Beaches have been turned into no-go zones because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this seems necessary to help stop the virus, it is a real damper. It not only curtails people’s freedom to enjoy sun and sea; it is depriving them of a major source of healing.

Both doctors and laymen have long recognised the benefits of spending time at the beach. In her article ‘The Historic Healing Power of the Beach’, The Atlantic magazine contributor Adee Braun notes:

Eighteenth century British high society suffered from a mess of maladies. Fevers, digestive complaints, melancholia, nervous tics, tremors, and even stupidity were the epidemics of the day. The pressures of urban life, pollution, and the general deterioration of society were obviously to blame. Enlightenment physicians began to consider new remedies for old ailments spurred by the new emphasis on science and experimentation. Their new wonder drug was… water. Cold sea water, specifically.

Click here to read the full article.

Women swimming in the sea at Brighton. Coloured etching by W. Heath. Credit: Wellcome Collection Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

A doctor’s perspective

 

What does the medical world say? Sergio Diez Alvarez, Director of Medicine at the University of Newcastle in New England, wrote an interesting article for the The Daily Mail. In it, he cites several studies which suggest that swimming in the ocean may:

  • alleviate skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
  • strengthen the body’s immune system
  • reduce symptoms of hay fever and sinusitis
  • relax the body and reduce stress

Click here to read the full article.

My personal perspective

 

As a healer, I have my own take on the subject (I have been performing healing, on and off, since the late 1990s. But that is another story).

The beach is one of the best places for a person to absorb what is known in traditional Chinese culture as qi or vital energy. The combination of qi from the sea water, sunlight and sand is a potent brew that can revitalise the body. Simply walking barefoot on the beach is a reinvigorating experience both physically and mentally.

It is not just a matter of qi. To go to the beach to swim, stroll or sunbathe is to return to the womb of one’s mother — to a primal world of love, nourishment and securty. It is a subconscious journey the benefits of which some doctors may find hard to explain or believe.

No need, however, to delve into the mysterious. Just watch this video to know that the sea and the beach are an elixir for mind and body.

~Barista Uno

 

 

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