How Steaming Can Help You Detox
THE DETOXING MAGIC OF STEAM THERAPY
In a world awash in toxins, pollutants, and hazardous chemicals, steam showers may just help cleanse your system of some of these impurities.
You’ve seen the headlines: Our world is flooded with the byproducts of our chemical lives. As the great whales and world’s game fish are overwhelmed in a sea of plastic, so too are our bodies, subject to a cresting wave of toxins not only released in the environment but secreted in the products we depend on.
It doesn’t matter how hard you try to keep dangerous contaminants out of your life, the bad stuff finds a way in. Even those food products and beverages labeled “natural” or “healthy” are laden with preservatives, nitrates, antibiotics, and/or hormones.
These physical contaminants are not only manifold, they attack at a number of levels. The first layer is easily identified: the air pollution hovering around us, the hormones borne of factory farm foods, fruits and vegetables filled with pesticides, rodenticides, etc.
Then come the toxic outliers, those malevolent actors embedded in packaging as well as other common products. Even clothing and furniture with fire retardant chemicals carry endocrine disruptors (EC) that can cause havoc with your hormonal ecosystem.
The new science of microplastics highlights the health risks of environmental pollutants. An article in Scientific American stated the scope of the problem: “Ingested microplastic particles can physically damage organs and leach hazardous chemicals… Microplastics in the water we drink and the air we breathe can also hit humans directly.”
The result is a constant battle raging inside of you. These invasive enemies breach your body’s defense systems, inflaming your cells, overworking your immune response. You’re left weakened, tired, more susceptible to disease. Your cells, battered by this toxic onslaught, age faster. Your skin begins breaking out.
You need a full-body detox. It’s time to step into a steam room and let nature’s original detox therapy do its job.
The Steam Detox: A Deeper Cleansing
There’s a reason why shamans, village elders, and early Greek and Roman physicians advocated that people use hot springs and ancient steam baths for health and vitality: It worked.
Today, we have more pristine steam room environments that help cleanse us of the indoor and outdoor toxins that invade our bodies. And we have the science to back up what the ancients discovered empirically centuries ago.
The basic detoxing mechanism at work with steam is the sweat response. A 10-15-minute steam session has been shown in some to help the body flush out a number of potentially dangerous chemical irritants. One Chinese study found that heavy metals were excreted in sweat in greater quantities than urine. That’s better for you because toxins have to pass through your organs before being eliminated as waste through urine.
Another study found that sweating helped remove the notorious endocrine disruptor known as Bisphenol A (BPA). Found in such products as plastic bottles and other common packaging, BPA “leaches into food and water supplies, and humans are widely exposed to it,” say health experts. It’s been linked to heart disease, cancer, male impotence, and other conditions. The researchers of the aforementioned research concluded: “Induced sweating appears to be a clinically useful tool to facilitate the release of BPA through the skin in order to eliminate this toxicant from the human body.”
The Skin You’re In
It should be noted that the sweat response from steam showers is effective and thorough. This is important because simply sweating from exercise or high outdoor temperatures isn’t the toxin-emitting experience that your body truly needs.
That’s because particulates and impurities can become dislodged in skin. That’s a problem. Skin is the largest organ of the human body, and the three layers of the skin—the dermis, epidermis, and subcutaneous tissue—act as a microbiome. As a result, skin is a critical part of your immune system.
Heat therapy has proven to deeply cleanse the skin, while providing persistent hydration of the stratum corneum, skin’s outer layer, according to research. Another study found that intermittent heat also helps increase skin circulation, which nourishes the microbiome with antioxidants and other nutrients that combat bacterial invasion.
So to sum up, a steam shower may help create a detox effect that dislodges stubborn chemical debris from the body through the skin, and help act as a barrier to toxins via hydration and healthy blood flow in the epidermis.
But steam’s potential detox power doesn’t stop there.
Breathing Out the Bad Stuff
Another underrated part of a quality detox program is an efficient respiratory system. Deep breathing techniques are a proven health booster both physically and mentally. One of the mechanisms for these benefits is the ability for deep breathing to increase oxygen in the bloodstream. Oxygenated blood can battle free radicals that rage through your body when toxins are introduced.
As you inhale healthy oxygen, you’re exhaling waste. As described by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this process of oxygen in and carbon dioxide out is known as a gas exchange. “Gas exchange happens in the capillaries surrounding the alveoli, where the oxygen that is breathed in enters the circulatory system and carbon dioxide in the blood is released to the lungs and then breathed out,” says the NIH.
Using a steam room may help boost the health and function of your respiratory system. Steam has helped relieve asthma and bronchitis in studies, treating both upper and lower respiratory illness. Steam can works as a natural expectorant, helping you clear airways in your sinuses, throat, and lungs. This helps reduce inflammation in your respiratory system and allows you to help increase your ability to optimize your breathing-detox response.
The Stress Response
Deep breathing also helps relax the body, and is used in many Eastern medical disciplines for a more balanced and fulfilling life. But steam can help you increase relaxation and manage stress in other ways. And this is important for detoxing your body.
No matter how effective you are at removing airborne pollutants from your system, if you’re frequently in a state of agitated anxiety, you haven’t fully detoxed. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Chronic stress puts your health at risk.” A prolonged stress response increases harmful levels of cortisol in your body, which can lead to a wide range of harmful conditions, including diabetes, excessive weight gain, and inflammation. Some health practitioners call stress “the most dangerous toxin in your body.”
You can fight stress with steam. Intermittent heat can help lower cortisol while increasing beneficial hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and aldosterone. All of these neurochemicals help relieve anxiety and elevate mood.
Stress hormones also negatively impact the immune system, which weakens your body’s ability to fight exposure to toxins. By promoting relaxation and calmness, steam therapy helps your body maintain a more aggressive immune response, as the sweat function, deep breathing, and improved circulation go to work on emitting toxins from your body.
Consistent Application Is Key
What makes steam therapy such a valuable potential detox tool is how easy it is to include in your daily routine. Steam showers are passive therapies that are enjoyable and relaxing. You simply sit in a tranquil, enclosed space and let the steam do its work.
While many people get their steam experience in spas, resorts, and health clubs, if you’re truly serious about creating a successful wellness lifestyle, you should look into installing a steam shower in your residence. It’s easier and more affordable than you think, and it will deliver a daily detox that may help stop dangerous chemicals from building up.
Check out a few case studies presented by MrSteam that prove how doable it is to have a steam room in your home. Also, visit a dealer showroom and get an up-close look at how steam can make a difference in your health and quality of life.