After the dry skin brushing described in Dr. Nina’s Health and Beauty Regimen: Sauna Part I, your lymph flow is activated and you are now ready for the sweat.
Have you ever wondered why sweat therapy is present in so many traditional cultures? Skin is the largest organ of the body and one of it’s most important functions is that of elimination. We sweat out toxins deposited in the layer of fat just underneath the skin through the pores that open in a hot environment. Skin is also a very resilient organ, so sweating is an amazingly effective way of unloading a major load of toxins that otherwise are locked in the fat cells or circulate in our system, and could cause damage to vital organs.
Dry sauna is my preference, as we can tolerate a higher temperature and sweat easier. It is important to wear a wool hat while in the sauna. The duration can be 5-20 min, until your skin is moist with beads of sweat. Some people may need to watch their heart rate and start with shorter time, and gradually increase it.
Now the fun part – the cold plunge! Because the pores are open the sweat and toxins contained in it can get reabsorbed easily back into the body, many cultures have a form of a cold plunge, so that the pores get locked closed and prevent the reabsorption. It is a very invigorating, needless to say, and a very crucial part of the regimen. Luckily, it is also short – 10-20 seconds will do. The effect is in the contrast, as the blood that was at the surface will now rush into the core of the body. This is a very rejuvenating therapy, when all the internal organs will get a powerful supply of cleansed blood. Now wash the skin thoroughly with a soap and sponge, and rest. Salt scrub is a wonderful way to achieve an even deeper exfoliation.
I recommend repeating the ritual two-three times for a deeper cleansing and rejuvenating effect. While resting between the sweats you can enjoy a massage, acupuncture, and sip on raw coconut water, herbal tea or Dr. Nina’s Sauna Remineralization Drink. As we sweat we not only unload the toxins but also loose valuable water and electrolytes, so these need to be replenished. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Once you have mastered this routine (including the cold plunge!) you may be ready for the next adventure – using eucalyptus, birch or oak branches in your sweat therapy. Stay tuned!