Being a highly sensitive empath, I’ve found many healing benefits of the sea + swimming.
Healing Benefits of the Sea include relaxation, fitness + mental health improvements.
This article looks at some of the scientific reasons the sea is healing, as well as my recent sea adventure + discoveries!
Recently, I nearly drowned – and the experience was a great teacher!
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A few weeks ago, I swam in the ocean without realising the strength of the waves.
We were visiting a sedate seaside town, where usually the waters are mellow + tranquil.
Hot + bothered from walking at noon, I ran into the sea from a short beach.
I didn’t realise there was such a steep drop from the shoreline.
The waves were crashing hard as I tried to swim out past the surf.
I heard a whistle behind me: an irate lifeguard getting kids out.
He gestured for me to come back in to shore.
That’s when I realised just how powerful the swell was.
The closer I got to shore, the bigger the waves got.
And the strength of the undertow as they retreated.
Stuck in the impact zone, the sea shook me up, like a rag doll in a washing machine.
I was getting exhausted.
Only a few metres to the beach, but I was unable to fight free of the sea.
Defeated, I extended my arm to the lifeguard.
Between waves, he begrudgingly pulled me onto sand.
This experience reawakened me to the animalistic nature of our oceans.
Art + literature reflects the sea’s immense power to beguile + destroy.
I’ve become fascinated by surf wipe outs + big waves (– YouTube favourites below!)
Yet, science tells of the incredible healing benefits of beach, waves + water too.
The healing benefits of the sea for empaths far outweigh the negatives + risks, if you are sensible.
I want to share a few of the science-validated health effects for empaths here.
Healing Benefits of the Sea: Science
Sitting on the beach or walking by a coast, feels good. Science is starting to understand the healing benefits of the sea.
Orfeu Buxton, an associate professor of bio-behavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, says that wave sounds calm humans.
According to Richard Shuster, PsyD, clinical psychologist staring at the ocean changes your brain waves’ frequency + puts you into a mild meditative state.
Furthermore, the coastal air + mineral-rich sea water is full of negative ions which may help with a range of health issues, including mood and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Healing Benefits of the Sea: Grounding
Additionally, when you walk barefoot, sit or lie on sand or rock, you’re connecting your body to a negatively charged supply of energy, and this is grounding.
Grounding (also known as earthing) connects you to the planet’s natural healing energy and is recommended by several scientific sources.
Grounding can reduce inflammation, pain and stress; while improving blood flow, sleep + vitality.
Healing Benefits of the Sea: Salt Water Miracle
Added to that, salt water has even more surprising healing benefits.
Cold water boosts immunity – stimulating the body’s largest organ (skin) and releasing toxins. The Wim Hoff Method is a widely known practice that can be done in a cold shower or bath, not just in the sea or a lake.
Salt water helps reduce inflammation, pain + infection, helps skin conditions + sleep.
Salt water contains chloride, calcium and potassium, electrolytes that work together to move fluid around the body and balance acids / bases at a cellular level. You can’t absorb electrolytes through the skin, but drinking small amounts of sea salt with lemon may help restore electrolyte balance in the body.
Swallowing sea water, by accident or otherwise, can clean the nasal passages + airways from excess phlegm.
Magnesium for mental health
Nevertheless, even if you can’t get to the sea, you can still bathe in Epsom salts or sea salts for relaxation, grounding, cleansing + mental healing.
Stress burns through magnesium, lowering reserves + increasing anxiety. Low magnesium symptoms include:
- Loss of focus
- Poor memory
- Moodiness / depression
- Muscle cramps / Headaches
- Weak bones (used to transport calcium)
- DNA damage
- Increased ageing
- Cardiovascular issues
Magnesium cannot be absorbed into the blood-stream through the skin, but plant-based sources of magnesium are abundant, according to Viva! The Vegan Charity:
Wholegrain foods (quinoa, wholegrain rice, oatmeal or rolled oats), many nuts + seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, etc) pulses (tofu, beans and lentils), spinach, soya milk and cocoa powder.Viva! The Vegan Charity
If you’ve been stressed or are in burnout recovery, you could use a high quality food state supplement, such as Cytoplan’s Biofood Magnesium.
It’s not strictly a healing benefit of the sea, as it doesn’t get into the blood stream from bathing.
However, sea water swimming can make your skin silky smooth.
Either way, it’s good to keep your magnesium + mineral levels healthy.
Healing Benefits of the Sea: Swimming
Despite the risks, swimming in the sea helps muscle toning, strength, lung health + overall fitness.
It’s probably my favourite of all healing benefits of the sea.
For example, the deep breathing is cleansing + releases tension, like a yoga Pranayama exercise.
Your body is full supported by the water, which reduces risk of injury. Using so many muscles, it is a form of calisthenics. Swimming supports the back and can improve lower back issues.
I swim 30 minutes 3 x a week to build strength for safe sea swimming.
Even without sea swimming, you get all the positive healing effects of swimming, including: relaxation, toning, circulation, better sleep + increased lung capacity.
Healing Benefits of the Sea: Awe + Spirituality
My new reverence for the sea includes a fetish for watching surfing wipe outs, big waves + ships in storms.
Here’s three of the best.
Healing Benefits of the Sea: A Metaphor for Life
Additionally, experienced surfers, ocean experts + swimmers gave me these 3 tips to keep me safe in future:
• Never take eyes off the ocean
• Goggles on, swim under waves as they come in
• Don’t fight a strong current.
When you spend time in nature, observe the patterns that show themselves, then apply them to your own life.
Nature is a great teacher, as we are all part of it.
If you pay enough attention, you can ‘read’ nature, just like you read cards or tea leaves.
For example, the sea lessons above can be metaphors for human life too.
When was the last time you tried to fight a strong (life) current?
Have you ever surrendered to a strong current? What happened? Where did you end up?
What are the signs you are fighting the current of your life?
In terms of cycles: is the tide coming in (energy rising) or going out (energy falling / decreasing)?
Healing benefits of the sea: Conclusion
In conclusion, the healing benefits of the sea are wide and far reaching.
Healing benefits of the sea include mental, physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
Furthermore, healing benefits of the sea include adventure, as well as relaxation.
The spiritual healing effects include inspiration, contemplation, awe + spiritual connection.
To offer thanks + gratitude, and respect, for the many healing benefits of the sea, you can become an ocean activist in a way that is healing to you + the planet.
Sea Witch Offerings: Oceans in Crisis
In gratitude for all the ocean gave me, I’m involved with marine preservation campaigning!
If you love dolphins, whales + the sea, please join in!
It only takes a minute:
Article copyright Amy Garner 2021. See my Copyright Notice + Disclaimer
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