Monday, February 20, 2012

Steaming out the toxins

The private club where I work has two large beautiful steam rooms that rarely get used.  For "quality control" reasons, and because I know no one else uses this steam shower, I test the ladies' steam room throughout the winter.  
I sort of feel like a queen alone in the confines of this grand steam shower...not sharing anyone's germs, bacteria and/or toxins.  The water is on reverse osmosis, so chemicals in regular tap water are not emitted from the steam into my pores.
The steam fills the room from the two shiny valves in the lower left hand corner.  I generally spend 20 minutes in 107F-113F steam.  That's my limit.  Caution: find your own limit and consult with a medical professional if you have any contraindications, prior to steaming.  Steam can burn you.  If your skin feels itchy, open the door immediately to cool the temperature and turn down the thermostat.  If you feel dizzy and/or light headed, exit the steam room or open the door/turn down the thermostat.  
What are the benefits of sitting in a hot humid (stuffy) room?  The heat of steam is stimulating for your skin as it opens your pores and releases toxins.  Steam baths help with muscle soreness, enhances the immune system, ease joint pain, ease muscle tension and soreness, improve blood circulation, break up congestion/mucus and can help alleviate stress.
The first few times I noticed the dark spots on the towel I had placed under my legs, I checked to make sure the granite benches were clean. Clean as a whistle and the towel on the side touching the benches didn't have the same dark spots.  The towel was totally white upon entering the steam room, so I presume the dark spots are toxins emitted from my body through my sweat.  Eye opening.
I do hot yoga 2-3 days per week so I feel like I'm sweating out plenty of toxins in the yoga studio.  Reason enough to NEVER wear white yoga pants.  The steam is turned up and now it's time to get the metal out!

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