How to Detox Your Body
There are a number of ways to detox the body. Detox diets and special juicing concoctions of fruits, vegetables, proteins and other organic ingredients come to mind. While those work to cleanse the kidneys and liver by removing toxins, these measures ignore the body’s largest organ – the skin.
Every moment of the day we expose our bodies to the environment around us. We breathe, eat, drink and touch things that deliver toxins to the body, whether we are aware of it or not. Those toxins turn into free radicals which cause damage to the body’s cells where they are stored and ultimately speed the aging process, promote disease and otherwise degrade healthy cells.
There are two kinds of toxins – water-soluble toxins and fat-soluble toxins. Water-soluble toxins are usually excreted from the body through our organs and excretory system (drinking water helps flush these out on a daily basis). Fat-soluble toxins are stored in the fat cells in the body and are not released as easily as water-soluble toxins. Fat-soluble toxins come from food additives, pesticides, plastics, preservatives, heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, and other environmental chemicals in our daily lives.
Did You Know?
Toxins are released into your food each time you heat a meal in a plastic container
Helping the Body Detox
While the body is naturally designed to remove toxins, it cannot keep up with the onslaught of modern living and the amount of disease-causing toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. In Eastern culture, the Chinese refer to the skin as the ‘third kidney’ – a reference to its amazing ability to filter and excrete toxins through the process of sweating. The skin is not only the largest organ in the body it has the largest surface area for excreting unwanted chemicals and pollutants.
The act of sweating removes metabolic waste, metals, heavy metals, salt, sugar, and other toxins in the body. But in order to effectively ‘sweat out’ these toxins, you need to achieve a deep sweat – and to do that you need to add heat. Heat raises the body’s core temperature which stimulates the removal of toxins through the process of sweating.
Benefits of Sweating
Sweating from heat also:
- Increases blood circulation
- Enhances the immune system
- Improves oxygenation
- Relieves internal congestion
- Boosts metabolism
- Relaxes muscular aches and pains
Steam Heat or Dry Heat
A steam room or steam sauna introduces high humidity into the air. As the body begins to heat up the moist heat opens the pores and the body is cleansed of impurities through the process of sweating. As the body temperature rises, the body increases production of white blood corpuscles which boosts the immune system and helps fight viruses and bacteria – bonus!
Dry heat saunas lack any source of humidity and are most intense since moisture from the skin evaporates and you dehydrate quickly. Apart from that, dry heat saunas offer the same benefits of steam heat – the body sweats and toxins are excreted resulting in a healthier body and immune system.
One note of caution about dry heat saunas: If you have respiratory issues, sinus congestion, or asthma, a steam sauna is a better choice.
Tips Before and After Your Sauna
To maximize the benefits of your sauna, drink plenty of water before you enter the sauna. This not only helps keep you hydrated, it helps flush the toxins from your body.
Dry brush your body before you enter the sauna – this removes dead skin cells from your skin and stimulates the lymphatic system.
After your sauna, shower with a castile soap (olive-oil based soap) to wash the toxins from the outer layer of skin and prevent reabsorption of these back into the skin.