Many people feel averse to perspiring, especially in public. With the onset of summer and the pending days of heat and humidity, will you find yourself wanting to retreat to an air-conditioned shop or home? Or, perhaps you avoid the sticky sweat that aerobic activities bring? Perhaps you are like some of my clients experiencing their “Second Spring” (a.k.a. menopause), and feel frustrated at the disruptive sudden onset of sweat bursting out of your pores? But what if I told you that you should not only be embracing those sweaty moments, but also be downright grateful for them? Our body knows what it is doing, so why would we want to deter it from doing its job? Hmm… Now I’m thinking about antiperspirants.
As we know, sweat is the body’s attempt to cool itself down when overheated. Most of us realize that when heated externally as with the summer sun, our body perspires and the fluids cool us down. But, did you know that perspiration is also the body’s way of cooling us from internal heat? Internal heat can be caused by stress, dehydration or hormone imbalance and can be dangerous to the body’s equilibrium. And what if I also told you that perspiration is one of several detoxification processes? Sweat contains synthetic chemicals as well as heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead that we’ve picked up from our food, water and environment. These toxins are foreign to the human body and are dangerous to our nervous system. When we exercise, sweat also contains urea, lactic acid and ammonia which essentially are waste byproducts that the body is needing to rid itself of. And of course, let’s not forget to mention the sudden bouts of sweat that can occur when consuming drugs or alcohol. Are you catching on yet? Yep, the body is ridding itself of toxins there too. It can even help to rid us of a buildup of prescription or over the counter medications. But what about the sweat that occurs when feeling anxious, nervous or angry? Ever wonder why that is? Well, perspiration can actually help us move through these emotions by ridding us of excess stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Additionally, sweat can help us with sex hormone regulation too! Think sweaty teenager or sweaty menopausal woman.
I hope you realize now the importance of sweating and that you can now find gratitude and appreciation for your body’s efforts to maintain balance and wellness!