Therapeutic ‘Powers’ of Porto Santo

3 min read

Did you know that the sand and sea water of Porto Santo have therapeutic properties?

If you are looking for a Zen moment, where all the attention is directed to taking care of yourself, your health and your well-being, try the Psammotherapy (hot sands) and Thalassotherapy (sea water) in Porto Santo. The spas are beautiful and very well maintained. Its environment inspires peace, delicacy and balance.

The therapeutic benefits of the island of Porto Santo have been known for a long time. The relaxation the island provides is so attractive, that one wishes to return year after year.

Some facts ...

In the 1970s, several German and American doctors discovered the therapeutic properties of the island's sand and sea water. They found out that their patients improved their physical condition by covering their bodies daily with warm sand and diving in the sea. Subsequently, the University of Oslo and Aveiro scientifically proved these improvements. It turns out that the island of Porto Santo has physical, chemical and thermal properties, which contribute to health.

Porto Santo

This very fine, carbonated and biogenic sand, composed of marine microorganisms, algae and mollusc shells, easily adheres to the skin. As it is rich in natural anti-inflammatory diseases like strontium, these can be absorbed by the skin. For this to happen, the warm sand should be in contact with the skin for 30 minutes. The heat produces the sweat that dissolves and releases the minerals from the sand, which are absorbed by the skin. After about 10 treatments, the benefits begin to manifest.

The sea water of the Atlantic ocean, rich in iodine, calcium and magnesium, also contributes to health and relaxation.

What is Thalassotherapy?

Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word "thalassa", meaning "sea") is the use of seawater as a form of therapy. It is based on the systematic use of seawater, sea products, and shore climate. The properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin.

Thalasso Spa – Vila Baleira Resort

In the Madeira archipelago the Thalassotherapy treatments are held at the Vila Baleira Thalasso Spa. This center has a Vitapool circuit with the sea water of Porto Santo, as well as saunas, a Turkish baths, a jogging path freshwater and jet showers, several swimming pools and massage/treatment rooms.

Additional are the treatments of acupuncture, therapy and inhalation with marine aerosols, recommended in the treatment of sinusitis and other respiratory problems. The manual massage of Vichy Shower is one of the most sought after as it uses jets of sea water to massage the body.

What is Psammotherapy?

The term Psammotherapy (from Greek “psammo”, meaning "sand") is used for applications where the deep, dry heat of quartz sand is used; applicable for relaxation or as a wellness treatment for various ailments.

In the Spa of the Hotel Porto Santo they have vats or baths with heated sands, duly maintained to guarantee the temperature, humidity and hygiene appropriate to the treatments.

Psammotherapy Porto Santo Madeira

Those interested in these treatments will have to take the bathing suit (to increase the surface of contact with the skin) and are advised not eat heavy meals on the day of treatment. Upon arrival at the spa, a therapist measures your blood pressure and fills in a medical record. People with heart, circulatory, kidney or hypertension / hypo-tension problems can not undergo the Psammotherapy.

The next step is to start the treatment (sand bath), which consists of lying on the warm sand and being completely covered with sand, up to the neck. The contact with sand has a duration of 30 minutes. After this time the person should relax for one hour (minimum) and drink plenty of fluids.

The temperature of the sand is around 40º C and it is recommended a two sessions per day, of 30 minutes each.

Psammotherapy is an ideal treatment of diseases such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia.

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