Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Good & the Bad of Sweating

Sweat is one of those things that we prefer to do in private and avoid other people when we are sweating.  Usually sweat has three main sources.

The first is a physiological one, sweating to regulate body temperature.  As a person's body temperature rises, their body will automatically perspire to release a salty liquid from the sweat glands to help cool the body down. This is controlled by the body's autonomic nervous system, which is not a conscious system.  A person's body temperature can rise due to exercise or other physical exertion.  Generally, this sweat comes from the body's arms, chest and legs with the odor being minimal or mild.

The second type of sweat is also physiological and it releases toxins, such as lead, mercury and cadium, from the body.  It is the natural purifying system of the body and is very effective.  Saunas and steam rooms facilitate this natural form of detoxification.  These have been used by many cultures and countries for years.  Ayurveda recommends sweating therapy as a form of detoxification for certain body types.

The third type of sweat is stress sweat, which comes from the situations and things in life we don't like. Stress sweat is usually from the underarms and contains salt but it also contains fatty substances and proteins that mingle with skin bacteria to create a strong odor.

Clearly, sweat has important functions, but we don't want to have the odor it produces.  Research has shown that antiperspirants actually increase the production of the bacteria that causes the strong odor.  Further, toxins do come out with sweat so it isn't a good idea to block them.  Frequent body bathing and cleansing are a better way to control odor in the long run.  Also, having some stress relieving techniques like exercise, meditation, breathing or mindfulness will help manage stress so underarm sweat becomes less frequent.

So, promote sweating by natural means like saunas and exercise, but be sure to bathe afterwards and rehydrate the body with natural electrolytes like celtic sea salt or coconut water.

Stay healthy & well,

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