The skin is one of the largest organs in the body. It is also an important part of your body’s natural detoxification process – and sweat is one of the vehicles that your body uses to carry harmful toxicants out of the body. In his UltraWellness lesson on detoxification, Sunlighten partner Dr. Mark Hyman recommends sweating profusely three times a week in a sauna, steam or detox bath as an important step in helping to detox the body.
Sweating in an infrared sauna can help to enhance the detoxification process. Infrared saunas raise core body temperature by two to three degrees, which means instead of being heated from the outside in, infrared saunas heat you from the inside out, which in turn helps enhance the body’s natural detoxification process.
Sweat is produced by glands in your skin and leaves the body through the skin’s pores. Although many people believe that sweat causes acne, the opposite is actually true. As you sweat, the sweat helps flush your body of environmental toxins, including those clogging your pores and causing blemishes. The real enemy? Makeup. When you sweat, it’s easy for makeup to seep in and clog up your pores. Although sweat might make you feel dirty, it’s actually a cleansing process that can result in cleaner, clearer skin. Just be sure to rinse your face after a good sweat to help finish the process and remove any contaminants from the surface of your skin.
Your internal body temperature has a lot to do with the continued wellbeing of your body. If you are too cold or too hot, your internal systems can fail, which is why the body keeps a tight rein on internal temperature regulation. When we exercise or are subjected to higher temperatures, our core body temperature increases. Sweat is the body’s way of keeping cool. When the brain senses an increase in core body temperature, it signals the body to increase blood flow to the skin, stimulating sweat production. As sweat dries on our skin, it helps to cool us down. This actually improves internal body functions by regulating core temperature and improving circulation.
Another benefit to overall body detoxification? An enhanced immune system. With a smaller toxic load, your body can spend more time fighting off cold and flu viruses and less time fighting invasive body toxins. Ever heard the phrase “sweat out” a fever? Sweating helps decrease the duration of your symptoms and fight off additional viruses.
Sweat will lower your salt and calcium counts, both essential to the formation of kidney stones in your body. The more that you can sweat, the less likely that you will experience a painful kidney stone developing within your system.
Sweat is one of the body’s biggest allies. The benefits are clear, so sweat on! But remember: sweat depletes your body’s store of water, so don’t forget to hydrate anytime you sweat.