We have a tendency to think of a spa as a modern invention, a way to escape the hustle and bustle of Twenty-First-Century life and emerge feeling invigorated. Most treatments, however, have their foundations deep in history; the spa itself originates from Roman traditions that saw them bathe away their ailments while celebrating socially in rather a naked state of dress. (Each to their own and all that.) As a regular spa goer I know my way around a great facial, a relaxing massage or an invigorating body wrap, but one thing I’d never experienced (but had long been curious about) was Thalasso – a treatment that has its foundations in 19th Century French coastal towns, but the benefits known from the early Egyptian period. The general term ‘thalassotherapy’ covers a variety of treatments involving sea water and marine minerals; it’s based on the idea that the minerals and trace elements in sea water (including magnesium, potassium, calcium sulphates and sodium) are absorbed into the skin to boost the body’s blood and lymph circulation,
accelerating the metabolism and promoting the elimination of toxins. It’s history’s version of a detox if you will.
Often used purely as a detox, ‘thalassotherapy’ is also said to be effective in treating
skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, as well as muscular
pain, arthritis and stress. Sea water is thought to be able to boost the
body’s blood and lymph circulation, accelerating the metabolism and
promoting the elimination of toxins; if used consistently, the
metabolism can be improved, leading to weight loss and a reduction in
cellulite too. All this from bathing in some sea water? I thought I’d peak your interest… The modern embodiment of this long-standing treatment combines the
benefits of this almost magical sea water, with powerful water jets that are targeted at
specific areas of the body to alleviate tension, encourage effective circulation and aid relaxation.
Recently I spent an afternoon finally discovering what Thalasso could offer me, in the most beautiful mosaic surroundings. These photos were taken within the Cascades Spa, located on the coast of the Red Sea in Soma Bay, which has been voted the best spa in the whole of Egypt; one of the largest Thalasso Spas on offer, it features eight individual sections (connected within a bigger pool) that each target a specific area of the body (including feet, legs, back, arms and shoulders.) Upon entering the pool you’re directed around the sections, spending up to sixty seconds massaging a specific area of the body using the jets before moving on to the next. This isn’t a treatment where you lay back and relax for an hour: this is hard work, and in some instances it hurts!
Although most is self explanatory, some of the sections
involve you turning around or massaging an unexpected area of the body –
so the therapist plays a fundamental role in you getting the most out of
the treatment. When you get to the giant free-standing jets that blast water into the
pool, that’s when you need to be prepared; you’re blasted with them with
your eyes closed and arms positioned in the way you’re directed,
helping to massage the upper part of your body whilst giving your fellow
Thalasso colleagues a bloody good giggle… It’s a struggle not to fall
over and you will find yourself howling with laughter. The overall experience
is finished by sitting in a warm pool that’s more like a traditional
jacuzzi, taking in the experience and breathing deeply to release any
In order to receive the maximum impact and positive
effect of the Thalasso, it’s recommended to undertake multiple
treatments across a number of days – but that doesn’t mean a singular
experience won’t leave you feeling fabulous. The mineral enriched water
leaves skin instantly soothed and feeling smooth, while the jets help to
immediately alleviate tightness and work as well as any massage I’ve
ever had. Although you feel like you’ve had somewhat of a workout (I was
ready for a nap afterwards,) it’s the kind of experience that leaves
you wanting more. The combination of the salt water, incredible
surroundings, warm temperature and feeling like you’re scratching an
itch you never knew you had is incomparable and definitely rather
Many of the best UK spas now offer a small Thalasso pool or ‘thalassotherapy’ treatments, but in my opinion they’re incomparable to what’s on offer in Soma Bay. The breathtaking surroundings, proximity to the sea (yes, that actually is the Red Sea outside the window) which provides the purest of waters, the expertise of the therapists and the sheer volume of jets that tackle every area of your body make this an experience and a destination I won’t forget in a hurry. If you’re looking for a different twist on your usual spa break, a solution to skin conditions or just a new way of easing those sore muscles, then a Thalasso Spa could be the answer you’re looking for. Harnessing the oldest techniques, the purity of what Mother Nature has to offer and the beauty of traditional mosaics, it’s more than just Instagram gold.
Have you tried ‘thalassotherapy’ or a Thalasso pool? Is it something you’d be tempted to give a go?
Thalasso Therapy is available at the Cascades Spa – within the Westin Hotel at the Soma Bay resort, Egypt. Prices vary, but many packages are available to enhance your experience for the duration of your stay. More info here: somabayspa.com
We were a guest of Soma Bay for the duration of our stay; all opinions completely our own.
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