When It Comes to Detoxing, All Sweat Is Not Created Equal
We are living on a toxic planet. In a new study led by the Stockholm Environmental Institute, chemical pollution has increased 50x since 1950 and is projected to triple again by 2050. 350,000 chemicals are currently in use and present in our daily lives. When you see the numbers, it's apparent why mental and physical illnesses are so prevalent.
However, there are ways to live a healthy lifestyle and mitigate how much of those toxins we retain. Detoxification is an ancient practice that is still used throughout the world today. Indigenous Australians built sweat lodges for mental health treatment, much like those of indigenous Americans, using steam therapy to detoxify the body. Almost every culture throughout the world has used steam from the earliest times to improve mental and physical endurance, health, and wellbeing. Detoxification is one of the many important benefits of using steam in your everyday wellness routine.
Why Is Detoxing Important?
Our cells, everything our bodies and each of our organs are made of, are vulnerable to chemicals. Throughout the lifecycle, they constantly work to combat the effects of toxic substances. These byproducts of cellular metabolism are toxic themselves. Therefore it is vital that we do everything we can to help our system process and flush the refuse from our bodies.
Our bodies are designed to be self-healing. However, they were not designed to work optimally during the consistent onslaught of pollution in our air, water, and food. Detoxing with steam can help the body and all our organs work as designed, keeping us in better health. Without it, over time, these noxious substances in our body accumulate, causing our organs to work harder and be less effective.
Take the liver, for example. It is responsible for many critical processes, such as metabolism, nutrient absorption, digestion, and detoxification. If unsafe substances are allowed to build up continually, normal functions can be interrupted. When the body can no longer perform adequately, we fall into dis-ease. In other words, we can see an avalanche of cascading health issues that get more complicated to uncover as time passes.
How Does Steam Remove Toxins?
Many people today can't understand why they are plagued with headaches, stomach issues, chronic fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, and depression. The reality is that their systems are under attack and calling out for them to notice. Unfortunately, so many of us have lived with unhealthy food, recirculated pollution, and contaminated water for so long that the effects have crept up slowly. We no longer remember what being healthy should feel like because our bodies have been storing built-up toxins for years.
Stephen Genuis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton has led a group of researchers in testing the efficacy of detoxification through bodily fluids since 2010. They have published numerous studies since that time, including toxin elimination through sweat. Their initial findings showed that steam effectively eliminated heavy metals, including aluminum, cadmium, and lead, from the body. Since then, they've documented that steam can help flush the body of PCBs, Bisphenol, phthalates, pesticides, and flame retardants and may help eliminate mold and mycotoxins.
Relaxing and Detoxing: How Does a Steam Session Help To Relax the Body and Manage Cortisol?
Cortisol is a critical hormone that our bodies produce to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, fluid levels, and heart muscle tone during stressful events. It also has other essential functions, including immunity, reproductive drive, growth, and digestion. Like any hormone that is out of balance, it can result in health issues such as heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, and low energy. Reducing stress is vital to our overall physical and mental health.
Steam may not only reduce the effects of stress but can promote feelings of wellbeing. Most people who enjoy steam showers report that they feel a deep sense of relaxation. That's because the moist heat of the steam room can cause the body to produce endorphins, which suppresses the overproduction of cortisol. Adding different scents through essential oils, relaxing music, or soothing colors can increase the relaxing effects of steam.
The Best Way To Sweat Out Toxins (and by Far the Most Pleasant) Is With Steam
Detoxing your body should be a daily routine, just as you must routinely clean your house, clothes, or vehicle to keep them clutter, dust, and dirt-free. Consistency is key when it comes to using steam therapy to regulate toxins in the body. You could pay for an expensive health club or spa membership where you share space in a crowded steam room with strangers each day. Alternatively, you can have a steam shower at home for only a fraction more than the cost of a traditional shower. In the privacy and tranquility of your own bathroom, you can get the same effects you could receive in the world's most exclusive spas.