The World’s First Natural Spa
Of the different healing bodies of water, the most powerful is the Dead Sea.
Since the beginning of time, humans have been drawn to water as a cure for their ailments. Of the different healing bodies of water, the most powerful is the Dead Sea. With a salt content measured at 33%, and an abundance of other minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium chloride, the Dead Sea is far from death; in fact, its healing powers promote life.
Bordering Jordan, Israel and Palestine, the Dead Sea exists at the lowest point on earth, 1,300 feet below sea level. In such a major hotbed region, the waters of this sea have been coveted since early Biblical days. During his reign from 37-4 BC, Herod the Great built one of the world’s first health spas on the edge of the Dead Sea; not only that, but rumor has it that Cleopatra persuaded her lover Marc Antony to invade the region just so she could have limitless access to its mud.
However, it isn’t just Herod and Cleopatra who have coveted the benefits of this unique body of water. Even today, a bucket of mud from the Dead Sea is sold for over one hundred dollars at the mall.
So, the real question is: What is all the fuss about? Let me tell you.
The water’s high mineral content locks in moisture of your skin and has hydroscopic properties drawing moisture up to the epidermis, creating a slick almost oil or lotion like layer on your skin when you emerge.
This past spring, I went to and visited Herod’s Dead Sea resort in Israel, and the experience was nothing short of incredible.
The evening we arrived, I started with a knee-deep stroll at sunset. I could feel the water’s buoyancy almost immediately. The water’s high mineral content locks in moisture of your skin and has hydroscopic properties drawing moisture up to the epidermis, creating a slick almost oil or lotion like layer on your skin when you emerge.
The experience was relaxing, rejuvenating and almost surreal.
Seeing the Dead Sea and the Judean desert at sunset reminded me of renderings of Mars: bare, crater pocked mesas with water reflecting the oranges and purples of the setting sun and the horizon. It was such a privilege. The following morning I took a full body dip and mud bath, and I reached an instant state of zen that put my daily meditation to shame. There’s such a sense of peace as your body just gives way, letting itself be lulled by lapping waves. After that morning, my skin was glowing and my hair was full of shine for about a week! The experience was relaxing, rejuvenating and almost surreal.
Okay, so why did the Dead Sea make me feel this way?
Well, the minerals in the Dead Sea are like a spa junkie’s dream cocktail. Its Sodium is important for lymphatic fluid balance and the immune system, its Magnesium helps reduces stress, slows skin aging and combats fluid retention, the Calcium is great for bones and nails but also for increasing circulation, its Bromides ease muscle stiffness, and its Potassium is both a good energizer and skin moisturizer.
It’s no wonder its spa treatments are so powerful, and that sufferers of arthritis, allergic reactions and skin disease flock to the Dead Sea for comfort and relief.
This abundance of minerals, combined with its low-level UV rays, dry climate, shallow depths, and oxygen rich atmosphere make this unique, healing environment all the more valuable. It’s no wonder its spa treatments are so powerful, and that sufferers of arthritis, allergic reactions and skin disease flock to the Dead Sea for comfort and relief.
While the Dead Sea does so much good, it is also important to acknowledge its ever-dwindling life. As it turns out, the Dead Sea is receding at an alarming rate. The sea is surrounded by a number of freshwater aquifers, which host a plenty of vegetation and animal species such as the ibex, leopard, and jackal. Unfortunately, the countries surrounding the sea have used dams to divert the rivers that supply the aquifers, and pumped the sea for water supply and agriculture.
Because of its ever-dwindling life, the Israeli government has petitioned to have the Dead Sea considered a UNESCO site.
On the bright side, because of its ever-dwindling life, the Israeli government has petitioned to have the Dead Sea considered a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) site. With this ever-growing beauty and medical tourism industry stemming from the sea, it is in the best interest of Israel and all of those who reap its benefits to ensure this body of water is preserved.