Thalassotherapy is a rediscovered spa treatment based on an ancient belief in the natural healing properties of seawater. The word itself was coined in 19th Century France from the Greek "thalassa" meaning sea and "therapeia" meaning healing. Today, thalassotherapy is used as an alternative treatment for medical conditions and has become a popular tourist attraction for relaxation and stress reduction as well as a favorite method of anti-aging healing by maintaining healthy circulation in the body.
How It WorksThalassotherapy's main objective is to increase blood circulation that is reduced by the depletion of vital minerals caused by stress, poor diet, and pollution. Since the chemical make-up of seawater is so similar to that of human blood, immersions in water when heated to body temperature results in trace minerals and ions such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium sulphates to be absorbed directly by the skin. This not only increases blood circulation but has beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin such as toning and moisturizing.
Thalassotherapy (sometimes referred to as thalasso) also helps to detoxify and nourish skin, as well as to relax the body.
The Benefits of Thalassotherapy
Increasingly, people are turning to thalassotherapy for its anti-aging treatments. It has become a favorite treatment for cellulite reduction both for its effectiveness as well as its calming approach. The causes of cellulite are generally attributed to poor blood circulation and a build-up of toxins, so an overall thalassotherapy treatment can release these agents while providing other benefits. Some of these benefits of thalassotherapy are:
- muscle toning and skin cleansing
- weight loss aided by improved metabolism
- improved cardiovascular functioning
- boosting of the immune system
- improvement of sleep quality
- relief of the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, back and muscular pain, and stress
Thalassotherapy has also been used as an anti-smoking treatment
Types of Treatment
Different forms of thalassotherapy have different effects and the treatment options vary so choosing the one that is right for you can be a fun experience. The most common approach is the seaweed wrap that involves wrapping the body in a combination of seaweed and herb-soaked cloths while resting on top of a thermal blanket. After approximately one hour, the therapist unravels the seaweed and massages the body to increase circulation.
Another option is the thalassotherapy pool in which you wade against a gentle current of seawater. Jet pools are another option along with showers of warmed seawater, application of marine mud or algae paste, and sea fog inhalation.
Where To Find Thalassotherapy
Because thalassotherapy first became popular in France, some of the best spas in the world can be found along its shores by the seawater; thalassotherapy hotels in France are also becoming increasingly popular. Other thalassotherapy locales can be found in Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Morocco, and Tunisia.
It may be difficult at this point to locate a credible spa in the United States, but thalassotherapy products are always available for do-it-yourself home use.
Spa treatments usually range from $100 to $200 per session.