• Sara Strachan

The Ocean - why we love it and why it’s good for us

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

Getting lost in the waves in Nosara, Costa Rica


Are you one of those people that can't stand being landlocked? Feel like a fish out of water when too much time passes between sessions? Yearn to see the horizon over the ocean? Why is it that some of us crave the ocean and is there any reason why we love it so much?

So it seems that a number of scientific bods have been asking the same question and here's what they have to say about our draw to the salty, watery mass surrounding our isles.

They have also kindly investigated the many benefits of sea water. As if you need more reasons to don your wetsuit, here's a few extra anyway to add to the list!


Mind

One of the best sea water health benefits includes reducing stress and healing the mind. Most surfers will feel this but why does this happen?

Sea water and sun work in synergy to treat lots of emotional disorders, such as depression, nervousness, apathy and anxiety.

Magnesium, lithium and bromine found in the ocean are exceptional calming elements. They have the ability to stabilize and maintain proper serotonin, melatonin and tryptamine levels in the brain. For example Lithium, is used in medication to treat bipolar disorder.

Magnesium, which is found in high levels in the sea can help reduce stress, relax muscles and induce calmness. These minerals in the sea water are known as a natural hypnotic that promote sleep and help cure insomnia. So that’ll explain why you sleep like a baby after a good surf sesh!

It has also been shown that the sound of waves alters brain wave patterns, lulling you into a deeply relaxed state.

Another reason why you sleep more soundly after spending the day on the beach is because of the sea air. Sea air is charged with negative ions that speed up our ability to absorb oxygen. Negative ions also balance serotonin levels, chemical linked with mood and stress.


Well-being

These negatively charged hydrogen ions are also powerful antioxidants. Inhaling sea air can improve the immune system and enhance every cell and organ in our body.

Being so rich in many vital elements, sea water can activate the body’s healing and boost the immune system. It opens skin pores, allowing us to absorb sea minerals, whilst also expelling harmful toxins, responsible for numerous diseases. Possibly explaining that glow you have after a day at the beach?

The iodine contained in sea water supports our immune system function and boosts the thyroid activity.

Sea water improves blood circulation, due to its high concentration of minerals. In fact, thalassotherapy increases blood circulation by replenishing our body with essential minerals, which have been depleted.

Sea water replenishes our skin with minerals. Magnesium in particular improves its hydration, as well as its overall appearance. So, not only is the sea your playground but it can also plump your skin to make you look younger, who’d have thought!

One of the most important sea water health benefits and one most people have experienced first-hand, lies in its ability to heal damaged and irritated skin.

It has great antiseptic properties, very useful in healing minor wounds, cuts, rashes and abrasions – salt and potassium chloride seem to be majorly responsible for these beneficial, mending effects.


Evolution

Is there an evolutionary reason why we love the sea? Sea water has been used for its therapeutic virtues for centuries and there are some scientists who believe there is an evolutionary connection between ourselves and the ocean.

Sea water has been shown to contain almost the same concentration of minerals and vital trace elements as the human blood plasma. These elements include vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements and amino acids.

Some scientists believe that this surprising similarity in our blood plasma to the seas mineral content is due to our evolution from the sea.

Maybe that explains why we are so drawn to the oceans, because we were born and made from the oceans?


So there you go, even more reason to squeeze into your wetsuit and jump in the ocean!

Getting ready to brave the January seas to get my ocean fix

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