Your hair might feel like straw, but the rest of you feels fantastic after a bracing dip in the sea: skin is vibrant, nails look cleaner (and curiously longer), and you feel energised from top-to-toe. So what is it about the sea – ideally combined with sunshine – that makes us feel so well?
Well, there is a science to it. The sea is home to many beneficial elements – it’s full of mineral salts (especially magnesium), precious micro-organisms and nutrients which make it very effective – warm or cold – at preventing, treating or alleviating disorders like rheumatism, stress, heavy legs, skin conditions like eczema and inflammation; it also helps tone skin and detoxify.
The wellness benefits of seawater and marine components date back to antiquity. In 480 BC, Euripides wrote, “the sea heals man’s illnesses.” And Hippocrates, the father of medicine, evokes the beneficial effects of seawater in his Treaty of Medicine. But it wasn’t until the 18th century that the powers of the sea were taken properly seriously as thermal bathing – ‘taking to the waters’ – and thalassotherapy came into being, using nutrient-rich seawater and algae in wellbeing treatments to reload the body with minerals and trace elements which are absorbed through the skin by the process of osmosis.
The mineral magnesium, which seawater is especially rich in, is a real wellbeing warrior. it makes skin glow, eases atopic skin conditions and reduces excess fluid – so it’s helpful to heavy legs and cellulite
Simply swimming in the sea can actively improve your health and wellness not just through the calming immersion, physical exertion that drives blood flow and lymph, and sunshine exposure, but the elements activate the body’s natural healing mechanisms too. The density of micro organisms make sea water unique. Because of the chemical similarity between blood plasma and sea water, ions pass into the body through the skin. The fact that the density of seawater and of human cells is similar means that seawater treatment is more effective than fresh water treatment.
The sea’s endless supply of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, trace elements and micro-organisms have antibacterial effects and can even work as natural antibiotics. These components are easily absorbed by the skin when you swim – or
Even if you don’t fancy a swim and simply inhale sea mist or spray, your lungs will benefit with the negative charged hydrogen ions that enhance wellbeing and cellular health.
Two more reasons to get the flippers and snorkel out: seawater’s rich nutrient mix promotes blood flow too and have antibacterial effects that can even work as natural antibiotics.