Today another controversial subject, right along with the "water" one from a few days ago: body odors and how to deal with them as naturally as possible.
First, I will tell you a story. in 2006 I went to this 2 weeks yoga retreat in the French Pyrenees. We did a lot of meditation, a lot lot of yoga (duuh!), we were the whole time in nature and worked in the woods and we lived in a huge hand-made of wood house. We had only organic vegetarian meals and we did a 7 day cleanse that involved a yogic colon cleanse, netti (I will soon talk about the netti), a few days of silence, no tv, news or other stuff, we also had no mobiles for a few days and we did a strict yogic program. It was just us (around 20 people), the mountain, the yoga and millions of pieces of "stuff" coming up and exploding in us and around us in close proximity :-))
Some people, especially men, had withdrawal symptoms from meat - especially in the beginning there was a lot of moaning about that.. And it might seem like a short retreat but I can tell you, after a day we were "in" and with all the "stuff "coming up some of us felt like it was a year:-) Me, included. I especially had issues with the long sitting meditations, and not being able to move. But, boy, was I shining after that retreat!
But that is not what I want to talk to you about:-)
There was this guy there, which I was totally in love with - I was in love with all of them but he was special. I liked him from the beginning because he had these amazing penetrating green eyes and a great powerful presence although shorter qua stature.. One of the things that puzzled me about him - and did not dare to ask with my small French vocabulary and an amazing lack of diplomacy - was that from the beginning of the retreat he did not wear any deodorant. And as the waves of inside crap (excuse my French, no pun intended:-) ) were moving to the surface in all of us, I was at times immensely annoyed with him smelling like a horse while there was no way to avoid smelling everybody in such a close group and being together almost all of the time. Especially that doing such a cleanse opened up everybody's senses to the max.. You get the idea:-) (Sorry if I am too visual for some!)
I never asked him about it, even though we still keep in contact - and I solved this little puzzle for myself only last year:-)
What he was doing (and I admire him a lot for it and I totally understand it now) was that he was detoxing, in the most rapid way. And he did not give a nickel about what we were all thinking or feeling about it:-)
We are all so used to the idea that we need to wear a deodorant from a young age. At 13 I could not wait to start to really sweat so I could use one and I was hunkering to have those expensive exotic deodorants.. In Romania, where I grew up, the foreign deodorants ("Rexona" and "Impulse" were the most know at that moment) were "heavy valuta".. I am not going to go further into it, but my point is that we are so used with putting deodorant on every day, even a few times a day, that we do not even question it any more.
Well, I questioned it when I started on this more natural path to health. And as it turned out, others had questioned it, too.
I am going to tell you what I have found out about it and you can use this info as you please (or not at all), just like the rest of what I am writing on Shining Mama.
At the moment I never use a deodorant. Already more than a year, as a matter of fact. I just wash my armpits in the morning and that's it. Do I smell? I do not stink, that's for sure:-) But I also do not smell as much as I would've expected if you asked me 2 years ago about it.
My journey was a gradual one. First thing I gave up was the antiperspirant. I believe this is one of the most dangerous things invented in the family of latest deodorants. I (now) believe that to suppress body's natural tendency to sweat is just plain wrong and that we have no idea what that could cause in the body because it was just not studied enough.
I totally understand if you go to the office and you need to look spick and span, thus you think that no perspiration is in order. I did think that, too. I used to work for a bank and for big bosses when I was an architect and it was "not done" to come sweaty to a meeting - even if there were 40 C outside. I thought, what a great invention, these aluminum powder deodorants that help me keep looking "cool" while being "hot":-)
That is, until my sweat managed to escape the aluminum and forever stained my shirt.
Because, in case you are wondering, that is what those un-bleachable, never again washable, "flower" looking stains are: aluminum stains. And worse than a lost shirt, the aluminum in your armpits goes into your body and never ever dissolves, it just wanders around looking for a place to make home in (hint: it does not eliminate either if you do not get busy with it). It is now quite known that aluminum is one of the possible causes for, among others, breast cancer and Alzheimer. That is the main reason that the aluminum pots have disappeared, actually, after an entire era of love in the 70's and 80's.
My own reason to give up antiperspirants, even before researching about it, was that I got more and more a kind of a weird pain in my armpits. No matter what kind of antiperspirant I would use (tried them all), I would get the same weird surface pain. It felt like pinching and small explosions in the same time, I do not know how to describe it.
Than I discovered the Lancôme creme deodorant and I was sold for a few years.
I went on to buy organic deodorants and I suppose I also tried everything on the market at that time. I was not very satisfied, to be honest. Although I believe that I probably should've tried a more international approach - at the time I could not find any good for me, no aluminum, organic deodorant on the Dutch market.
Then for a while I tried salt crystals - a friend of mine uses that already 10 years. That did not work for me at all. (it might work for you, though)
The next phase for me was hearing for the first time that not wearing any deodorant was even possible! I was detoxing at the time and this information came as a shock and I did not want to believe it, even. It was in an interview with Nadine Artemis and I was determined to try it but too scared to not stink:-)
So I tried something else that she advised as a transition: sandalwood essential oil. I also tried other essential oils, like lavender and jasmine - but those ones did not match my skin (hint: if it stinks, it doesn't).
It may be trial and error for you also if you are willing to experiment - and if you are still reading, you might be:-).
The sandalwood essential oil worked fine for a while (although at the time it was enormously expensive!!, or at least the one I found).. And after a few months, I kinda forgot about it, for a week or so.. Discovering it "worked" without, I gave it up totally.
How is that possible? I believe that the cleaner our body, the less we will smell bad. I am already on a quite clean diet for 2 years or more and that cleans from inside out. I also do not have any mouth odors in the morning - or ever - and I used to. I am now convinced that in an ideal situation, if I would eat an only raw, balanced diet, my sweat would never ever smell. In the situation where I am in right now, I look like the lady in the picture above only when I have an immensely stressful day and I am exhausted - and I can live with that:-) In the beginning I was self conscious about it and asked everybody if they smell me from a very small distance - but after a while and them telling me a hundred times that they didn't, I was happy with it.
Soooo what do I invite you to do? First, look at which level in my (long) story petrified you:-)
Or shocked you.
And you might not want to go all the way, like me; you might not be ready for it - if ever.
But for your healths sake, please get conscious about how much you can do to keep your armpits and thus your body and life - as far away from danger as possible. Please go now and read your deodorant label - and if it contains aluminum in any shape or form - dump it please. Reach for organic deodorant without aluminum. At the moment and with the internet, there are a lot of safer deodorants out there.
Also there is the possibility that you make your own deodorant at home.. (a possible recipe here).
And please let me know how far you got reading this article and what you intend to do to give your armpits a new pleasant life:-) And of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.
Ps: for the Shining Men amongst us - congrats if you came this far with reading!!:-) - I took the liberty to ask a friend of mine that I know thinks along the same lines like me, about what he uses. He gave me this tip: jason brand tea tree oil.