The timing couldn’t have been worse. A day before I arrived in Jerusalem to attend the Travel Blog Exchange Conference (TBEX), my right knee went out. I have no idea what caused it. My knee had acted up like this once before. One day I was fine, the next I couldn’t climb stairs. That time, it had taken weeks to heal. But I didn’t have weeks. Jerusalem Tourism had invited me on a four-day press trip following the conference and it wouldn’t reflect favorably on me if I backed out.
On day one of the press trip, our group was dropped off on top of the Mount of Olives. After learning about the Jewish cemetery on the slopes of the mountain, we began a long climb down into the valley. The path was so steep that even handrails bolted into the rock walls didn’t provide enough support. My knee ached by the time we reached the bottom, but the worst was yet to come. We passed through Lion Gate and into the Old City, with its dark narrow alleyways and uneven walkways. Every step up and down was an agony. I wouldn’t have lasted the day except for my fellow travel bloggers, who walked alongside me, providing an arm or a hand whenever I needed it.
I struggled through the next couple of days, grateful for fewer steps and the cable car that carried us to the top of Masada, the mountaintop fortress built by King Herod. My reward for powering through came when we descended from the mountain. Jerusalem Tourism had arranged for us to spend the entire afternoon at the spa at Ein Gedi oasis, where we could soak in water piped in from the nearby Dead Sea.
I climbed into my swimsuit and sank into the super buoyant water. Each time my toes scraped the bottom, the water popped me up and rolled me over onto my back. I giggled crazily, trying to maintain my balance, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t stand up for more than a few seconds. Finally, I gave in and just floated, letting the gentle current carry me around the pool.
For some reason, I was completely exhausted after soaking in the Dead Sea water. I nodded off on the ride back to Jerusalem and fell into bed the moment we arrived. After twelve solid hours of sleep, I woke up feeling totally refreshed and hopped out of bed. A few seconds later I realized the pain in my knee was gone. I rotated my leg. Nothing. I bent it double. Not a twinge of pain. Climbing stairs was the acid test, but even that wasn’t a problem. Overnight, my pain had completely disappeared.
Our guide wasn’t the least bit surprised when I climbed into the van without even wincing. “It’s just another Dead Sea healing miracle,” she said. “There are many stories about its curative properties.” When I later read about the benefits of Dead Sea healing water, I learned it contains minerals that are known to soothe tired muscles and decrease inflammation. It has been known to cure various forms of arthritis and skin conditions like psoriasis. It’s also said to relieve allergies and reduce wrinkles by as much as 40 percent.
It’s been about six weeks since my miracle cure and the pain in my knee hasn’t returned. So is there any truth to the rumors about the miraculous healing powers of the Dead Sea? I’m not sure there’s any definitive evidence, but if my case is any indication, the stories are more than just myth. I’m definitely a believer.
Disclosure: The above article contains affiliate links. If you click on any of these links and subsequently make a purchase, I may earn a small commission, which helps keep this blog free for you to use. I also wish to thank Jerusalem Tourism, which provided my excellent tour of the Dead Sea, Masada, and Jerusalem and its environs.