Thalassotherapy: The Saltwater Cure
June 16, 2017
By Caroline Housel

You know that sense of rejuvenation you feel after a weekend at the beach? Most people attribute it to time spent with loved ones in the sun, away from the stresses of daily life. But according to science, there’s actually another reason why you leave the shore feeling like a brand new person: the ocean.

You may be familiar with the curative effects seawater can have. What you may not know is that it has become a very popular type of natural treatment in many parts of the world. Thalassotherapy is the medical use of seawater and its products for therapeutic purposes.

It may sound completely foreign to you, but you’ve probably heard of it before without realizing it. One of the most well-known treatments involves bathing in the water of the Dead Sea.

Thalassotherapy treatments detoxify and purify the body. Recent research has shown that eight days in a thalassotherapy spa can restore your body’s natural balance for the next six months by stimulating circulation, improving oxygen supply to cells, promoting the immune system, and more. It’s recommended for anyone looking to improve their health in a natural way, especially those suffering from stress, heart or blood vessel problems, or skin issues.

Types of Thalassotherapy

There are three main categories of thalassotherapy treatments.

  • Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy treatments involve using the seawater itself and can range from a traditional spa bath to a mineral-rich seawater spray over the entire body. The water is kept at a constant 37 degrees Celsius (or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Algotherapy: Algotherapy is the use of the ocean’s products for treatment. This includes seaweed wraps, mud facials, and algae baths.
  • Physiotherapy: You’re probably familiar with this one, as physiotherapy is just another word for physical therapy. This type of treatment is available at thalassotherapy spas, typically in the form of massages and water exercises.
  • The Best Thalassotherapy Spas

Though thalassotherapy dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, it has seen a huge surge in popularity recently. If you’re one of the many who are interested in this alternative therapy, consider a trip to one of these top thalassotherapy spas.

Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo – Brittany, France

As the birthplace of the term thalassotherapy, it’s no surprise that France is home to some of the greatest saltwater spas. Just two hours outside of Paris, Saint-Malo is a gorgeous French port city famous for its Corsair citadel and Sillon Beach. Its main spa, Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo, offers a huge variety of thalassotherapy treatments and is perfect for either a weeklong getaway or a quick day trip.

Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa – Montauk, New York

Gurney’s is the only true thalassotherapy spa is the United States. While there are many others that claim to offer this seawater-based treatment, Gurney’s is the only one that adheres to the standards set by the International Federation of Thalassotherapy. Their facilities are home to a Roman bath, Finnish rock sauna, Russian steam room, and Swiss shower. And their indoor seawater pool is the only one of its kind in North America.

Forte Village – Sardinia, Italy

This Mediterranean resort is made up of seven hotels located over 50 acres of tropical gardens. Forte Village’s main attraction is the thalassotherapy spa. It consists of six Sardinian seawater pools, a beauty center, park, spa, and performance gym. Just a 45-minute flight from Rome, Forte Village is the ideal destination for a weekend of relaxation during a busy European trip.

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About the Author

Caroline Housel
A lover of travel, Caroline Housel has spent a lot of time studying and working abroad. Her favorite destinations include London, Amsterdam, and anywhere in France.