Thalassotherapy, or seawater therapy as it is sometimes known, is the use of seawater and seaweed for a variety of cosmetic and medicinal purposes, from reducing the appearance of cellulite to relieving joint pain. The benefits of thalassotherapy supposedly reside in the minerals dissolved in sea water, including magnesium, calcium, sodium, iodine, silicon, zinc, selenium, sulfur, and fluoride. Advocates claim these minerals enter the body through pores on the skin and draw out toxins.
Thalassotherapy is a health and beauty treatment developed in France around 1969. The name of this therapy is derived from "thalassos," the Greek word for sea. It is sometimes classified as a form of hydrotherapy, a term that describes the use of water from any source to treat a medical condition.
Thalassotherapy is most commonly practiced at spas in countries surrounding the Mediterranean and Dead seas, which are thought to contain unusually large amounts of minerals.
Proponents claim that thalassotherapy offers many cosmetic and medical benefits. For instance, exposing the body to seawater supposedly reduces cellulite and encourages the body to lose weight. Advocates claim that this modality assists in the relief of back pains, increases circulation throughout the body and may treat hypertension, arteriosclerosis, asthma, bronchitis, muscle atrophy, and scabies.
Use of whirlpools, heated water and jet streams of water is thought to relax a patient, thus improving their quality of life for the duration of the treatment.

Related Terms

Balneotherapy, hydrotherapy, seawater, thalassotherapy.