From the Chinese culture, already over 5000 years, through the Romans, the Egyptians or the Greeks, the sea water has been used as a source of health and welfare since ancient times. Numerous therapeutic properties of the sea water have been being discovered from the antiquity to our days.
Health properties of the sea water
Over the centuries a lot of studious people has researched the benefits of the sea water for the human being. Nowadays it has been proved that the composition of the sea water (composed by zinc, iodine, potassium besides other trace elements) can have an antibiotic effect, that as we know helps to heal injuries. Other trace elements of the sea water are absorbed in small quantities by the skin, as the iodine, the calcium or the phosphorus. They help to the fixation of the calcium and phosphorus to the bones. For these reason, besides preventing lesions and get a better mobility, the sea water also helps to the prevention and treatment of the osteoporosis.
The sea is the main reserve of minerals on the earth since it contains more than 75 simple elements which are considered necessary for the good functioning of the metabolism, though the most abundant of them is the sodium.
It also has been proved that swimming in the sea water helps to relax the muscles because of its iodine content, so bathing in the sea can be helpful for those people who must do rehabilitation due to a lesions or who are passing through a postoperative period.
Besides these elements, the magnesium that the salt water contains helps to palliate rheumatic pains and reduce the anxiety. In this respect, a bath in the sea can be beneficial for those people who suffer from nerve disorders, stress or depression.
Breathing the sea water can be very beneficial too for people with respiratory problems since the marine breeze assists our lungs to eliminate toxins. Furthermore, the atmospheric pressure is bigger at sea level. That’s why there are more oxygen particles, so the body’s oxygenation is even more active and it has a sedative effect that makes decrease the breathing rhythm.
For all these reasons, making any activity in the sea (go to the beach, swimming, practising water sports or sailing) is not only beneficial for reducing the stress and improving some organism’s functions, but it also bring another advantage: the dose of Sun.
As we already know, the solar light helps our organism to synthesize the D vitamin. This vitamin is obtained both by eating and by the solar radiation. However, it is believed that the 90% of the D vitamin amount that our body needs is obtained through the solar radiation. This vitamin is very important for our organism because it aids to the absorption of the calcium in our bones. A déficit of this vitamin could cause the emergence of some problems like rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis. The experts recommend to take a sunbath at least 10 minutes during the morning, though this exposure varies depending on the place in which we are located, since the more closer we are to the equator bigger will be the radiation. Although if you are going to sunbathe during more time, don’t forget that the solar radiation can also be harmful. Make sure to protect your skin properly from the Sun.
Appart from the beneficial properties that the sunlight and the seawater can have, the marine breeze can also contribute to get some benefits for the human body. The sea air comes full with negative ions, which contrary to the positives, these particles charged with energy have some good properties for the body: they help to the relaxation and the production of serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter accountable for the enhancing of the mood, besides other important functions for the human body. Less than 100 metres from the sea, the amount of negative ions in the air is more than 50000 per cubic metre. This number is very high if we consider that in the cities this digit doesn’t usually exceed the 500 negative ions.
We must also mention that the sea water is an excellent productor of natural ozone due to the millions of microparticles that it launchs to the atmosphere. This microparticles acts like a purifier agent of the air thanks to its antiseptic properties.
As we have mentioned before, swimming or practising any water sport or activity is the healthiest and the less harmful way to practise sport for our joints. But it has other benefits too. For example, simply by submerging ourselves up to 1.30 metres deep we can balance the internal corporal pressure and the external water pressure, which is translated in:
–Better breathing capacity: given the existing neutral pressure, the diaphragm’s mobility and the thoracic cave capacity are improved. This is translated in a bigger oxygenation in addition to an increase of the red corpuscles in blood.
–Activation of the blood circulation: the water pressure helps to facilitate the blood return circulation, and the movement of the water helps to improve the blood circulation between capillary vessels.
–Benefits for the heart: our body is up to 8 times less heavy in the water that in solid ground, so the heart’s effort is reduced to the mínimum.
–Improve the articular force and mobility: as we have mentioned before, the sea water has numerous health benefits for joints and muscles. Our joints don’t suffer when we practise any activity on the water. That’s why is highly recommend for elderly people since they can strengthen their bones and muscles through the exercise in optimal comfort conditions.
There exists a kind of mystic connection between the humans and the sea. We know that our body is composed by at least a 65% of water, whose mineral composition is very similar to the sea water’s composition. Our blood serum contains approximately 9 grams of salt per litle, and this digit is correlated coincidentally with the original salinity of the sea when the earth started to be formed. The water is the support of life, and despite of the evolution, we the humans still conserving that “memory” that links us to the aquatic environment and that causes that mystical attraction to it.