It can be easy for us to assume that people who lived thousands of years before us were primitive and ignorant, but that really isn't the case. While we've certainly experienced a vast number of amazing advances over the years in a variety of areas, many of the pillars of our society are built on the foundations laid by the civilizations that came before us. One habit that can be found in a number of different cultures, including the Romans, the American Indians, the Turks, and the Scandinavians, is the habit of using saunas or bathhouses for sweating and detoxification.
While this habit has become much less common than it has been throughout history, our bodies' processes of eliminating toxins haven't changed. Sweat is a primary way our bodies rid themselves of a number of toxins. In fact, a review study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found that our sweat contains toxins that include arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, flame-retardant chemicals, and BPA. Yet many of us are sweating less than humans ever have throughout history. This is thanks to our desk jobs, air conditioning, and general aversion to exercising.
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When we don't sweat, toxins build up in the body, which can be particularly dangerous for people with underactive thyroids, who tend to sweat less as it is. The good news is, if you can get your body to sweat, you can excrete more of the toxins that compete for the receptors the thyroid gland uses to capture iodine. The more iodine the thyroid can capture, the better it will function.
As ancient cultures recognized, you can sweat out toxins efficiently and effectively in a sauna. Saunas also help you fight off heat-susceptible viruses. We do have an advantage over the ancients in that we have access to infrared saunas, which are the best at promoting detoxification because they heat your body from the inside out. But wet or dry Finnish saunas can also be remarkably effective if they're all you have access to.
While we don't always associate sweaty skin with clean skin, sweat is a sign that your body is cleaning itself from the inside out. And in the long run, detoxing regularly, along with eating a clean, healthy diet and hydrating to help you avoid toxins in the first place, can help your skin look the best it possibly can.
To your health, naturally,