he skin is the largest organ in the
body. It covers
more than 20 square feet in an average adult and accounts for
as much as 15% of our total body weight, more than any single
internal organ. The
average square inch of skin contains about 20 blood vessels,
60,000 melanocytes (which produce pigment), more than a
thousand nerve endings, and 650 sweat glands.
The skin has multiple functions, not the least of which
is simply to hold your body together and prevent entrance of
foreign objects and pathogens into the bloodstream and
referred to as our third lung, the skin acts as an interface
between our internal and the external environments as it
regulates exchange processes like absorption and elimination.
Skin is a semipermeable barrier through which your body
can not only absorb substances but can also release them.
First we will examine the skin as a
detoxification pathway, and then we will look at individual
therapies that aid the skin in detoxifying the body. You will
learn why sauna therapy is so important to the Lyme Disease
recovery process. We will
survey different types of saunas, including ozone, far
infrared (FIR), and dry heat, and also look into variations in
sauna therapy such as the use of steam or hot rocks, as well
as the construction material used (wood, plastic, or fiberglass).
The skin detoxification
Sweating is one of the primary functions
of the skin. It
accomplishes both temperature regulation (cooling) and toxin
removal. Your sweat is made up many different components.
These include water (up to 99%), and substances like
salt and other electrolytes, sugar, metabolic wastes like
ammonia and urea, metals and heavy metals, and drug
our sweat can be as revealing as urine, sweat analysis is
becoming an ever more common clinical procedure for detecting
a multitude of substances in the body.
For example, a recent innovation in the science of drug
testing is the “sweat patch,” a device which offers an
accurate and non-invasive way to monitor drug use and abuse.
Sweat in humans is produced by two types
of glands. The
eccrine sweat glands are present over the entire surface of
our bodies and are especially concentrated on the palms of our
hands, soles of the feet, and the forehead.
They produce sweat composed mostly of water and salts.
Apocrine sweat glands are predominant in the armpits
and genital area. Apocrine
sweat contains protein and fatty materials and is the source
of the sweat odor which is caused by bacterial breakdown of
When sweat glands are stimulated to
increase production, they secrete a substance (sweat) which is
synthesized from the fluid which fills the spaces between our
body’s cells (the interstitial spaces).
This fluid comes from blood plasma leaked into the
tissues by capillaries. Any
circulating toxins present in the blood system are carried
into the interstitial spaces along with the plasma.
In this way toxins make their way into sweat, which is
a filtrate of the plasma.
Heat stress and exertional activities speed up the
circulation of blood and thus accelerate the release of fluid
into the interstitial spaces.
This in turn prompts sweat glands to produce more
Most people living in modern times do not
sweat very much. Lack
of adequate exercise, the prevalence of climate control
technology at home and in the workplace, and the non-physical
nature of most jobs contribute to minimal sweating.
Unfortunately, decreased sweating means decreased toxin
Nenah Sylver, Ph.D., in her book The
Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy, cites several published
scientific studies which illustrate the ability of the body to
detoxify via sweat production.
For example, from her book we know that nickel,
mercury, and cadmium are eliminated more effectively through
sweat than through urine.
Also, people with known chemical exposure who have
symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and/or multiple sclerosis
can obtain between 90 and 99% reduction of symptoms through
the skin detoxification pathway.
Although skin detoxification is
beneficial to anyone living in industrialized society, there
are several reasons why it is specifically helpful to Lyme
Disease sufferers. As we have seen, those with Lyme Disease
accumulate a greater quantity of toxins than do healthy
can help eliminate these toxins.
The advantages of efficient skin detoxification for
Lyme Disease sufferers do not, however, stop there.
Unlike most healthy people, Lyme Disease patients have
burdened livers and kidneys due to the stress incurred by the
inflammation and toxic burden created by a chronic infection.
As a result, Lyme Disease patients often have very weak
livers and kidneys. Because
the liver and kidneys are the primary detoxification organs of
the body, detoxification is often stagnant.
