The infirm, the weary, and those seeking renewal of heart and soul have always been drawn to the sea.
The Greeks soaked in hot tubs filled with seawater or lolled in hot seaweed baths. They drank and inhaled seawater for health, enjoyed seawater massages, indulged in facials and body wraps decocted from sea greens, and employed seawater hydrotherapy pools to eliminate toxins.
Today’s upscale spas use seawater to reduce their clients’ stress and tension.
Seawater detoxifies the skin, improves circulation, speeds weight loss, controls cellulite, and eases the discomforts of menopause.
The ocean is a boundless drugstore of good things for physical therapy and good health. It offers us vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements, amino acids, and living microorganisms that secrete antibiotic, bacteriostatic, and hormonal substances that can help balance our metabolism.
Our bodies easily assimilate these substances through skin.
(Did you know that the chemical makeup of seawater is very close to human blood plasma?)
There’s no need to get wet if you want to experience the ocean’s magical benefits. Ocean mist contains gas molecules rich in iodine, which helps regulate the thyroid gland.
Ocean spray (the real thing – not the cranberry sauce) is loaded with negative ions that support the body’s immune defenses. The extremely small ocean mist particles enter the body through the walls of the lungs.
Direct contact with seawater is even more therapeutic. Seawater baths open pores, helping the body eliminate toxins.
Swimming and wading bring us in contact with the sea’s pulsating and massaging waves, with their rare minerals and dissolved gases.
Few realize that the skin is the body’s largest organ, and that it can absorb health-giving chemicals.
Seawater contains enough magnesium to have a calming and nourishing effect on our nerves (which partially explains why sea bathing is so relaxing).
The potassium in seawater encourages good urinary flow. In fact, seawater contains all of the 89 elements present in our bodies, including rare osmium, gold, vanadium, and zinc.
While we swim in the sea, negative ions pass through the epidermis to the dermis, where the capillaries take them up and distributed them to the organs – calcium ions are carried to the bones, while potassium ions are diverted to the muscles.
The therapeutic effects of ocean bathing go far beyond the physical. The sea makes us dream – it promotes feelings of liberation and wanderlust. Our bodies carry evolutionary roots from the sea, and this may explain why we’re drawn to the ocean with an almost mystical power.
I’m guessing you’ve walked on the beach at sundown and seen long lines of people silently standing on the shore, gazing at the sunset for long minutes. The sound of he waves flowing together and crashing promotes a wonderful calmness. The sea has a special power to relax us, relieve stress and pain, renew us, and soothe our hearts and souls.
The ocean’s healing magic goes beyond drugs and prescriptions – it forces us to give it our attention, inviting us to become involved. The ocean draws on the strength of plants, the water that sustains all life, and the mineral salts from which our bodies are created.
Color therapists employ “ocean blue” to balance and enhance verbal and artistic expression, integrity, honesty, loyalty, reliability, gentleness, kindness, commitment, and endurance.
In northern California, we have the blessing of the Pacific Ocean just forty minutes away. When we’re in Hawaii at the Pacific Naturopathic retreat, the pure ocean air wafts constantly through our lives.
I published this article initially many years ago. And as I re-read it, oh my gosh, I feel like jumping in the car and tooling off to Half Moon Bay to explore its sandy shores and tossing surf! Can we meet there!
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