CLEOPATRA CHIC

THE MANY BENEFITS OF BATHING IN THE DEAD SEA
by Alan Knight

Image courtesy of dead-sea-cosmetics-shop.com
Imagine you’re wandering through the desert and see a picturesque clear blue lake in the distance.  Surely it must be a mirage, you tell yourself. As you walk closer you see people floating on top of the water and lying next to the shores of a desolate lake covered in mud. You also see salt formations that almost look like ice sculptures and you think this is completely surreal. Do not panic.  You aren’t having a hallucination.  You have happened upon the Dead Sea, the earth’s lowest elevation of land and one of the most mineral rich bodies of water on this earth.

LET’S START WITH A LITTLE HISTORY

The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan was formed about 2,000,000 years ago after the land was repeatedly flooded by the waters of the Red Sea. Through geological changes over the millennia, the topography changed, causing the Red Sea to recede and a large creek to form where the water eventually became trapped. As the water flowed in from the surrounding rivers and streams, the creek grew over time and formed a landlocked sea.

SO WHY IS IT SO SALTY?

Oddly enough, water does not flow out of the Dead Sea.  It’s only escape is through evaporation.  This concentrates the salt and minerals from the original seawater, making it ever more salty. The heat of the desert causes more evaporation and the process continues. Water flows in, evaporates quickly, and salt and minerals collect in the water and on the shores. (There’s so much concentrated salt and minerals that people who swim in it bob to the surface like corks.

WHAT MAKES THIS WATER SO SPECIAL?

The list of minerals in its water is long, containing everything from potassium, magnesium, bromide, sulfur, collagen, calcium, lithium, strontium and so much more. The salt content in the Dead Sea is about 31%, while the salt content in most of the earth’s oceans is closer to 4%. Due to the high salt and mineral content, no plant or animal life can survive there.  Have you ever seen a natural lake with no plants growing near its shore or fish swimming below the surface? However, it's the same properties that won’t allow marine life to survive that provides people with many benefits.  The Dead Sea’s amazing healing properties have attracted people to this area for thousands of years.

CLEOPATRA BATHED THERE

Image courtesy of jacksonupperco.com
When Cleopatra learned of the health benefits of the waters and mud surrounding the Dead Sea it is said she built the first spa along its shores. History tells us she was a lover of indulgence and wanted to preserve her beauty and health. According to legend, she used the therapeutic properties of the mud and minerals as part of her own beauty regimen.

NOW THE WORLD WANTS IN

The Dead Sea has today become a mecca for wellness and health, with spas and treatment centers surrounding it.  People from all parts of the globe travel there seeking treatment for everything from skin conditions, to arthritis and many other ailments that can benefit from the natural minerals and salt in the water, mud and clay.

Who doesn’t want to turn back the hands of time? Sure, aging is inevitable but there are natural remedies out there that have been proven to delay the process or at least soften it. Sulfur helps to provide softness and smoothness while sodium helps to heal dryness. Manganese helps to promote a healthy glow. The Dead Sea contains all these in abundance.

THE THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF BATHING

Balneotherapy (In Latin balneum means “bath”) has been effective in treating many rheumatic diseases since Roman times. One of the therapies in the Dead Sea is to have patients bathe in pools of thermal sulfur spring water with mud packed the mud around the joints. Huge cisterns are placed on the shores of the Dead Sea so people can slather on its healing mud. These therapies have been known to aid in joint stiffness, reducing chronic pain to the joints, lower back and more.

The climate in this region is also a major factor in these treatment therapies. The temperatures in the area are uniformly warm with a low level of relative humidity. The oxygen-rich air, high barometric pressure and low content of pollen and other allergens provide the perfect climate for people suffering from rheumatic ailments. Many sufferers of asthma and other lung conditions have reported significant improvements due to this optimum climate for health.

The Dead Sea waters and salt contains many of the minerals our body needs. Magnesium can combat stress and help to calm the nervous system. Bromides aid in relaxing muscles and calcium is effective in increasing circulation and balances skin moisture. It’s amazing to think one body of water can contain all these essential elements that aid in keeping us healthy. The Dead Sea has all of these elements in abundance.

DO I HAVE TO GO TO ISRAEL TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THE DEAD SEA?

While it is quite an adventure and might be an item to add to your bucket list, you can enjoy many of
Image courtesy of TubKing.com
these benefits in the comfort of your own home. Dead Sea salts, creams and mud masks can be purchased online and in many retail stores. All you need is a tub filled with hot water. Pour some of that salt into the warm water, light a candle and slather on some mud in order to enjoy the natural benefits of those healing minerals and salts can impart. Afterward, you will feel much more relaxed and rejuvenated whether you are using the salts for healing purposes or just wish to bathe like Cleopatra.

In this article, we have discussed some of the history of the Dead Sea as well as the healing properties of the waters and salts. There have been studies for centuries about the health benefits that come from this magical place. It is worth a visit, but the exciting thing is you really can enjoy the benefits to your health in the privacy of your own home. I think it might be time to take a bath!

 Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.



Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com.