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Detox Part 5 - The Skin

Skin Cleansing

Skin cleanses have been performed for centuries using herbs, saunas and sweat lodges. The theory behind skin cleanses is that toxic substances (e.g., pesticides, drugs, etc.) and bodily wastes (e.g., fats, excess inorganic minerals) are often deposited in the fatty tissues below the surface of the skin. This is especially the case if the other organs of elimination (e.g., colon, kidneys, lungs) are not capable of processing and eliminating these substances. If the skin is not efficiently eliminating wastes, there will accumulate a backlog of toxic substances and wastes in the body. This can put extra strain on the liver to process these substances. In addition, some of the substances that were deposited in the fatty tissue re-enter the bloodstream and cause additional health problems over time.

In order to eliminate the backlog of wastes and toxic substances and improve the skin's efficiency in eliminating these wastes, a skin cleanse should be performed. I have seen and heard of many cases where the more powerful forms of skin cleanses have significantly improved the condition of persons with severe allergies and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.

A sauna is used in some of the cleanses below. A sauna is contraindicated in cases where the patient is very weak, very obese, pregnant, or suffering from hepatitis, jaundice, or anaemia. Since minerals can be lost during the use of a sauna, it is very important to replace those minerals and get extra supplementation by:

  • Eating slightly more sea vegetables and kelp
  • Taking chelated and colloidal minerals capsules or liquid minerals.
  • Taking salt and potassium tablet is you are in the sauna for more than 1-hour per day.
  • Following your health practitioner's advice for any other supplementation needed during the skin cleanse.

  • Air Bath - Bathing the skin in fresh air can be very helpful to promote the skin's ability to eliminate toxins. An air bath can be done outside in a bathing suit if it is warm outside or in a warm room with the windows open. Try to avoid taking an air bath in extreme heat to avoid getting overheated. Avoid mid-day sun in the Summer to prevent sunburn. Fifteen minutes to a half hour is plenty of time for an air bath.

    Skin brushing with a natural bristle brush is a very good way to promote elimination of wastes from the skin and to improve the overall health of the skin. I have seen it recommended by both holistic health practitioners and dermatologists. I strongly recommend performing skin brushing on a regular basis in order to help promote healing of the organs that are burdened by excess wastes. Purchase a natural bristle skin brush with a long handle from your local natural foods store. Use this brush to brush in little circles in every part of your body except your head and other sensitive areas (e.g., genitals). This should be done at least one time every other day. (I do skin brushing every evening before bedtime.) It should be done twice per day, morning and evening during a GI tract or skin cleanse or during an acute illness. Many natural food stores sell natural bristle complexion brushes which can be used on more sensitive areas. You should also purchase a natural bristle hair brush.

    Simple Cleansing Bath A very simple cleansing bath can be performed as follows:
    1. Fill the bathtub with hot, unchlorinated water. (If no unchlorinated water is available, add 2 Tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) to the bathwater)
    2. Add 2 cups of baking soda to neutralize the acids of the toxins.
    3. Add 2 cups of Epsom Salts to the water. They will help draw toxins out of the body. If you have a rash or open cut, the Epsom Salts may sting, so do not use them.
    4. Soak in the tub for 1/2 hour.
    5. Drink a lot of hot herbal tea while in the bath.

    Sauna Cleansing The use of a sauna can be a powerful tool in performing a skin cleanse. In order to perform a simple sauna cleanse, do the following: a. Locate a sauna that does not have the wood treated with toxic disinfectants. b. Use a low temperature. The temperature should be high enough that you work up a moderate sweat after 10-15 minutes, but low enough that you can stay in there for 45 to 90 minutes. You may have to experiment with the temperature adjustments. c. It is very important to take mineral supplements during this cleanse. d. Take a shower using natural soap after the sauna. Use a water filter (preferably). e. Use activated charcoal (or bentonite clay) to slow down or stop any reactions caused by toxic chemicals re-released into the bloodstream. A colonic can be used to removed any toxic chemicals that have been dumped into the intestines. f. With your health care practitioner's permission, you can perform this cleanse for 3 days each of three weeks.

    Ocean/Sauna Skin Cleanse This is a simple skin cleanse which can be done if you have access to a sauna near ocean (salt) water. You will need the approval of your healthcare practitioner to use the sauna and you need to be careful that the ocean water is not too cold. The steps are as follows: 1. Swim/stand in ocean water for 5-10 minutes. 2. Sit in the sauna until you have worked up a good sweat (approximately 10-15 minutes). 3. Swim/stand in ocean water for 5-10 minutes. 4. Rinse off the ocean water with fresh water. You can perform this cleanse several times a week if you are finding it helpful.