Since my cancer diagnosis in 2012, detoxing my body is at the top of my list of vital self-help health practices. Despite all of the thousands of toxins in our air, food, homes and offices, it is possible to minimize our exposure through what we ingest and what we can expel. One way to help rid our bodies of toxins and fight disease is through sweat therapy: my not-so-secret cancer prevention weapon.
The Power of Sweat
We all know sweating is something our body does to stay cool. But historically, sweating has been valued by many cultures as a form of cleansing (think Roman baths, Scandinavian saunas, etc.). Our skin is our largest organ and sweating has many health-related benefits. We expel toxins out through our skin as well as our lungs, kidneys and poop. This helps to support our immune function, which in turn helps prevent diseases related to toxic overload. It makes me wonder whether people with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), are actually less toxic.
I sweat somewhat during regular exercise, but it never seems like it’s enough, or nearly as much as when I was younger. So how do I get myself sweating more without having to take up mud wrestling or kickboxing?
Enter the Iyashi Bedrock Spa – the first rock bathing spa in North America and currently the only one in Canada. Named for the Japanese word for cure, Iyashi offers Japanese Ganbanyoku rock bathing, (whereby you lie down on a bed of rocks) and boasts detoxifying and relaxing effects. The ancient black silica stones imported from Hokkaido, Japan help sweat your stress, toxins and (as a bonus) calories away in one-hour sessions. Hot water runs beneath the slabs, heating them to about 42° Celsius. The humidity in the room is kept at 60% to create a rainforest-type atmosphere. Your body slowly heats up from the inside when you lie on the stones. Infrared rays are emitted, heating your tissues several inches deep. Black silica rock bathing treatments increase the body’s core temperature, and are purported to help prevent colds and flus and counteract the negative effects of environmental pollution.
Rocking The Benefits
Compared to conventional saunas, this “far infrared ray therapy” is thought to be more effective at detoxing an array of heavy metals and chemicals such as mercury, aluminum, nicotine, alcohol, ammonia and sulfuric acid. What really motivates me is that infrared saunas are said to improve overall circulation by bringing nutrients and oxygen to all body tissues, reducing inflammation and stimulating the production of white blood cells by the bone marrow as well as killer T cells by the thymus. Given that I used to be a walking mass of toxicity and inflammation, with a suppressed immune system, these benefits are crucial. I don’t know how many toxic elements I release during my sweat therapy sessions, but I do know that the benefits of this very deep and cleansing sweat leave me with mental clarity and energy. I can even enter a room to fetch something and still remember what I was looking for by the time I get there!
Note: If you don’t have a rock bathing spa nearby, you can purchase an infrared therapy sauna for your home. Just make sure it has toxin-free, chemical free finishes and non-allergenic wood, and emits very low electromagnetic frequency (EMF).