Interview with the Thalasso-Doctor MR Dr. med. Regina Schwanitz

Every sojourn by the sea has an incredibly positive effect on the body and mind. The air by the sea is carried by the ocean wind and free of pollutants and allergens.  Tiny small drops of sea water float in the air near the coast and cleanse your lungs. A bath in in the sea rejuvenates, purifies, heals, and nurtures the skin. Seawater contains a whole host of minerals that permeate into your body via your skin and even games and sports by the sea are fun – and make you thin as well. Excess weight is burned off, since proper exercise in the sea's climate optimizes fat burning, stimulating the excretion of toxins, and removing water.

International quality criteria for „thalassotherapy centers"

  • The center must be located directly by the sea, and lie within the sea climate's direct influence.
  • Freshly-obtained seawater must be used for the treatment, and seawater may not be treated so as to preserve its ingredients.
  • Every center must have at least one seawater swimming pool and a sufficient amount of cabins, so that every spa guest can receive 3 individual treatments every day.
  • The center must have one or more doctors on-site and employ a professional team of masseurs, hydrotherapists, and sports trainers.
  • Hygiene and security checks are to be done on a permanent and Regular Basis.
  • Health-building activities in the areas of relaxation, nutritional counseling, and bodily activities are to be offered jointly.

How can you tell whether a Thalasso center is good?

At the International Congress of Thalassotherapy in Warnemünde in 2001 international quality parameters were determined. Of course, a thalassotherapy centre can only be situated by the sea. Competent medical care is as important as professionally trained therapists. It is essential that the program includes treatments with elements of the sea as well as components with focuses on relaxation, movement and a healthy diet. The holistic approach is particularly important to me. Every guest has his personal goal and the programm will be geared to that perfectly. The health effect shall noticeable several months.

Can everyone benefit from thalasso?

Yes, everyone can benefit from their own individual program. Your health condition is examined during the medical entrance examination. In evaluating the exam, the daily program is then created together with the guest and consists of three individual and one group treatment tailored towards their needs and goals. Moreover, treatments can individually vary a lot. For instance, for cardiovascular problems, the special tub's water temperature is reduced. For thyroid problems, I recommend mud packs, instead of algae, since they contain less iodine. And whoever is unable to walk very easily anymore can swim in the seawater swimming pool instead of wandering on the breakwater. 
I recommend the weight-loss diet and appropriate exercise programs to anyone who wants to lose weight as well (1000 kcal per day). At Hotel NEPTUN, treatments are also combined, if necessary, with traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture, and with other Asian treatments.

Where does the term 'thalasso' come from?

The ocean, with its various resources, is a pure oasis of health. Even the Greek doctor Hippocrates recognized this marvelous effect more than 2000 years ago. You can read about it in his writings: Whoever opens up the treasure of the sea, and knows how to use it, will receive nourishment and well-being from it. All life originates from the sea, and whoever opens himself up to the sea will find stimulation and relaxation".
In the 19th century, sea treatments experienced a renaissance in Europe  In the year 1867, the term "Thalasso-Therapy", derived from the two Greek words "thalassa" (the sea) and "therapeia" (treatment), was coined in France by Labounadière, a doctor from Arcachon. French biologist René Quinton detected similarities between the mineral composition of sea water and human blood plasma in 1897. He tellingly describes man's close relationship to the sea: "Our body is a seawater aquarium, in which billions of cells bathe". Thanks to this similarity, the human body can absorb and process treatments with substances from the ocean very well. The sea is the past and the future.