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The Healing Power of the Ocean

By Mary SherpOs

It is no secret that being near or in the ocean is one of the best antidotes to stress.We come to the sea because many of us feel a complete sense of freedom when confronted with the open sky and endless horizon.The ocean's expanse often invokes a stillness in the mind because one can't help but slow down and listen to nature's rhythm.

And it's here that our senses are engaged fully. The colors of dawn and dusk dance on the waves and are mirrored in the reflection on the sand. The smell of the salt air is fresh and clean and promising. Children love to dig in the sand and feel it's texture and scream with delight from the sensation of the water all over their bodies.

When the waves crash and pull back again, the sound and motion mimics the breath and negative ions are released which help induce a sense of well-being. This negative ionization has been shown to boost serotonin levels in the brain which positively affect all of those feelings we like to avoid or take a pill to 'fix'; anxiety depression, fear, feelings of worth and fatigue.

When we are away from the sea and from nature in cities, buildings and homes, positive ions or electrically charged particles from high voltage wires, radiation and endless harmful chemicals in the environment fill the air, all of which speed up cell damage and play a role in the aging process. To put it simply, being near the sea is good for us.

But the ocean has also been deemed a "natural cure" for many physical ailments as well. Scientifically speaking, there are no actual studies that "prove" the health benefits, but most of us have either witnessed or experienced the potent healing properties firsthand after swimming in the sea. Somehow the wound heals faster. And not only for simple wounds, the salt water in the ocean has been shown to help speed of the healing process of conditions such as inflammation, psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, edemas and lymphomas. What is it in the sea that benefits the body physiologically? Is it the salt, the minerals or the algae from the sea that has curative powers. Most likely, it's the combination of all three properties and when they join together are absorbed internally naturally helping to restore balance and function on a cellular level.

The health of the human body is sustained in a large part from minerals of which a major job is to help stabilize body fluid. It has been proposed that seawater contains up to 85 minerals, and that the minerals in seawater are positively correlated with the mineral balance in our body fluid. It has also been suggested that our amniotic fluid is similarly composed to seawater. And for many of us when we dip into the ocean and float, surf, swim or just surrender to the motion, it's feels like we are back in the womb; a place where we were nurtured, nourished without effort and completely supported.

When 'held' by the water, we become weightless and free to flex and bend in ways that that often difficult and cumbersome on land. Approximately, 71 percent of the Earth's surface is ocean and approximately the same amount of water is in the human body. All of these scientific reasons may be enough to attract us to the ocean but statistics aside, numerous writers and artists convey, there endless poetic and artful ways to describe what draws us to the ocean.

For many of us, the ocean is source of inspiration, peace and a place to build strength mentally and physically. It's a place that attracts the young and old, writers, artists, surfers and swimmers, and those searching for complete solitude. In order for the ocean to remain a place of healing, it is imperative to care and "heal" the ocean so it remains a powerful source for physical and emotional nourishment and inspiration for all.



More Health News

An All-Inclusive Interview With Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman
Part 3

VON: Tell us about the Urban Zen Foundation. How did Donna Karan approach you?

CS: We both have been teaching Donna for years. And her husband, Steven, was very ill for, over seven years. And she was already very well versed in the practice of yoga with oils and healing touch. She had a lot of people around her that administered this sort of eastern kind of modalities that complemented Steven’s long struggle. More >

An All-Inclusive Interview With Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman
Part 2

VON: I would like to talk with you about gender roles in yoga practices. I don’t personally practice yoga but I have read that many men are hesitant to practice yoga because of gender roles and the fear that comes with it. What do you think about this? More >

An All-Inclusive Interview With Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman
Part 1

There are age spots, starting to appear on his hands. He is walking around slowly, instructing his students and aiding them almost one by one with the challenging postures that they are instructed to do. Her deep blue eyes hit you from minute one. An observer, too, can almost feel her tactile relationship with her students. More >

Several Ways To Maintain Your Presence

What does Nosara mean to you? To some, it might be surfing. Or maybe it's just a quiet vacation town to visit. Whatever your answer is, there is an undeniable and almost inevitable presence of yoga in this area. Effects of yoga surely depend on the person. Here are some forms of yoga that we encountered with along the way. More >

Cell Phone Use Affects Brain Metabolism

Although it is yet to be determined whether it bears positive or negative health effects, recent studies show that the brain is affected by radiofrequency emissions from wireless phones. More >

FDA Considers Banning Menthol Cigarette Sales

Based on recent studies, the United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering banning sales of menthol cigarettes. For years, these were thought to be less toxic than regular cigarettes however, Dr. Mark Clanton, member of the American Cancer Society, denies that these have lower levels of tobacco, adding that removing them from the market would greatly benefit public health. More >



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