Blood, Sweat and Tears
When one takes on a 500 mile walk like the Camino de Santiago, there is no doubt that it takes a lot of “Blood, Sweat and Tears” to reach “finish line” at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Thankfully though, we did not shed any blood on the Camino, but we did a bit of perspiring and even shedding of a few tears (mostly of joy when we reached the end).
We had a lot of hot weather the first 2 weeks of our walk and indeed found ourselves often soaked in sweat at the end of our day’s walk. The benefits of exercising are well documented on what it does for our overall health but you may not be aware there are also many health benefits when we sweat. Maybe that is why the “hot yoga” has been so popular these days?
Our skin is the largest organ of our body and like all our organs it plays an important role in our health. Of course, the most obvious benefit of sweating is how important it is in regulating our body temperature so we don’t overheat. One other benefit of sweating that I was not aware of is that sweating also expels toxins that build up in our body. It also turns out that our “sweat detoxification” supports proper immune function and helps prevent diseases related to toxic overload.
So if sweating was good for us what about those tears? Turns out they are also important for our health as well! In fact, one article in the New York Times called them our “emotional sweat”. It turns out that in addition to keeping our eyes from drying out; they also help remove toxins from out body. Tears remove the toxins that build up from stress.
In reflecting on this I can see now how important the Camino can be in helping us remove the “toxins” in our life. As I mentioned in the past, walking that long of time you can really gain clarity in your thinking (getting out the toxins in our mind), little did I know it also literally helps remove the toxins in our body through our sweat and tears!