It was Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and so-called “father of medicine”, who first noted the therapeutic powers of salt water, when he noticed how it healed the injured hands of fishermen.
It is now known that sea salt therapy, or thalassotherapy, can help rejuvenate cells and induce a healthy exchange of minerals and toxins between the blood and the water, improving everything from your immune system to your metabolism and your skin.
No wonder the Romans built spas at Murcia’s Mar Menor lagoon – the 170km2 of water is never more than 7m deep, is 5°C warmer than the Mediterranean and 25 per cent saltier. Not to mention the waters here are rich in magnesium, calcium, sodium, bromide, iodine and flouride, guarding against everything from arthritis to tendinitis. As an added bonus, Mar Menor also hosts Europe’s largest open-air mud therapy area, notably at Lo Pagán – the “black mud” here increases the body’s absorption of minerals and has properties that help heal bones. Aside from all that, floating in warm salty water, or rolling around in gooey mud, is simply rather good fun.
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Get healed at these three spas
Balneario de Leana
This spa resort in the desert just one hour from the coast features two outdoor thermal pools, and the team is noted for rehabilitation and treatment of skin conditions.
Mercure Thalasia Costa de Murcia
Set in San Pedro del Pinatar, to the lagoon’s north, Mar Menor mud is a staple of the treatments here while marine water for thalassotherapy and the swimming pools is extracted 1km off the coast.
Balneario de Archena
The Archena spa lies in the Ricote Valley near the Segura River, whose medicinal water is central to the range of wellness and hydrotherapy treatments on offer.
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