Recently, my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Greece! As both of us are in the environmental field (he’s an arborist – or Tree Doctor), we were both very excited to experience a new ecosystem! Yes – that is what we were excited for. Yes – we are nerds.
One of the best days of the honeymoon (tied with or second to our trip to the Temple of Poseidon), we ventured to Lake Vouliagmeni, a lake marketed as a “natural, thermal spa day” on google. Well, if that is what all spas were like, I would DEFINITELY be a spa type of girl!
This natural lake is fed by ocean springs that range from 100-300 feet deep! The heat of these natural springs keep the lake at a wonderful 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making it an optimal bath during the winter.
The components of the water, along with the indigenous fish were what made this lake a “spa”. The water temperature helps to relieve musculoskeletal, gynecological and dermatological diseases. It also helps to relax the body, which can help reduce stress and post-traumatic symptoms.
Not only was the temperature a treat, but it’s mineral composition was too! The water is comprised of many things like:
- Calcium, which maintains proper homeostasis of cell membranes, aides the function of enzymes, and reduces swelling in muscular and connective tissue.
- Carbonates, which aid in GI function and increase intestine and gallbladder contractility, which improves digestion.
- Magnesium, which plays an important role in 300+ enzymatic reactions like protein synthesis, neural and muscle function, and regulation of blood pressure!
- Sulfur (who knew that sulfur water could be good for you!), which has anti-allergic and antiseptic properties. It reduces pulmonary disorders like bronchitis, asthma, and chronic lung inflammations.
- Potassium, which is essential for normal cell functions. It helps to regulate the heart and keep the muscles functioning as normal. It also aids in brain function, along with sodium.
- Sodium, which plays an important role in hydration and in basic brain function.
- Chloride, which helps to maintain cellular composition and helps maintain normal osmotic pressure, allowing cells to intake water through the membrane.
- AND FISH!
- The little native fishies in the lake are called Garra Rufa, also known as Doctor Fish. These fish are bottom feeders and love the detritus of the lake floor. However, this also means that if you stay still for long enough, they will start nibbling off your dead skin! This is a gentle, ticklish, experience that we discovered left your feet and legs feeling smooth and fresh. It was a wonderfully unique exfoliating experience.
One of the exciting things to us was that the staff asked you to rinse off or not use sunscreen as this would compromise the mineral composition and add unnecessary chemicals to the water that could then hurt or kill the indigenous fish. It was wonderful to see such care for the environment in another country!
Overall, the lake was a fascinating place that did leave us feeling rejuvenated and ready to return to the states.
Interested in seeing more of my photos from Greece, follow me on instagram or faceook @TheArtofEcology. Also, if you’re interested in bringing the Mediterranean or the Agean Sea to your home (believe me, those vivid blue waters were delightful!), check out my products page or Etsy shop!