The Blue Zone : How the Ocean Heals Body, Mind & Soul
Since ancient times we have been aware of the healing properties of the ocean and the mysterious draw that we have to the seaside. Most of us can easily attest to the fact that the ocean has a positive impact on our physical, mental and emotional well-being. It is one of the many reasons why we love to travel to different beaches around the world and spend vacation time by the sea. Time by the ocean leaves us feeling awakened and enlivened and the sea is one of the most natural forms of therapy available to us as human beings.
With the human body made up of around 70% water, it makes sense that we have a deep affinity with the ocean.
While you may be aware of the general feelings of wellbeing that come along with a day at the beach or a frolic in the ocean, you may not be aware of how much scientific research backs up these claims, and just how many unique benefits are associated with the ocean.
In a modern world characterised by time indoors, daytime hours dominated by screens, and less contact with nature than ever before, making time to spend by the ocean is becoming more important than ever before. It may just be the perfect excuse to plan that beach-side getaway!
10 Great Reasons To Get In The Sea:
Support your Immune System
Ocean water assists in strengthening our cellular immunity in remarkable ways. It strengthens the body against viruses, bacteria and pathogens and is fantastic for people with a weakened immune system, anemia and high blood sugar levels. The water from the ocean and our blood plasma are 98% identical. When immersed in warm seawater the body absorbs the minerals it needs through the skin. It is no surprise therefore that a large variety of marine-based medications have been developed to treat various issues, spanning from chronic pain to tumors.
Get Your Beauty Fix
Salt water itself is naturally detoxifying and helps pull impurities from the body and skin. Salt is also antibacterial and therefore time in the ocean immediately helps to heal skin irritations, acne and other skin blemishes. The mineral salts in the ocean also team up with the healthy benefits of the sun to regenerate your skin from the outside in. Time in the ocean will leave you skin cleansed and glowing – but do make sure to use a natural sunscreen too!
The most common factors that inhibit sleep- stress, pain, anxiety, hormonal imbalances and depression- are all addressed by time in the ocean. The ocean produces negative ions which accelerate our bodies ability to absorb oxygen and balance levels of serotonin; a chemical produced by the body that is related to mood, stress and sleep cycles. Aside from the ocean itself, time in the sunshine, fresh air and nature are all factors that help us to align with our natural circadian rhythms and ease into a restful slumber.
A Natural Painkiller
Ocean water can be a great natural medication for bone and muscle pain, arthritis, circulatory, and postsurgical issues. Researchers have recently discovered that the salt in the ocean helps reduce inflammation of the joints and the pain that occurs with arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The positive uplifting effects of being in the ocean have also been shown to elevate mood, lower depression, balance the mind, and lessen the severity and intensity of pain in the body.
The Perfect Magnesium Supplement
Every single cell in the human body requires adequate magnesium to function properly. The ocean is one of the greatest sources of magnesium and it is more effective to get magnesium through the skin than via tablet form. Magnesium is also better absorbed alongside Vitamin D, which is also in abundance at the beach via the natural sunlight. Even being in ocean water for short periods of time allows your skin to absorb what it needs for good health.
Relaxation and Inner Peace
Extensive research has been conducted on the oceans unique ability to induce a state of what has been coined the “Blue Mind” in human beings. Blue Mind is a mildly meditative state characterized by calmness, peacefulness,and a sense of general happiness and contentment. When we are in or by the ocean, the brain is relaxed but focused. This unique state of mindfulness has been proven to have a number of benefits from lowering stress levels, to offering relief from mild anxiety, pain and depression, improving mental clarity and focus, and improving sleep quality.
As humans we are designed to be in contact with the Earth in its natural state on a regular basis. Positive electrons build up in our body and this contact with the Earth- which is a negative charge- balances this out. With the high prevalence of electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and mobile phones in the modern world, it becomes easy to have a high amount of positive electrons build up in our body. The ocean, which is also a negative charge, helps to ground this energy and both energise and relax us at the same time. The ocean may just be the perfect cure to balance the impact of our modern technological world.
Lower Stress and Anxiety
As human beings, we are naturally drawn to the water because it makes us feel calmer and more at ease. The ocean offers a strong sense of tranquility and balance that can assist with both stress and anxiety. Studies have found that the sound pattern of waves and their harmonic frequency is one of the most relaxing sounds that we can listen to as human beings. While noises such as traffic and construction intensify the stress hormone cortisol, the calming sound of the ocean works the opposite way to decrease cortisol levels and have a positive effect on our overall health.
Spark your Creativity
The frantic pace of modern life doesn’t allow our mind much of a chance to rest and wander freely. But when we do, the mind switches into a different mode of engagement. This mode of thought is extremely important for creativity. Rather than switching off entirely, the ocean invites the brain to enjoy a more restful state, and from here, you’re able to make those new or unusual connections and come up with new ideas, thoughts and those ‘ah-ha’ moments! In the case of the ocean, switching off literally helps to switch us back on again.
Come On and Get Happy
The final point when it comes to health benefits of the ocean is happiness. The ocean naturally lifts our mood levels. Time spent frolicking in the waves, surfing the ocean currents, letting the white water tickle our toes, laying on the sand in the sunshine, taking long strolls along the shoreline- all of these actions increase our feelings of well-being and contentedness. After a day at the beach, or a beach-side vacation, we return home feeling renewed and refreshed, woozy with the joy that comes from the combination of sun-kissed skin, salty hair and sandy soles.
The health benefits of the ocean are indeed very real. In modern society, time in the ocean is becoming even more important than ever before. The benefits of the water offer a valuable way to offset the stresses of living and working in modern contexts. These huge bodies of saltwater are literally brimming with mysterious and wonderful ways to nourish and nurture body, mind and spirit.
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