, especially during the summer months, there are many things about the sea that we do not know or underestimate. One of these is the use of seawater for therapeutic purposes.


The healing properties of the sea and the ancient Greeks

Thalassotherapy is a whole branch of medicine, relatively unknown in Greece, which has multiple benefits for our skin, body and psychology. If some or some of you think it is a "postmodern" concept, that is a discovery of recent times, you should know that the use of the sea for therapeutic purposes goes back to time, especially in our country and in other neighbors people.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was the first to deal with the healing properties of seawater and sea breeze. It is no accident that the Asclepius, these hospitals of ancient Greece were next to or near the sea.

In the texts of Herodotus, thalassotherapy has been recorded as a method of treating diseases. "The sea is always killing people," Euripides said in the tragedy of Iphigenia or Tauri, which means "the sea cleanses all the bad of the people."


The secrets of thalassotherapy

This ancient saying was confirmed hundreds of years later in Europe and became an alternative medical method. Towards the late 19th century, French scientist Rene Quinton scientifically demonstrated that seawater has the same composition as blood plasma. Shortly thereafter, the first treatment centers based on sea water were created.

By thalassotherapy, we mean the use of seawater and its derivatives such as seaweed, sea mud and various other products derived from it for therapeutic and aesthetic purposes, for relaxation, wellness and longevity.

Seawater contains all the minerals found in nature and our body. Separate position holds iodine, but dozens of other ingredients (magnesium, calcium, sodium, etc.).

The most obvious thing is that swimming in sea water can facilitate the circulation of blood in our body, since entry and exit of water is equivalent to a kind of cardiovascular exercise. Because of the lift, this type of exercise is done without much effort and stress of the body. If sea water is heated to 38 degrees Celsius, it can help with rheumatism by helping the joints to regain their elasticity.

The elements available to seawater help to detoxify, eliminating the toxins present in the human body.
Another property they have is stimulating the immune system, which is due to their antibiotic and antibacterial action.
Another contribution that the sea has to our health is the treatment of allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and other similar conditions. This is because seawater cleans the sinuses.
Equally beneficial effects are the sea breeze for respiratory diseases.


Psychology and aesthetics

The splash of waves and generally the sound of the sea relax our minds. In addition, some seawater components enhance the levels of certain substances in the brain such as serotonin, melatonin and tryptamine associated with many psychological disorders.

Of course, as we wrote at the beginning, thalassotherapy can also be used for aesthetic reasons. Marine salts remove the dead cells of the epidermis, restore collagen and our skin becomes shiny.

The seaweed's therapeutic elements are found in seaweed, but in much higher concentrations. There are more than 20,000 species of algae in different colors (blue, red, green) that are transformed into toiletries, facial and body masks, and more. They are mainly used for tightening and hydration, with very good results in cellulite.

In mud-therapy, the role of sea water is played by the seawater, which has a muscle relaxing effect and is rich in minerals. Due to its ability to hold a lot of heat, the mud dilutes the pores of the skin and leaves its components to penetrate in depth. Mud baths are for many diseases, especially for arthritis.

Thalassotherapy can be done in spa, wellness centers and tourist resorts all over Greece. Specialized centers offer at relatively affordable prices the beneficial properties of seawater and its derivatives.

If you want to stay away from homemade warmth, there are hundreds of products that offer the feel and benefits of the sea. A very inexpensive and relaxing solution is to fill your bathtub with warm water and add seaweed, a few spoonfuls of seawater and a few drops of some essential oil.

Thalassotherapy is contraindicated in some cases, especially when the person is suffering from renal failure, cardiac problems, thyroid dysfunction, and some dermatoses.




By Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology

insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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