After the holiday festivities, doing a full body cleanse can be a great way to get a new start on your health. Detoxification can also help with weight loss, thyroid issues, fatigue, joint pain, skin problems and many other chronic conditions especially if they aren’t improving with the normal interventions. Last week, I introduced this topic by discussing dietary ideas to help with detoxification.
Another essential aspect of a detoxification plan is sweating. Nearly every known toxin, including toxic metals, can be eliminated in our sweat without normally harming the skin. At this time of the year, many of us are sweating less and this can allow more toxins to build up. During the end of my time in Seattle, I was too busy to have time to exercise and the climate was too cool to cause me to sweat. When I moved to Arkansas in the middle of the summer, my sweat stank for several weeks like it never had before. These were toxins that my body hadn’t eliminated while in Seattle.
One of the best ways to detoxify by sweating is exercise. Exercise heats the body up and increases the burning of fat where many toxins are stored. Exercise also improves circulation so that the blood brings mobilized toxins closer to the skin to be excreted in the sweat.
Additionally, we can use saunas, hot baths, or in the summertime, spending time outdoors to trigger sweating. Aerobic exercise is recommended before sweating in a sauna or hot bath for all of the benefits I listed above. The heat from the sauna can then increase the normal metabolic breakdown of fat started by exercise. Always shower after sweating to wash excreted toxins off the skin since they can be reabsorbed. Another way to enhance your ability to sweat is to enjoy a diaphoretic herb that can help stimulate sweating. Hot ginger or chamomile teas are pleasant ways to do this. Also make sure you are getting adequate water and fiber to keep toxins moving out of the body afterwards.
Though sweating is usually safe for nearly anyone, there are a few cautions. It is very important to stay hydrated and maintain proper electrolytes just like we do during the heat of summer. Coconut water is a great option for both of these. Don’t become overheated or dehydrated. Finally, occasionally sweating can irritate rashes even though they may benefit long term from the detoxification process.