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If you feel better near salt water, you are not making it up. It's called thalassotherapy.

Has anyone with POTS/hEDS noticed that going in the ocean makes them feel wildly better?

Editor: Kelly Burch Magazine INSIDER

- Some people have said they feel physically better after spending time in salt water.

- Being near the sea can have mental health benefits, too, doctors say.- Using salt water for healing is known as thalassotherapy.

- When Reina Sultan spent time in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, earlier this summer, she noticed that she felt better than anticipated.

"Has anyone with POTS/hEDS noticed that going in the ocean makes them feel wildly better?," she wrote on Twitter. "Like i get 2-3 days of feeling like i am not chronically ill when i swim in the ocean and idk if its the salt or the pressure or what but even my joints feel better."Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (HeDS) are neurological conditions that can cause joint pain, dizziness with movement, and fatigue.

The Tweet took off, with many others with chronic illnesses saying that their symptoms feel better for days after they've been swimming in salt water. Doctors say that Sultan is onto something — a phenomenon known as thalassotherapy, or using salt water for healing, that dates all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Salt water has physical and mental health benefitsAnecdotal stories of feeling better in or near salt water — like Sultan's experience — are common, says Stewart Parnacott, a personal trainer and nurse practitioner with Baylor College of Medicine.

"There is some scientific basis to support these claims," Parnacott said.A 2021 scientific review found evidence that thalassotherapy is associated with improved symptoms in patients. It's particularly effective for people with certain skin conditions and inflammatory diseases, the review found. "Saltwater contains various minerals and trace elements such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are believed to have potential health benefits," Parnacott said.

"These minerals may promote relaxation, reduce inflammation, and support skin health when absorbed through the skin during activities like swimming or spending time at the beach.

"Being near the beach can have mental health benefits too. As anyone who enjoys a summer trip to the sea has probably realized, being near the ocean can also benefit mental health, says Dr. Elliot Dinetz, a functional medicine doctor and staff member at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "On the mental health front, being near the ocean, a phenomenon often referred to as the 'blue space effect,' has been linked to reduced stress levels and overall mental well-being," Dinetz said.

A 2021 study that included more than 16,000 people in 18 countries found that spending time near blue spaces, including lakes, rivers, and oceans, was associated with improved well-being. Ocean sounds, like the crashing of waves, can also promote mental health and relaxation.

For the most benefit, get moving near waterWhile sitting on the beach or floating can be super relaxing, Dinetz says people often get the most benefit when they move their bodies. "Activities such as swimming or walking on the beach increase these benefits by improving cardiovascular health and promoting the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood boosters," he said. If you don't live near an ocean or salt lake, don't worry, Parnacott says. You can get many of the same benefits from visiting a lake or river — or even a pool in a pinch."Bodies of water, whether freshwater or saltwater, have inherent qualities that offer health benefits," he said.

Low-impact exercises like swimming or water aerobics are beneficial for joint health and cardiovascular fitness, while the buoyancy of water reduces the impact on joints, making it an ideal option for individuals with certain musculoskeletal conditions, he says. "Both freshwater and saltwater environments can offer unique benefits for physical and mental well-being," Parnacott said. "Finding balance and taking time to unwind in nature can significantly contribute to a healthier and happier lifestyle."

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