Guest: Valerie Estelle Rogers
V. Estelle Travel ~ Website: vestelletravel.com
Oh, this year!
We are trudging along, we are doing our best to keep our chins up, we are working on our attitudes…daily. We are. You are. I am.
I, along with you, am fighting the quiet voices in my head begging me to simply go back to bed and wait for 2020 to end. To wait, in hopes, for the calendar turning over on January 1st will bring with it a fresh new start.
Because we cannot go back to bed for weeks on end, which is not recommended for a myriad of reasons, what can we do?
We can go to the Oregon Coast.
I introduce you to Thalassotherapy.
. . . . .
Thalassotherapy: The medical use of the beneficial properties of the sea (which includes coastal climate, seawater, marine mud, seaweed, sand, and other substances extracted from the water) in a preventative and remedial aim.
The simple joy of walking along the waters edge, hearing the water surging back and forth and feeling the ocean spray on your face, is therapeutic. The water is filled with enriching minerals of calcium and magnesium which breathe new life into our pores and, dare I say, into our soul.
The word thalassotherapy comes from the Latin “sanitus per aqua”, which translates as “health through water” and the curative qualities of seawater and oceanside climate have been used for therapeutic purposes since Roman times. The name is credited to Frenchman Dr. Jacques de la Bonnardière in the 1860s.
The Oregon coast just became one huge spa!
Being near coastal waters provides a stress reducing effect. The sound and feel of water creates less psychological distress and is a natural antidote for anxiety and depression. It is no wonder why Hawaii has been ranked by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index as the #1 state with the highest level of happiness for seven years straight. Nature wins again.
Romano writes in Travel & Leisure about the benefits of taking a twenty minute walk along a body of water, in a “blue space”, and how a short walk along a sandy beach can improve a persons attitude and provide for an overall better mood. Shuster, PsyD, states that “The color blue has been found to be associated with feelings of calm and peace, and staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.”
Relaxing and enjoying the view of the horizon has also been proven to provide calming effects as the flat ocean surface offers a form of safety and security. “Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich says that humans feel safe when they are in places that are not complex. Sometimes in the forest humans need to be weary of predator animals; in the cities there are crooks and villains to be wary of; however, at the beach we can see for miles and this gives us peace of mind. There are no potential threats to think about. We’re constructed, neurologically, to normalize our environment—to bring it under our control,” Merzenich says. “When we look out to the sea, or we’re along the strand, we’re in a predictable, stable environment.”
As our predictable environments have changed in 2020, and we have all added words like pivot and adaptability to our conversations, maybe a trip to the coast is just the “spa” weekend we all need.
Maybe we walk with our toes in the sand, or we bundle up to watch a winter sunset as we listen to seagulls singing their evening songs. Maybe the salt air fuels our lungs with renewed hope.
Maybe, instead of a four week nap, this is just what we need; Thalassotherapy.