What is Thalassotherapy?

The word “Thalassotherapy” comes from the Greek word thalassa, meaning “sea”, which is a type of medical and therapeutic use of sea water and the ocean’s organic byproducts and vegetation such as algae, seaweed or alluvial mud.   The organic properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects on the pores of the skin, as well as restoring natural minerals to your body through osmosis. While the therapy is relatively new to the US, the idea of Thalassotherapy is ancient, although the term and therapy itself was discovered in France during the 19th century.

The elements that are used in this type of therapy are as old as the sea. Such elements include magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and iodide which are all found in seawater and are all absorbed by the skin in showers of warmed seawater, sea mud or algae facials or even a sea fog mist or fog as an inhalent.

There are not many Thalassotherapy spas in the US, but many spas offer a few services such as a seeweed wrap or salt water soak. The Gurney Inn & Spa in Montauk is a true thalassotherapy spa located in New York and has a huge menu of thalassotherapy treatments. These treatments range from everything from Active Green Argilite Mud Therapy, Marine Kur Therapy, Salt Water Massage, Sea Water Herbal Bath to an Algae Slimming Bath and more.

The Cal-a-Vie spa in Vista California offers a Seaweed Wrap which is 105 minutes long and costs $275. This is a signature, 3-phase treatment that begins with a gentle exfoliation made of roots, herbs, minerals and mud devised in
ancient India. Next a nutrient-rich mixture of freeze-dried seaweed, algae and bentonite are appiled before you are wrapped in a warm cocoon of thermal blankets to stimulate tissue toxin release as your face and scalp are soothingly massaged.

Jacuzzi at Cal-a Vie Spa

Jacuzzi at Cal-a Vie Spa

France, where the practice first originated, has more Thalassotherpy spas than any other country and these types of spas are often located close to the ocean so that they have direct access to the ocean. The Elounda Spa & Thalassotherapy at the Blue Palace Resort & Spa in Greece is one of the top Thalassotherapy spas in the world as a recipient of prestigious awards such as the Spa Finder’s Award and the Top Spa In Greece. Some treatments this spa offers include Sea Water Hydromassage Baths with Marine Algae & Minerals, Submarine Shower in Sea Water Bath, Sea Water Hydromassage Jet, Affusion Shower Back & Leg Massage and Cyclical Jets Session in the Thalassotherapy Pools.

The Elounda Spa & Thalassotherapy

The Elounda Spa & Thalassotherapy

Picture via Blue Palace Resort & Spa

Most of the true thalassotherapy spas are located in Europe with over 100 worldwide.  The popularity of thalassotherapy treatments is spreading, however, and people are beginning to hear more about these types of spas, and are beginning to request and put more trust in this form of therapy. For more information you can visit the website for the Thalassotherapy Foundation in France.

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