Thalassotherapy, a seawater hydrotherapy combined with the marine climate, has been shown to improve mood, fatigue, general well-being, and physical capacities in working populations, but little is known about sleep management. In healthy workers, three days of thalassotherapy combined with sleep management were evaluated using subjective and objective tests (Chennaoui et al., 2018).

Ocean therapy can be an effective complement to evidence-based addiction treatment to promote recovery.

In addition to strengthening your stress management skills and developing healthier coping strategies, ocean therapy can assist in the recovery process from alcoholism or drug abuse.

Ocean Therapy and its Benefits:

Ocean therapy is also known as ocean beach therapy, sea therapy, or thalassotherapy,

which is a form of holistic therapy using seawater, the salty ocean air, and spa therapy to help improve the wellbeing of physical and mental health conditions.

This form of therapy is a relatively new phenomenon when it comes to addiction treatment, and dates back to Roman times where soldiers made used of steaming sweater baths when recovering after battle.

Ocean therapy can take many forms, including:

  • Seawater pools
  • Seawater baths
  • Climate therapy
  • Exercise in heated pools
  • Sea products

This form of therapy is mainly practiced in maritime areas where local seawater can be applied to pools, baths, or treatments.

Types of Ocean Therapy

There are many different applications for ocean therapy.

  • Ocean therapy pools: heated seawater pools are often commonly used in spas, resorts, and on cruise ships.
  • Ocean therapy baths: Day clubs and spas often provide ocean therapy baths where your body is submerged in heated seawater and harness its healing benefits.
  • At-home ocean therapy: Take a dip in the sea for free thalassotherapy if you live within striking distance. You can also find many DIY thalassotherapy treatments like marine bath soak and seaweed body wrap.

Ocean Therapy Psychology

In today’s society life and its daily stressors can trigger depression and anxiety and when mental health disorders are undiagnosed and untreated, many people self-medicate the distressing symptoms with alcohol or drugs. This strategy will provide only temporary relief, while worsening the mental health condition and introducing the issue of substance abuse.

High stress levels can negatively impact the following areas of the body in individuals who are unable to cope with stress using healthy coping mechanisms:

  • The immune system
  • The cardiovascular system
  • Body’s digestive system
  • The Central Nervous System (CNS)
  • The musculoskeletal system

Moreover, stress can lead to a reduction in dopamine and serotonin levels, resulting in fatigue and a depressed mood.

In recent years, researchers have increasingly examined the calming effect of nature on the mind.  Natural bodies of water are believed to have a profound effect on your mental health and well-being. The peace associated with being near water is associated with being close to it and bringing a peace of mind to the fore.

There are psychological benefits to ocean therapy:

  • Calm and peace are associated with blue.
  • A mild meditative state is induced by looking out to sea.
  • The brain relaxes and soothes when waves ebb and flow.
  • Depression may be mitigated by negative ions in salty sea air.
  • Reflecting and contemplating near bodies of water is beneficial.
  • Oceans can boost creativity.

Ocean Healing

The ocean and seawater stimulate the body by boosting immunity, increasing blood cell production, and improving response. Also, thalassotherapy promotes smooth breathing.

Oceans can also heal:

  • Enhances sleep
  • Circulates blood
  • Enhances trace minerals
  • Improves overall sleep quality and improves your cognitive function.
  • Boost your mood, reduce levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and anger.
  • Activate positive effects on sleep disorders.

Increases blood circulation

Water therapy increases blood circulation, restores nutrients and oxygen to your body, and also relieves muscle spasms.

In this form of holistic therapy, seaweeds and algae are sometimes applied topically to increase blood circulation.

Trace minerals are increased

There are many trace minerals found in seawater that are essential to your health and development, including:

  • The potassium element
  • The sodium ion
  • The magnesium mineral
  • The metal cobalt
  • The mineral calcium

During a seawater bath, your skin absorbs these minerals, strengthening your natural defenses.

There is evidence that deep seawater therapy reduces muscle fatigue and recovery time. As a result of thalassotherapy, mobility and muscle flexibility can be improved as well.

Therapy at Cape Town Rehab’s Selected Centers

At Cape Town Rehab’s Selected Centers, we offer a variety of outpatient and inpatient programs at all levels of intensity for the following conditions:

  • Mental health disorders
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Dual Diagnosis

Those in need of more support and structure than traditional outpatient rehab offers can take advantage of an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) or an IPP (In-Patient Program) at our luxury rehab centre.

We offer medication-assisted treatment, psychotherapy, and counselling as part of our evidence-based treatments. Our holistic therapies offer you a whole-body approach to recovery.

Your treatment team will ensure you have the relapse management strategies and aftercare required to sustain your recovery when you finish your treatment program, whether you go straight back to daily living or step down to a less intensive form of therapy.

Call or WhatsApp Christiaan Stroebel today at 082 976 0806 or email us at to get the treatment process started via our Cape Town Rehab team.



Chennaoui, M., Gomez-Merino, D., Beers, P. V., Guillard, M., Drogou, C., Lagarde, D., & Bougard, C. (2018). Benefits of Thalassotherapy with Sleep Management on Mood States and Well-being, and Cognitive and Physical Capacities in Healthy Workers. In Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy (Vol. 07, Issue 05). OMICS Publishing Group.