Thalassotherapy is the use of sea water for health and well-being, Not only sea water, but also from the great salt lakes, such as the Dead Sea, which has a similar chemical composition.
As with thermal spas, it is essential to go to the source to get the full benefits of the liquid; if it travels it may lose its temperature and some of its ingredients may evaporate. Therefore Thalassotherapy centres are those located next to the sea that convey the water through pipes and not, for example, those that transport the water in tanks. The water should be obtained some way out from the coast and at depth to ensure it is as pure as possible.
Thalassotherapy is not limited to the effects of water, but also includes a series of additional elements when used for treatments: the ionised air on the coast, the effect of the sun, winds and each region´s climate conditions, the natural surroundings, diet, routine, rest, the chance to do exercise on the beach and in the sea, the circulatory stimulation of walking barefoot on the sand, etc.
And to conclude the parallels with thermal spa therapy, sea water treatment act by producing heat effects (cold or heat, natural or artificial), mechanical effects (floating, compression producing improved returning blood flow, the massage effect of the waves or the swimming pool jets) and chemical effects.
92 minerals have been identified in sea water. The most beneficial that can be absorbed by the skin are sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, silica and iodine.
Thalassotherapy includes baths, showers and inhalations with sea water, and treatments with seaweed and sea muds.
This set of techniques has been shown to be beneficial for treating heart disease, respiratory conditions and neurological disorders, thyroid problems, arteriosclerosis, diabetes and some eye diseases. They have also been used to treat stress and depression.