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The healing power of the sea

The healing power of the sea
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healing power of the sea

For thousands of years humans have sought out the sea for its alleged health benefits and now modern science is backing up these long held beliefs.

It is well documented that people often find a seaside break leaves them feeling rejuvenated and glowing with wellbeing and now we are starting to understand the many reasons why.

Driftwood hotel

At the Driftwood Hotel we are lucky enough to have our own beach on Cornwall’s beautiful Roseland Peninsula so our guests can really soak up all the benefits of our amazing coastal location.

All humans need time to switch off and escape their day to day responsibilities and there could be no better place to do this than at our hotel surrounded by the wild rural beauty of southern Cornwall.

Aside from the obvious good a well-earned break in an idyllic setting will do, by staying at the Driftwood you will benefit from the restorative power held within the mineral rich marine waters crashing on the beach below us.

Here are just a few good reasons to come and stay on the Cornish coast:

sea salt

Sea salty goodness

Unrefined sea salt is made up of a multitude of minerals which are vital to the healthy workings of many bodily systems. Its components benefit your skin, hair, eyes, joints, circulation and sinuses to name a few. Sea salt can even help you sleep. It contains an incredible 82 nutrients used by the body including sodium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper and zinc.

All these salty minerals help maintain a healthy electrolyte balance in the body, vital for optimum blood composition, pressure and circulation, muscular strength, and overall good health.

Sea salt’s mineral make-up is very similar to the nutrients found in skin cells and its granular texture makes it a perfect exfoliator. This is why sea salt is such a popular ingredient in many beauty products and treatments. When dissolved in sea water it helps the skin’s moisture retention and improves the skin barrier while reducing surface inflammation leaving skin smooth and glowing.

The magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties as well as helping the skin flush out toxins from the pores. Sulphur is believed to help cleanse and treat skin conditions such as dermatitis and acne scarring. Numerous other minerals – sodium, sulphate, magnesium and calcium – minimise the effects of autoimmune skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. There is also evidence to suggest magnesium absorption can sooth the skin of eczema sufferers – hence why Epsom bath salts are often used by people with the condition.

Seawater’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial powers explain why flushing it down the nose or throat is a highly effective way to unblock airways or sooth sore sinuses. People suffering hay fever or other sinus infections often find swimming in the sea eases their symptoms.

While we don’t understand all the mechanisms by which seawater sooths inflammatory symptoms and boosts health, it is now well documented that people who live by and regularly swim in the sea exhibit healthier respiratory systems. So take a walk on the Driftwood’s beach and breath deep.

seaweed

Seaweed booster

Seaweed is not one type of organism but an umbrella term for a massive range of marine plants and algae which are packed full of healthy nutrients. Certain seaweeds even boast anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Seaweed is rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, potassium, selenium, zinc, iodine and iron, in vitamins A, B, C, E and K, in antioxidants, phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids such as tyrosine needed by the body. Seaweed is essentially a one stop shop for everything your body needs.

Like sea salt, seaweed is also a popular ingredient in many beauty products. It nourishes healthy skin as well as protecting it against pollutants, encouraging the release of toxins and slowing the ageing process while its phytonutrients promote blood flow.

Going more than skin deep, iodine, one of the key elements in seaweed, is vital to healthy human development, thyroid function and the nervous system.

driftwood hotel rooms

Leave your stress inland

It is not just your physical health and appearance which will benefit from proximity to the sea. Being near and in the sea has been shown to help our mental health by aiding psychological relaxation, meditation and mindfulness.

First there is the now well researched and much talked about restorative effects of being among nature. In addition, breathing patterns used during sea swimming trigger the body’s parasympathetic nervous system to reduces stress hormones and improves brain function. Water therapy and swimming have been shown in many cases to effectively reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety with one study finding the impact to be on a par with that of a common antidepressant drug.

Floating in water helps divert blood from our lower limbs back towards our abdominals and heart, aiding circulation and oxygen supply to the brain. The magnesium content in seawater helps relax muscles, reduce stress and induce sleep.

On the subject of sleep – have you ever noticed you sleep better when near the sea? It is because the sea air carries negatively charged particles – ions – which blow off the surface of the water and improve our absorption of oxygen and thus sleep. The negatively charged ions also balance our serotonin levels, which aids our overall feeling of wellbeing.

Weirder still, new research suggests the sound of waves can alter wave patterns in the brain lulling the listener into a relaxed state of mind.

So, lie back and relax.

lie back and relax

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