When the sea is the cure
"Thalassa! Thalassa! Hail to thee. O Sea, ageless and eternal!"
More than 4,000 years ago the curative and regenerative powers of the sea were already recognised by the Greek poet Euripides. And the Greeks were not alone. The Romans too had a saying "Sanus per Aquam", or health through water.
This ancient concept is now undergoing a revival in Egypt thanks to a number of hotels and resorts on the Red Sea. These resorts have reintroduced an ancient natural treatment in their health spas that is based on using sea water, sea spray, sea smell and seaweed all together to reinvigorate both body and mind.
This ancient treatment is known as thalasso-therapy treatment, after the Greek word for sea. You can now find this kind of therapy at, among other places, the Sheraton Soma Bay Resort on the Red Sea, and Sheraton Sharm El-Sheikh and Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai.
Les Thermes Marins des Cascades at Sheraton Soma Bay is one of the region's largest and most comprehensive facilities for thalasso-therapy. The waters and sands surrounding Soma Bay are renowned for their richness and natural healing power, making this spot the ideal location for ensuring effective treatment.
Upon registration, each guest undergoes a thorough medical examination to determine which individual hydrotherapy and algotherapy (seaweed) treatments should be recommended, in conjunction with beauty treatments, stretching and fitness programmes. At the core of the thalasso programme is the Aqua-tonic pool, a large sea water facility divided into separate treatment zones whose different temperatures and aquatic massages are each specifically designed to address a different part of the body.
Other special features include: seaweed wraps, sea water jets, underwater and specialised massages, relaxation rooms, a "sea mist" room, a "hammam", weight management programmes, and personal beauty care, as well as post-natal recuperation programmes -- including a nursery to care for infants while their mothers are pursuing the programmes of their choice.
A wide array of treatment options have been consolidated into a number of individual treatment packages. Visitors on short stays may go for "a la carte" treatments, while programmes can be specially tailored for those with four days or more to spare.
The Sheraton Sharm Thalasso Spa is a 1,600 square-metre centre designed as a first-class thalasso-therapy centre in South Sinai. If you are stressed and need to let go, would just like to experiment with different body treatments, or have a specific area of chronic pain or tension, the Sheraton Sharm Thalasso Spa could well be the place. The treatments on offer may also be appropriate if you're interested in meditation but find sitting still difficult, or would like to explore a spiritual practice without religious overtones.
Accor Thalassa Beauty & Spa at the Novotel Sharm El-Sheikh is also a destination to consider. The spa staff are experts in using sea water, salt, sea air, algae and sand to give guests the purest, most refreshing spa experience. A variety of treatments are available, ranging from floral foot baths to relaxing back massages with warm oil, an aromatic eucalyptus "hammam" followed by a body scrub with Egyptian spices, or a cooling aloe vera body wrap followed by coconut oil treatment. You can also visit the oriental "hammam" with its sauna and wrap room, or sample the age-old art of Thai massage.