Men Sweat, Women Shine: The Benefits of Perspiration
By Dr. Denice Moffat
Men sweat or perspire. Women “shine,” but sometimes it is good to sweat.
Sweating and Hydrotherapy
At the cancer clinics in Mexico they use showers in the healing process. Hot and cold alternating showers are done after you drink a glass of fresh vegetable juice and before you eat anything solid. You stand in the shower and turn the water as hot as you can stand it for 15 seconds then you turn it as cold as you can take it for 15 seconds and repeat this process for six cycles. After the shower you put on a thick bathrobe and walk barefoot around the lawn until you dry off. What does this accomplish?
Well, the shifting of hot-cold gets the circulation flowing and flushes the body from the inside out and outside in. Many people with debilitating diseases have sluggish elimination systems (which often includes constipation and liver dysfunction showing up as allergies.) Sometimes taking diaphoretic herbal teas (teas that promote sweating) can be added to this routine. Common herbs used for these teas are cayenne and ginger, but horseradish is also a good choice.
After the sweating process, you always want to replenish your sodium, chloride and potassium with electrolyte replacing drinks (like raw fresh-squeezed fruit juice) or fresh fruit such as organic grapes. After you replace these electrolytes, you will want to replenish your blood volume. Follow up with four cups of filtered or distilled water. The goal should be to drink 8-12 measuring cups of good water the day of the sweat. Out goes the bad, in goes the good.
In my earlier years (like until I was 45 years old) I used to get sun rash every year. Little tiny itchy bumps in various parts of the body. I didn’t sweat/perspire. When I did, it didn’t come out of pores but released under the skin. Some years I would try to use a tanning bed because once I had a base tan, the rashes would not happen but that was rare. So, when a women’s sweat lodge retreat came along I had some trepidation on what the heat would do. I worried that heat rash would show up as well and I didn’t much tolerate too much heat.
It was a moist heat. I sat in the lodge the entire time (about 45 minutes) and was totally surprised when my body just let lose and my pores opened up and I was just dripping with sweat for the first time in my life. From then on, I sweat. Amazing. Of course I had been in the natural medicine field for 3-4 years by the time I did my first sweat so I had cleansed and detoxed and taken oodles of supplements and herbs and done lots of healing work so maybe the timing was perfect for this to happen but I always share that story whenever someone has issues with the sun.
I would also recommend changing from store bought salt to Celtic Sea Salt which is a moist, grey salt which is sun-processed and contains natural minerals to replenish the electrolytes that came out in the sweat. Celtic Sea Salt also has those trace minerals properly balanced that your body needs.
The skin is sometimes referred to as the third kidney and is our largest eliminative organ. When healthy, the skin should eliminate 30% of the body’s waste through perspiration. Sometimes sick, sedentary bodies do not perspire as efficiently as healthy bodies. This is where different types of heat and hydrotherapy are effective.
Using a sweat lodge, sauna, or steam bath is another technique in getting the skin to rejuvenate and open its pores. It would be nice to have all these things available to you when you are sick, but the facts are that you have to use what is in your environment that is available to you. These modalities are becoming more common and I’ve seen mobile units spring up these last few years that will actually come to your house for you. Try them. . .you’ll like them!
One note on sweating with others: When you sweat with other people who are sick, they can off-gas toxic substances. If you are critically ill, you might want to do these types of therapies alone or with one person who can monitor your progress. If you have heart problems, this is especially important because sometimes the heart can’t keep up with the body’s compensating cooling processes. In these cases, starting out slowly with just a few minutes of therapy and working up to longer duration is highly recommended.
Helpful Links and References for Sweating and Hydrotherapy:
- What is Sun Poisoning? https://healthool.com/sun-poisoning/