Our primal ancestors had a tough life. They were constantly hunting and fishing for their next meal. And they scrounged the countryside for nuts, roots and berries. But at least they had pure, clean air, food and water.
We can’t say the same.
Toxins in Our Environment
We’re bombarded by more than 80,000 chemicals used in our industrialized world. These toxins are in everything from your clothes to dental fillings to carpeting, computers and plastics.
It’s impossible to avoid them. When the CDC tested about 2,400 people a few years ago, it found 215 toxic compounds in their urine and blood. Almost every single person had measurable amounts of the toxic fire retardant BDE-47.1 And nearly 40% of Americans have toxic levels of lead in their bodies.2
The Effects of Toxins
When you accumulate enough of these chemicals you might suffer with fatigue, headaches, muscle soreness, bloating and depression. You could also develop diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Our bodies just weren’t designed to live in this toxic soup. That’s why it’s so important to detox.
The Best Detox
Our primal ancestors relied on a good sweat to get rid of whatever toxins they encountered. A combination of exercise and time in the sun naturally raised their temperature. That triggered their bodies to perspire and release toxins.
A good sweat is still one of the best ways to detox.
About 30% of your body’s waste passes through your skin. In fact, your skin is designed to release nearly two pounds of toxic waste daily through perspiration.3
But we don’t sweat the way our primal ancestors did. We’re not as physically active. We don’t spend as much time in the sun. Our homes and offices are climate-controlled… to avoid sweating!
How to Sweat It Out
I recommend infrared saunas and showers to sweat out the toxins. I have an infrared sauna at my house and an infrared shower at my clinic.
Here’s what’s so great about infrared heat…
Far infrared rays are part of the sun’s invisible spectrum. We can’t see these energy waves but we feel their heat.
Benefits of Infrared Heat
And unlike other heat, far infrared light easily penetrates deeper into human tissue — as much as several inches — and heats your body. This deep penetration activates and releases debris from the fat just beneath the skin. It also allows your body to free toxins stored in other organs and tissues.4
Infrared saunas are more efficient at detoxing than traditional steam saunas. In one study, sweat from a traditional sauna was up to 97% water. But sweat released in an infrared sauna was only 80% to 85% water. The remaining 15% to 20% was made up of heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia, uric acid and fat-soluble toxins.5
You can get far infrared heat by sitting in the sun. But at the same time you’d be getting ultraviolet rays. Overdoing it could burn your skin or cause cancer.
That’s why far infrared technology is so amazing. It harnesses the healing heat of the sun without the damaging effects of UV radiation.
Is Infrared Therapy Safe?
Far infrared therapy is completely safe. It’s the same heat neonatal units use to soothe infants and keep them warm.
To get the full benefits of detoxification, here are some pointers I give my patients:
1. Build Up Slowly.
Start with no more than five minutes. If you have a heavy toxic load, you don’t want to dislodge those chemicals too quickly. You could get a reaction that feels like the flu.
Add 30 seconds to a minute each session. Work up to 15 or 30 minutes. Start with once a week and work up to a daily session.
2. Brush Your Skin First.
Before your sauna, vigorously dry-brush your skin with a natural fiber brush. This removes dead skin cells and stimulates circulation. It helps unblock pores that have been clogged with soaps, lotions and creams. After skin brushing, take a quick warm or hot shower just to rinse off.
Be sure to drink plenty of mineral water before, during and after your sauna session to replenish both lost fluids and minerals.
4. Post-Sauna Shower.
Following the sauna session, gently scrub the toxins and sweat from your skin in a warm or hot shower. Finish with 30 seconds or more of cold water to close your pores. It may take some getting used to. But before you know it, the cold water will feel less shocking and more invigorating.
As long as you are reasonably healthy you should have no problems with an infrared sauna or shower. But if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, or if you are pregnant, talk to your doctor first.
Featured photo credit: Minghong via commons.wikimedia.org