If you haven’t tried thalassotherapy, you must. Thalassotherapy is an ancient form of healing utilising the beneficial aspects of the sea and the marine environment. The main principle of thalassotherapy is based on the fact that repeated exposure to warm seawater helps to restore the body’s natural chemical balance. It’s not only relaxing it has many health benefits too. The word itself ‘thalassotherapy’ comes from the Greek thalasso meaning sea and therapeia meaning healing or treatment. This ancient healing art has become popular again in recent modern times, with specialist centres established across Europe, including those offered by Into the Blue. Joan Collins and Jennifer Lopez are fans! Thalassotherapy comes in various forms and is designed to cleanse, soothe and revitalise the skin and body. The various treatments are effective in improving circulation and muscle tone, and include mineral-rich showers, seawater pools, and hydro-massage, and seaweed, algae or mud baths and wraps. The use of marine extracts in products used for facials, manicures and pedicures is common. Thalgo is a well-known brand enabling people to benefit from marine algae treatments in the comfort of their own homes. The top 9 benefits of thalassotherapy 1. Re-mineralises the body Seawater is biologically absorbable and contains many elements in the periodic table that are also contained in the body. Thalassotherapy readily provides these essential minerals for the many bodily functions: • Magnesium – essential for the normal functioning of the heart • Calcium – essential for strong bones and teeth • Sodium – helps with circulation • Phosphorus – keeps the brain active • Potassium – utilised in the correct functioning of cells 2. Aids the detoxification process Typically, thalassotherapy involves the immersion of the body in a warm seawater bath while being massaged by pressurised jets. The seawater is maintained at body temperature, which is believed to allow mineral ions to pass into the blood and toxins to leave it. 3. Increases metabolism The absorption of minerals increases metabolism, so thalassotherapy is often used as an adjunctive treatment in weight loss programs. 4. Improves circulation Hydromassage jets are sometimes used to alternately spray hot and cold seawater on the body to promote circulation and benefit the lymphatic system. Seaweed wraps are also used to promote circulation. 5. Beneficial for skin complaints Mineral sea salts are essential for the regeneration of skin cells. Thalassotherapy helps the skin to soften and stay supple. It is beneficial in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne. Seaweed is renowned for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. 6. Helps cellulite Cellulite is generally attributed to poor circulation and a build-up of toxins. The detoxifying nature of thalassotherapy treatments, along with its beneficial effect on circulation contributes significantly to the reduction of cellulite. 7. Helps arthritis Seawater has an analgesic effect, thus reducing pain and has been shown to act beneficially in the treatment of arthritis, and other joint problems. Warm marine mud baths appear to have a positive effect on rheumatism. 8. Helps general muscular problems Many athletes use thalassotherapy to treat sports injuries. Exercises performed in warm seawater baths maintain the suppleness of the body and encourages the release of toxins from muscle tissue. 9. De-stresses and relaxes Hydromassage jets work on the body much like a massage to ease tension and calm the nervous system. The treatment has a relaxing effect on the body. Inadvertently many spa-goers seeking relaxation also benefit from the healing aspects of marine-based treatments. Whether visiting a spa for an afternoon, a day or a weekend break, be sure to check out thalassotherapy as a treatment option. It could do you the world of good. Mike James is an independent writer - specialising in business management and online security. When not working, Mike likes to escape the stresses and challenges of this role by keeping fit, eating healthily and relaxing with water based therapies. Or, as the Romans said: Salus per Aqua (aka 'SPA').