What Is Thalassotherapy? Mexico’s Seawater Therapy

I thought I knew what the colour blue appeared like. Then I visited Cancún. Inside hours of touchdown on the airport, I used to be jotting down an inventory of each shade I noticed: cloudless sky blue, the darkish indigo the ocean turns into when it is overwhelmed by sargassum, glassy pool blue—the record goes on. This palette is not merely for splashing and reaping the good-for-your-skin advantages of salt, nonetheless. Thalassotherapy, or saltwater remedy, has many extra wellness advantages to supply. And on a current journey to Cancún’s Secrets and techniques Akumal Riviera Maya (not too long ago acquired by Hyatt), I took a saltwater soak to see simply how a lot therapeutic these blues needed to provide.

The time period “thalassotherapy” stems from the Greek phrase “thalassa,” and the ritual hails from many various cultures. The observe may be traced again to France, historic Egypt, the Maya civilization, and Rome as a supply of therapeutic for the pores and skin, muscle mass, and normal illness.

No matter who initially noticed the therapeutic advantages of hanging out in saltwater, the customized has survived—and a rising physique of analysis signifies that thalassotherapy does, certainly, maintain water. Using seawater remedy has been acknowledged as a remedy for situations like eczema and psoriasis, and it could additionally help in muscle restoration by stimulating blood movement.

This rising record of wellness wins is a giant cause why thalassotherapy has scored a spot on the spa menu of luxurious resorts throughout Cancún, together with Secrets and techniques Akumal Riviera Maya and Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya (the 2 resorts I visited on my journey).

Whereas the remedies do not happen within the ocean itself, the resorts pipe seawater into the swimming pools. They re-filter it and return it to the ocean a number of days later, however not earlier than treating company to a few of the most stress-free waterborne experiences you may consider.

My first cease was the resort at Zoëtry, which incorporates a breathtaking saltwater pool proper on the sting of the seashore. Right here, I obtained a number of water-powered remedies—together with an icy, Wim Hof-style plunge adopted by a pleasant soak within the Jacuzzi. The main focus of lots of the remedies on the spa is to drastically alter your physique temperature over quick durations of time (that is referred to as “distinction water remedy”). This supposedly will increase your blood movement and helps with circulation, however I discovered that the observe creates a way of invigorating calm (I do know, it feels like an oxymoron) that I loved for the remainder of the day.

For my final little burst of thalassotherapy, I skilled hydromassage, a sort of remedy that concerned a information pulling me gently by way of the water, spinning me, and gently stretching my arms, legs, and neck. The 30-minute session was a lesson in trusting another person to maintain me afloat and look after me. Though I felt myself resist the method at first, I used to be ultimately in a position to let my physique go limp and calm down right into a meditative, trance-like state.

I wrapped up my thalassotherapy session at Zoëtry, however the seawater expertise wasn’t over but. I headed again to Secrets and techniques Akumal to proceed the journey within the resort’s full thalasso middle and spa.

If you happen to’re having hassle picturing this, consider a water park for adults. Earlier than hopping within the sauna and steam room for a couple of minutes, I waded into the pool and moved from station to station of assorted pressurizing water remedies. First, I laid down on a lounge chair constructed into the pool that shot water up and down my spinal twine. Then I moved onto related stations that launched regular streams of water on my neck, scalp, and shoulders. To finish, I luxuriated in a sizzling tub.

All in all, the thalassotherapy left me feeling extra serene than I can bear in mind feeling shortly. As a (considerably) new freelance journalist, a variety of my life occurs off the cuff—and that may result in stress. The liberty in my schedule generally signifies that I’ve the great expertise of going to Mexico in the midst of a random work week for a press journey, but it surely additionally signifies that I generally do not know the way I will pay for my well being care this month. It is a fortunate curler coaster to be on, but it surely’s a curler coaster nonetheless.

With all I’ve realized about seawater in thoughts, I went for one last dip within the ocean. This felt like the right cherry on prime of my thalassotherapy—and it made me notice that, subconsciously, I have been turning to the ocean for therapeutic for a lengthy time. Rising up in Charleston, South Carolina, the seashore was my yard. However I determine there’s one thing to the act of actively in search of out the ocean as a supply of therapeutic. One thing about making it intentional seems like an excellent type of self care, and I vowed to proceed practising thalassotherapy even as soon as I returned to my new house close to the Pacific Ocean.

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