Thalassotherapy and its usage in Health and Wellness Tourism
Park Jin Mun
Thalassotherapy, from the Greek thalasso meaning ‘sea’ and therapia meaning ‘treatment’, uses the healing and beneficial properties of the sea and the marine environment for health and wellbeing. The principle behind thalassotherapy is that repeated exposure to sea air and immersion in warm seawater, mud, clay, and protein-rich algae helps restore the body's natural chemical balance. Seawater and human plasma are very similar. When immersed in warm seawater the body absorbs the minerals it needs through the skin. Thalassotherapy has important meaning in contemporary Health and Wellness Tourism industry, due to its ...view middle of the document...
After 3 months, the differences between SPA and CTL were statistically significant for physical but not for mental health. After 6 and 12 months, no statistically significant differences between SPA and CTL were found.
Results of RAND-36
| | Change from baseline |
RAND-36 components | Baseline value To | T = 1 month | T = 3 months | T = 6 months | T = 12 months |
Physical component | | | | | |
Spa | 28.6 (8.0) | 6.3 (8.2)* | 3.6 (8.8)** | 1.3 (9.6) | 2.6 (7.4) |
Control | 27.8 (7.4) | – | 0.8 (6.7) | 0.5 (5.8) | 1.6 (7.8) |
Mental component | | | | | |
Spa | 45.7 (11.5) | 6.5 (10.2)* | 0.8 (11.2) | 0.2 (9.8) | −2.2 (11.1) |
Control | 46.5 (10.2) | – | 1.2 (9.1) | 0.1 (11.4) | 0.5 (10.1) |
In another paper of Journal of Coastal Research, mentioned pharmaceutical effect of thalassotherapy that the medical and pharmaceutical value of marine products has of course been proved (Charlier, 2002; Gruber, 1968). Marine organisms produce chemical compounds—and over 6000unique compounds have been isolated with hundreds providing drug leads—with antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. The bryozoan Bugula neritina produces bryostatin-1, a potential anticancer agent, Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, a soft bodied coral known popularly as the Caribbean sea whip, produces anti-inﬂammatory pseudopterosins (Arehart, 1969). The compounds found in this soft coral accentuate human skin healing processes and are used in skin care products (Bologa et al., 1999; Charlier, 1990; Charlier and Lonhienne, 1996; Woodcock and Blanchard, 1957). French and German pharmaceutical ﬁrms market vials of seawater tapped at 50 km offshore depths of up to 20 m. It is claimed that such waters when puriﬁed provide cures for gastric troubles. With a reduced salinity, the water remains nevertheless rich in magnesium and other oligo elements, free of chlorides, and closely resemble blood plasma. Bread, crackers, and pasta made using seawater are marketed in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Some enthusiastic researchers ventured in 1998 that ‘‘marine sources could be the major source of new drugs for the next decade.’’ Coral reefs supply the structural components necessary to repair human bone. Unlike allograft bone, originating from a cadaver, grafts manufactured from coral do not carry the risk of implant rejection or of transmission of infectious agents such as HIV or hepatitis. (Roger H. Charlier and Marie-Claire P. Chaineux, 2009)
In beauty field, thalassotherapy normally engages with spa resorts, to bring customers...