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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
NI couple open seaweed bathhouse
Northern Ireland's first seaweed bathhouse has opened in Newcastle
Northern Ireland's first seaweed bathhouse has opened in Newcastle
At the end of a busy week at work or with the children, there is no better way to relax than to take a hot bath.

Since Roman times the waters have been soothing our aching bones.

But rather than fill your tub with soapy suds, why not try some hot sea water and seaweed.

Dermot Devine and his wife Claire have just opened Northern Ireland's first seaweed bathhouse in Newcastle, County Down.

"It might look scary, but once you get in there it's beautiful stuff. It's like olive oil all over your body," he said.

"Once you get used to the feeling of the seaweed against your skin, it's fantastic. It's like a big sponge full of shower gel or something like that."

Claire explained that the treatment begins with a spell in a sweat box which steams open the pores.

Dermot harvesting seaweed
Dermot harvests seaweed all along the coastline
Once you have worked up a sweat it is time to take the plunge.

"The seaweed bath, mainly because of the iodine, minerals and vitamins in it, is very good for your skin, particularly dry skin conditions. It's great for muscle aches and pains," Claire said.

"It was the farmers who found that when they were harvesting seaweed that if they had callouses on their hands or dry skin it healed up."

There are lots of ways to relax and unwind but rubbing seaweed all over you, it has to be said, is quite unique.

Seaweed bath in Newcastle

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