How the Ocean Heals Us
By Chelsea Vincent
About five years ago, I led my first international yoga retreat to Koh Samui, Thailand. It was an incredible week. We did yoga in the mornings and late afternoons, we explored the surrounding areas, and we spent a lot of time in and around the ocean.
While we were there, I met another yoga teacher (we’ll call him Ron). Ron was a Dutch guy in his mid-fifties who had once been an extremely wealthy businessman. He had developed a “terminal” illness, and his doctors in Europe had given him months to live.
At that point, faced with his mortality, Ron packed up and moved to a life by the sea. He began practicing yoga and swimming in the ocean daily. Within six months, his illness had completely disappeared.
To this day, Ron credits saltwater and sweat with saving his life.
Earth’s Mysterious Tonic
When I heard Ron’s story, it reminded me of this wonderful saying by Danish author Karen Blixen: “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." I don’t believe any of us fully understand the mysteries of our planet’s oceans, but the science we do have is incredible.
There is extensive evidence that deep sea water – that is, water pumped from depths beyond around 650 feet – has a wide range of benefits for people. Many recognize this pure water as an excellent source of vital nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, chromium, selenium, and zinc. If you read other health and wellness articles, you may realize that these important nutrients are often the very ones deficient in our diets.
Deep sea water’s powers range from providing essential nutrients to preventing a host of illnesses
But the benefits don’t stop there. It turns out the deep waters of our oceans have the potential to heal us in a myriad of powerful ways.
Sea Water Improves Physical Health
For those who struggle with a variety of health ailments, drinking deep sea water may help.
While high values of serum cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, drinking diluted, magnesium-rich deep sea water has been shown to decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol from 15-18%.
Think that’s impressive? There are also studies to show this same water may:
- protect against cardiovascular issues
- reduce blood pressure (even in the presence of sodium)
- prevent obesity and cancer
- help treat diabetes, fatigue, and stomach ulcers
- aid in treating skin problems (including reduction of allergic responses, restoring essential minerals, and reducing levels of toxic minerals)
It’s truly incredible to see just how widespread the power of oceans to treat human physical ailments may be. And as we all know from spending a day at the beach, our oceans also heal us mentally.
Sea Water Lifts Our Mood
While being in vacation mode and soaking up some sun does wonders for us, so does the sea itself.
A study from Michigan State University established the term “blue space,” which refers to the link between our health and increased visibility of the ocean. When we can see the ocean, we experience a significant decrease in physical distress. Other studies have shown how the color blue boosts creativity, and engaging in beach activities like fishing, swimming, and surfing can enhance mood and mental health.
Perhaps these reasons are why beachfront property is so expensive. We’re no longer societies of fishermen, nor do most of us need personal access to the seas for trade. But we still feel drawn to the sea.
“Where I Will Always Find You” – A perfect example of our desire to be near the ocean
Even with the heightened insurance costs that come with owning land or a home there, it seems we innately understand that the ocean is good for us. We count down the days to that Hawaii trip. We decorate our homes and offices with oceanscape scenes. We listen to ocean waves as we meditate or drift off to sleep.
We remind ourselves of the healing calm that comes from the great blue beyond, and we find little ways to take it home with us until next time. Especially in times like these, we seek out the power – or the memories – of the ocean, as a means of feeling lifted.