How Spa Therapy Works
Water is our key element. We spend the first months of our life floating in an amniotic bath and we most likely evolved from aquatic creatures. We use water for cleansing, refreshing, and relaxing. We are made up of 70% water and water is the basis for our body's evaporative cooling system. It flushes out toxic wastes, plumps up our cells, and lubricates our moving parts. Water is crucial to our survival.
There are few of us who could deny the relaxation brought about by a warm bath or a hot tub and this in itself is therapeutic. However, there are a number of differences between plain bath water and the sea - and it is these differences that are thought to have a significant impact on our health and well-being.
In 1904, Rene Quinton published the medical work L'eau de Mer, Milien Organique' (Sea Water, Organic Medium). Quinton's study indicated that seawater and human plasma are almost identical in their composition of mineral salts, proteins and various other elements. Indeed, it is now known that the similarities between sea water and human blood plasma are so great that, when removed from the body, white blood cells are able to survive in sea water.
Have you ever noticed when you spend time in the sea how your skin gets conditioned, cuts, grazes, rashes, eczema and psoriasis heal faster? This is because the oceans are rich in trace minerals, such as iodine, magnesium, sodium, potassium, fluoride, sulfur and carbonates to name but a few. All of those minerals are absorbed by the skin and play a significant role on the skin and within the body.
As sea water and seaweeds contain nutrients (particularly minerals) essential to the function of human skin cells, it is believed that their topical application can be of great benefit. To a large extent, this works on the principle of osmosis, whereby the skin is capable of absorbing the nutrient-rich water through the cells. Hot water dilates the pores and blood vessels, allowing the skin to be more receptive to the minerals and vitamins from the sea water.
Trace amounts of minerals are absorbed by the body when you bathe in a mineral bath and provide healing effects to various body organs and systems. These healing effects can include stimulation of the immune system, physical and mental relaxation, normalized gland function and detoxification. Mineral waters can also ease the effects of skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, fungal infections and help the healing of wounds and other skin injuries.
Finally, Aromatherapy has been universally adopted as a valuable synergistic component of most spa therapies. The plant extracts used to make essential oil can enhance a spa therapy.