Thalassotherapy is the utilization of ocean climate in preventing and treating disease.
Like many other sciences, it has gone through several phases of development from the empirical to the present day objective analytic research. The old Greek and Roman curators administered sea water as a laxative and used it in skin diseases. There are a few vague statements in Hippocrates as to the effectiveness of its external application in the form of showers and affusions; Plinius, Avicenna and later Savonarola made passing reference to the therapeutic use of sea water.
Richard Russell of England was the first to advocate sea bathing as a form of treatment in the mideighteenth century; fortunately he was able to persuade the reigning monarch to submit himself to "the cure." As a result, Brighton mushroomed as a fashionable seaside resort. In 1791 the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital was founded in Margate, England. Following the English