I was holidaying in the West of Ireland last week where my partner cycled 140K in the Tour de Connemara so we were pretty happy when we came across the Connemara Seaweed Baths - the perfect antidote to tired muscles after cycling through the Irish countryside.
Seaweed bathing helps to reinvigorate tired and aching muscles, warms the body and relaxes the mind. Seaweed, one of nature’s sponges and hand-harvested from the unspoilt Atlantic coast brings from the sea an incomparable wealth of minerals, nutrients and trace elements.
The Science bit
The absorption of seaweed and seawater minerals works on the principle of osmosis, whereby the skin is capable of absorbing the nutrients through the skin cells. Some of the benefits include:
How does seaweed bath therapy work?
The seaweed wrack is first steam-treated so that it releases minerals, trace elements, and essential oils. You then get to bathe and relax for an hour in the seaweed bath while your body absorbs the essential nutrients (we had the bonus of looking out over the majestic mountains of Leenane while listening to soft ambient music). Once the 60 minutes of bliss is up, one must bravely stand upright in the bath and pull the fresh water chord releasing 30 seconds of fresh cool spring water (from the mountain across the road) to close the pores and lock in the mighty nutrients.
If you are seeking an effective natural detoxifying process for the skin, this is definitely one of life’s simple pleasures. Next time you are in the West of Ireland or near the Atlantic Ocean, I recommend you take the plunge!
Don’t worry if you can’t get to a seaweed bath you can still reap many more benefits by eating sea vegetables:
Most sea vegetables come dried in sheets, flakes or powders from health food stores. You can add flakes to a salad, sprinkle pasta with powder or use instead of salt in cooking. Kelp is available in flakes and powder and requires no preparation. Kombu can be used as a soup base. The Hebridean company Seagreens is a good place to start for a variety of seaweed foods and supplements.
Benefits of eating seaweed:
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