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Typically, your body will sweat in response to an internal rise in temperature, whether caused by exercise or being in the sun on a hot day. However, sweating can also be the result of a faulty neurological response, related more to mental or emotional stress than proper temperature control. Anxiety can cause a number of neurological symptoms, such as dizziness, headache, hyperventilation, trembling, and sweating.
A FAR Safer Way to Remove Armpit Body Odor
As you can see, sweat glands have many important functions and removing them with destructive types of techniques like the one described in the featured article can potentially be a prescription for disaster. Similarly, it would be equally unwise to suppress the sweat with aluminum antiperspirants as I more fully discuss in this article on the dangers from using antiperspirants. One of the best strategies that I have found to SAFELY address this and actually increase your health would be to suntan your armpits. I realize this is not practical for most people, but I had an opportunity to try it. I did it primarily for cosmetic purposes.
I haven’t used antiperspirants for over 30 years but rather wash my armpits with soap and water. But when I exposed my armpits to 30-60 minutes of regular sunshine, I noticed that I no longer needed to use soap in my armpits for odor control. Apparently the ultraviolet rays are able to sterilize the bacteria in the armpit that cause the odor. I encourage you to try the experiment, just be careful not to burn your armpits. You can also use an approved tanning bed if appropriate sunlight exposure is not readily available.
Important to Treat the CAUSE of the Problem
In Jessica’s case above, the increased sweating was a result of her body responding adversely to stress. So rather than destroy useful sweat glands with cool new microwave technology, it is important to understand that your sweat glands indeed provide a benefit. It makes far more sense to address the underlying cause. If you disagree with this then you might be the type of person who would also prefer smashing the warning lights on your car’s dashboard when they light up instead of addressing the reason for the warning.
Obviously most rational people would not destroy the idiot lights as they would appreciate that they are valid and important signals and that the car is communicating that there’s some problem that needs to be addressed. Destroying the lights or disabling them does simply NOT solve the problem, and even worse, could lead to catastrophic failure down the road, if ignored.
Most pain your body serves a similar valuable function. I encourage people to be very grateful for any pain they have as it is phenomenal feedback that tells you something in your life needs to be adjusted to remove that pain. If you make the mistake and suppress it with drugs or surgery, and fail to address the underlying cause, you are simply inviting a health disaster.
The same is also true for “classic” heart risk factors like elevated total cholesterol, for which one in every four adults over the age of 45 in the US now take statin drugs, completely failing to address the underlying cause. By failing to improve their cholesterol ratios by adjusting their diet and exercise, they fail to address the underlying biochemical signaling that typically results in insulin and leptin resistance, and thus they paradoxically actually increase their risk for not only heart disease but cancer.
So, if you struggle with persistent excessive sweating, before you rush to shut down your body’s thermal regulation processes, it would probably be wise to employ some non-invasive techniques to address any underlying psychological factors first. I would recommend trying the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – a simple and non-invasive energy psychology tool that can help address unresolved emotional trauma causing anxiety or stress.
Other Questionable Tech Advances
The miraDry device is just one example of technological advances and body treatments that might not be good for you. Other similar examples include:
- CoolSculpting,10 which kills fat cells under the skin by freezing them to the point of elimination. Once crystallized, they die and are eliminated from your body.
- Laser hair removal. While popular, it’s important to realize laser hair removal is not a risk free endeavor.11 Common side effects include pain, swelling, skin irritation, hyper pigmentation, burns, infection, scarring and other changes in skin texture.12,13
Be aware that some states do not require any kind of licensing to perform laser hair removal, and in inexperienced, untrained hands, you’re far more likely to suffer more serious side effects,14 including permanent disfigurement.
- Bikini (and body) waxing. Last month, a family physician called for an end to the “war on pubic hair,” claiming the practice of removing pubic hair increases risks of infection and sexually transmitted diseases. As reported by The Independent:15
“As director of the health centre at Western University in Washington State, US, she has seen the consequences. ‘Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles, leaving microscopic open wounds. Frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that is combined with the warm, moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest bacterial pathogens.’…
In her practice it is not unusual to find patients with boils and abscesses on their genitals from shaving as well as cellulitis, an infection of the scrotum, labia or penis from shaving or from having sex with someone infected. Herpes is also an increased risk ‘due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals.’ ‘It follows that there may be vulnerability to the spread of other sexually transmitted diseases as well,’ she says.
‘Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing a cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, and protection from bacteria. It is the visible result of adolescent hormones and certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.’”
The hairless ideal sought by so many people is in truth both unattainable and probably not entirely healthful. Body hair will always grow back (even laser hair removal will only subdue hair growth and thickness by 50 percent or so with repeated treatments), and each time you remove the hair you’re causing some damage to your skin. Hair does serve important functions, such as:
- Protection: preventing the foreign particles like dust to enter your body
- Temperature control: hair captures the air surrounding your body to reduce the loss of heat
- Reduces friction, which prevents skin irritation
- Promotes touch reception
Likewise, the converse ailment to hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is anhidrosis, where little or no sweat is produced. This, contrary to hyperhidrosis, is actually a life threatening condition in hot weather, as your body cannot cool itself without well-functioning sweat glands. Granted, eliminating two percent of your body’s sweat glands by zapping your armpits probably will not put you in an immediately life threatening position.
But I still believe it would be wise to exhaust all other possibilities – including addressing any potential psychological factors such as anxiety – before resorting to destroying sweat glands with microwave radiation.
After all, microwave radiation (300 MHz to 300 GHz) has been found to cause a number of health problems, including DNA damage and cancer – issues that the miraDry makers may not have not studied. Personally, I’m concerned the miraDry treatment might spur future cancer growth, especially since your armpit also houses a number of lymph nodes.
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