Healing Powers Of The Beach

A visit to the beach always makes me feel alive; especially when the healing powers of the ocean became the best medicine for battling my ovarian cancer. I don’t know whether it’s due to being

A visit to the beach always makes me feel alive; especially when the healing powers of the ocean became the best medicine for battling my ovarian cancer. I don’t know whether it’s due to being a Pisces or just part mermaid, but my life-long love of the water gave me the space to meditate and a place for healing. The water made me feel calm, as it lowered my stress levels and put its warm arms around me like a huge, loving hug.

 

Water is magic. It sends the cortisol levels plunging and allows us the soothing sensation of being back into the womb where we came from. As water envelops our outer layer of skin, the inner layers relax and psychological stress floats away, like the ripples widening away from us as we float.

 

When I really think about the ocean itself, though, I delve deeper yet, and ask, “What about salt water healing?” Even without a concrete answer, the proximity to mother nature’s own bosom was the number one reason why I settled on a condo 10 minutes from the beach in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. After a grueling surgery and chemo, the water called out to me. With such a siren call, I am only required a walk of a mile to the water to immerse myself into that blue-green goodness up to my shoulders. Ahhh, peace. All is right with the world. No stress about cancer returning. I was in a protected womb; even the waves sounded like a mother’s heartbeat. I believed and accepted as fact that seawater strengthens the body against viruses and bacteria and I could feel my immune system responding – if not to the sodium, then at least to my positive reactions towards it. Mental will and self-determination are critical to conquering cancer, and I believed that warm water was part of my treatment.

 

Our bodies have a magnificent way of reactivating our cells… we’re kind of like Duracell batteries that never runs out of juice, as long as we want to plug in and recharge at the source. Our bodies invite a powerful, natural treatment to healing and the message is to get lost in the ocean – or the space in nature you prefer – but always looking out as far as the eye can see.

 

Of course, I must confess, I get the Melanoma argument. Sun damage! UV Rays! Heat stroke! So instead of getting that fabulous walnut tan, I wore swim clothes knowing that a tan just did not matter. With enough zinc oxide slathered on, I may be ghostly pale, but also oh-so-spirited! Forgo the youthful freckles and bronzed body, just worry about keeping your working parts intact and protect yourself when enjoying the great outdoors.

 

The combination of sun, sea and sand is so natural and humans have enjoyed beautiful shores for many centuries. Known for cleaning wounds and conditioning the body, once you have been through the poisonous salvation of chemo entering your body, there is no better natural cure than a warm, salty soak. When you think about it, our bodies erode with elements in society. Processed food, microwaves, cell phones, lousy relationships…we are a vessel for bad stuff that we cannot avoid. Even the sand is a miracle natural drug. Walking barefoot sends minerals up through our bodies. The beach requires the least amount of effort. It is about letting go, relaxing those muscles, and sliding back into my tattered, faded beach chair. Along with cooler of snacks (including both Cheetos and blueberries, balance!), glossy, mindless magazines, a book from Oprah’s SuperSoul collection (balance!) and an oversized pair sunglasses for people watching, these items additional proved to be medicines equal to my many prescriptions and vitamins that I dose every morning. I close my eyes and as the waves lap my toes, I become one with the ocean… and one with creation. My mind, body and soul are healing now and it is a beautiful thing.

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Cindy Small
Cindy Small arrived in N. Alabama following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A native of New Orleans, she graduated from Tulane University with an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Masters in Historic Preservation Studies. She spends her spare time writing a weekly “Spotlight” column for The Decatur Daily as well as reading her non-fiction short stories on NPR. Published in various literary journals, her writings are always humorous added with a speck of arsenic.