This can lead to overwhelming symptoms of poisoning by
the Lyme Disease neurotoxin.
Detoxifying through the skin (via sweat)
lifts the burden from the liver and kidneys because it
completely bypasses them.
Sweat production allows toxins circulating in the blood
to be excreted directly through the skin, removing the
necessity for the liver and kidneys to process, store, and
eliminate toxins. The
vast surface area of the skin allows quick, efficient
detoxification without placing a burden on other
The detoxification abilities of the skin
through sweating are limitless.
Even a completely healthy set of liver and kidneys
cannot process more than a small amount of toxins in a given
period of time. In
contrast, there is virtually no limit to the amount of toxic
material that can pass through the skin.
In this way, sweating can greatly accelerate toxin
elimination, even in people with healthy detoxification
is the “shortcut” to detoxification.
The following therapies are intended to facilitate the
skin’s detoxification processes.
The information in this entire sauna
section is based in large part on information from Nenah
Sylver’s excellent book, The Holistic Handbook of Sauna
Therapy. This book, in my opinion, is the most accurate,
complete and useful book currently in print on the topic of
sauna treatment. Another useful book is Sauna
Therapy by Lawrence Wilson, M.D.
Sauna therapy is one way to integrate
sweating into a modern lifestyle.
People have been using saunas and sweat therapy to
detoxify for thousands of years.
In comparison to other methods of skin detoxification,
sauna therapy is the most affordable, effective, and
established method. By
increasing both circulation and lipid (fat) metabolism, the
heat generated by a sauna causes the release into general
circulation of a wide range of toxins stored in fatty body
process has been well documented in medical studies.
Sauna therapy is so effective that the U.S. government
recommends it for detoxification of dozens of poisons.
In addition to accelerating
detoxification, saunas provide numerous other benefits due to
increased body temperature.
From Nenah Sylver (as well as Lawrence Wilson, M.D.,
author of Sauna Therapy, another valuable sauna book), we know
that saunas have the following benefits:
system stimulation and activation
of the autonomic nervous system
muscles and enhancing flexibility of tendons and
energy and clearing the mind
Below, we will examine specific types of
sauna therapy, and then we will look at another type of
detoxification treatment involving the skin: the Epsom salt
What is a sauna?
A sauna is an enclosure in which you sit
or stand and in which temperature is raised to cause sweating.
You can use a sauna at a health club or spa or build or
purchase your own. Cost
of purchasing or building a sauna ranges from $50-$5000.
Owning a sauna makes treatments much more convenient.
Many people believe that different types
of saunas are all about the same.
In actuality, there are some important variations among styles of saunas. Less
important is the shape and size, and more important is the
type of heating element (radiant heat, far infrared [FIR], hot
rocks, etc.) and the material used for construction (wood,
plastic, fiberglass, etc).
Other significant variations include whether or not ozone or
steam is used inside the sauna.
So lets get down to business and look at
all the details of
excerpt is only a sample from the Detoxification chapter
in the book "The Top 10 Lyme Disease
the complete paperback book
this chapter as a PDF e-book (60 pages) to read the rest of this chapter. The
following are additional sections included in this
Far Infrared Radiation (FIR) Saunas
Steam vs. Dry
Materials: Wood, plastic, or fiberglass?
A toxic world
The Lyme Disease toxin
as a detoxification organ
The Hulda Clark liver cleanse
The Shoemaker Neurotoxin Elimination Protocol
Diet, nutrition, and supplementation
Additional detoxification therapies
Milk thistle (silymarin)
Mercury and Lyme Disease: Partners in the destruction of your health
Testing for and treating mercury toxicity
Concurrent mercury toxicity and Lyme Disease
Fish, mercury, and omega fatty acids
The Top 10 Lyme Disease Treatments: Defeat
Lyme Disease With The Best Of Conventional And Alternative