Cleansing Baths

There is a long history of cleansing/detoxification baths used by naturopaths and by spas in Germany. Hot baths (98-105°F) sedate and relax the body, relieve minor aches and pains, and assist in the elimination of toxins. Moist heat causes profuse sweating with loss of water, salt and small amounts of urea, uric acid, cretinine, phosphates, sulfates and lactic acid. Body temperature rises, blood pressure drops, metabolism accelerates, skin becomes flushed, blood is drawn to the extremities, white blood cells increase and blood becomes more alkaline. Hyperthermia, overheating the body, stimulates the immune system, and in reasonable amounts is safe for most adults. Where there is an existing medical condition, it is always prudent to seek the advice of a primary health care provider as to the suitability of hot baths. General contraindications include high or low blood pressure, cardiac problems, vascular conditions (including varicose veins, phlebitis, diabetes), pregnancy, systemic or chornic diseases, seizures, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, significant obesity, infections or inflammatory conditions, and the influence of alcohol or drungs. It is advised to wait 15-20 minutes after strenuous exercise, and 30-60 minutes after a meal, before taking a hot bath. Progressively work up from 5 minutes to 15 and then up to 20-30 minute soaks. Those 65 and older should limit hot baths to 5-10 minutes at a time

Drink cool (not cold) water both during and after a hot bath to prevent dehydration, fatigue and muscle weakness. Grinking 8 ounces of purified water per 20 pounde of body weight, per day, is recommended to promote the optimal filtration of the blood by the kidneys and to keep the tissues hydrated. Coffee and sodas have a dehydrating effect and are not a substitute for water. Orange juice after a hot bath can help to replenigh lost potassium. Flushing the system by srinking plenty of water after a bath will help to eliminate toxins which would otherwise accumulate in fat cells, muscles and joints

After a hot bath, to continue sweating and further assist the skin in secreting heavy metals and other toxins, wrap the body (including the head) in towels. Shower afterwards to remove toxins from the skin surface which could otherwise be absorbed and retoxify the blood. A cold shower is best if your constitution is up for it. Cold water closes the pores that were opened during sweating. It acts as a tonic, and invigorates, enlivens and awakens. Remain in the cool shower or bath for three minutes to constrict blood vessels and stop sweating.

Common and most broadly beneficial baths:

Source: Barry Kapke, Border Exchange. Massage & Bodywork, Aug/Sept 2000.