Thalasso Caparica – Unleashing the therapeutic potential of the sea
Ana Ferreira (BioMarine Community Manager)
Thalassotherapy comprises different treatments based on the potential of the marine resources to promote overall health and to tackle specific health issues. Together with Soraya Sacoor, owner and director of Thalasso Caparica - one of the oldest thalassotherapy centers in Portugal, and just 15 minutes from Lisbon - we explored the story behind such ancient therapies and how they are using the sea and its resources to promote better health, for both body and mind.
[CLICK HERE to access the PDF document of the interview and more]
A quick update on Thalassotherapy
Before jumping into the main topic of the interview, Soraya provided us with an important and interesting background on thalassotherapy. From the Egyptian to the Greeks and Romans, the sea has always been not only a source of subsistence, but also of recognized therapeutic benefits for, well, almost everything! Indeed, it was the Greek philosopher Plato that said “The sea water heals all illnesses”. After reaching its peak during the Roman times, thalassotherapy suffer many setbacks during the middle age (banned by the catholic church as a sinful act, because people had to be naked!) and during the World War II, to emerge again during the 50’s. It’s also important to state that despite the fact that important studies were made on the health benefits of thalassotherapy, there are not many recent studies about the subject!
Thalassotherapy around the world
Presently, there are around 276 thalassotherapy centers around the world. These practices grew extensively in Germany and France, where treatment centers have been developed since the 18th century. At the moment, there are 3 main centers in northern Germany, near the Baltic Sea, and around 60 in France. In Portugal, historical data remote back to 1887 in Nazaré, when baths of warm sea water were recommended by doctors to treat many diseases. In this country, with a total of 2000 km of Atlantic coast, wecan find a total of 6 centers, including the Thalasso Caparica as one of the oldest, to whom we talked to!
The first steps of the Thalasso Caparica
Back in the time, and almost 20 years ago, Thalasso Caparica was owned by a constructor that suffered from rheumatic pains and relied so much in thalassotherapy that decided to build his own center in Portugal. It was only 9 yeas ago that Soraya and her husband visited the center and became completely rendered to its benefits. The fact that the center was for sale at the time definitely closed the deal for both of them! Soraya explained us how they build the existing new concept: “The center was very focused in well-being, but as I was working in the health-care, as a dentist, I felt the need to integrate this component in our offer. This new, but complementary dimension allows for the patients to benefit from a more holistic (or systemic) approach that could more efficiently tackle their problems!”.
Different treatments based on marine resources
The most obvious resource is the sea water itself that, as Soraya explained - “it is collected directly from the sea (characteristics that defines a true thalassotherapy practice), filtered and strictly controlled every month (more than one time) to guarantee the best quality.The water is then heated and used for several bath therapies in our pools and manual treatments using microalgae and sea salts”. Also, Soraya adds that “these therapies use different skin care products with medicinal properties (cosmaceuticals) due to their bioactive compounds”. Currently there are many companies specialized in these type of products based on marine resources, elevating even more their contribution. She concludes that “this is a market with immense potential and we are always interested in experimenting new brands, especially national ones!”.
The new projects that are broadening the scope of marine resources
Besides using marine resources for their treatments, Soraya wants to take a step forward. As she explained “Right now, we are preparing a very important step for Thalasso Caparica based on a special program that aims to broaden the use of the marine resources in the Center, exploring their potential as healthier food ingredients, such as algae! Right now, we are precisely looking for the right partners in this area tho build this approach with us and, when the time is right, we will unveil this surprise!”
We are curious to know how the Thalasso Caparica will continue to unleash the potential of the marine resources! Say tuned for more at the BioMarine Community.
Want to know more info about Thalasso Caparica?
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