The skin acts as a barrier – protecting us from the external environment and also preventing essential nutrients from leaking out! This extensive organ is also responsible for temperature control. By increasing blood circulation to the surface we are able to sweat and eliminate heat.
Sweating is also a way your body eliminates toxins and promoting it on a daily basis is a great detoxification strategy.
Multiple research studies show high levels of heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury in sweat after sweat therapy. They also find fat soluble toxins, such as BPA, in the sweat as well.
Along with the dry skin brushing technique we explored in the previous post, sweat therapy is an effective way you can help reduce body burden. Although the kidneys and liver are doing most of the work when it comes to detoxification, sweating definitely lends a helping hand.
Here are a couple of ways you can sweat out toxins:
- Exercise! When it comes to detoxification, not only does exercise promote sweating, movement in general helps support a healthy lymphatic system.
- Far Infrared Sauna Therapy. I’m a big fan of FIR Saunas for the many health benefits they offer. The invisible rays in this type of sauna are able to penetrate the body and affect tissues on a cellular level. Increased circulation brings more oxygen to the kidneys and liver, improving detoxification pathways. The increase in body temperature promotes sweating and offers a gentle route of elimination.
- Hot Yoga (or any HOT activity). For all of the reasons above! Increased circulation and more sweating!
- Epsom Salt Baths. Adding epsom salts to your bathtub is a great detoxification option. Epsom salts are a magnesium-based salt, and the benefits are related to the absorption of this miracle mineral. Adding 1-2 cups to a hot bath and soaking for 20 minutes can reduce inflammation and promote muscle relaxation. The results include better bowel health and less pain.
Just like anything, it is possible to get too much of a good thing.
If you practice sweat therapy of any kind, please keep in mind:
- You need to stay hydrated! Not consuming enough water can actually slow down your detoxification pathways, compounding the problem! When planning sweat therapy, be sure to get your daily intake plus a little extra.
- Remember to rinse! Your skin is not only a way out but also a way in. After a sweat, it is always a good idea to rinse off in cool water. This washes off any toxins you’ve eliminated and closes the pores.
- Be mindful of your electrolytes. Although sweat is a route of elimination, the percentage of toxins is low compared to water, sodium and other trace minerals. If you are sweating a ton, make sure you replace your electrolytes – either with a low-sugar supplement or coconut water.
The benefits of sweat therapy are primarily related to increased circulation and lymphatic support. Some toxins are also eliminated. Stay hydrated, mindful of your electrolytes, and go sweat!