Our bodies were built with natural defense systems to protect and rid ourselves of toxins and pollutants that can harm your health. These natural defense systems in our bodies include your liver and kidneys and lymphatic system which break down and expel waste and toxins from your body but the single largest shield and detox system we have in our body is our skin that protects us from outside pollutants. Keeping your skin elastic and healthy helps to block toxins out. But you also need your skin to release trapped wastes and toxins. Skin with clear pores, adequate water hydration and a minimal layer of dead cells allows your sweat to carry toxins out of your body through your skin.
Sweating will help to flush the body and purge it of substances such as cholesterol, alcohol and salt. A 2011 study in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology looked at the concentration of various toxic elements like metals and metalloids in blood, urine and sweat. The authors found that many toxic elements seemed to be preferentially eliminated by our sweat and some toxic elements were only found in sweat vs in the blood. Breaking a sweat appears to be an effective way to eliminate toxins from our body.
So is there a right way to sweat? Most of the time you sweat because you are hot. When the surface temperature rises on your skin, you sweat to cool off and control your body temperature on the surface. This is what happens on a hot, humid day. But you can also sweat when your deeper core body temperature rises, like when you exercise or when you have a fever. You break into a sweat to lower this deeper core temperature. This deeper sweat is where you can detox, eliminating the toxins trapped inside your tissues and sweating them out through your skin. Unlike surface temperature heating with traditional dry heat or steam heat saunas, far infrared heat saunas stimulates the deeper detoxing sweat that you want. Aside from exercise and having a fever because of disease, far infrared heat saunas are the only other effective way to create this deep core heat and sweat.
So do sweat the small stuff … maintain good skin and body health so that your sweat can take care of those small toxins and waste products trapped deep under your skin. Combine this with a healthy diet to support your liver, kidney and colon health and a healthy lymphatic system that is not congested by body fat and cellulite and you will be sweating your way to health!
Dr. James Wu
Clinical Director, Solace Wellness Center & MedSpa