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Our skin is more than something to hold us together. Skin expands to accommodate us as we gain weight and shrinks to fit us when we lose weight. When functioning properly it works to cool us when we are heated through perspiration and even lets us know the body is reacting to scary stories with goose bumps. The skin acts as an extra kidney, an extra set of lungs for breathing, a means to administer vital nutrients through transdermal supplementation, and has many other functions. The skin is the largest organ of the body and the greatest care should be given to keep it performing at its best. Yet we treat our skin shamefully. We willingly apply synthetic and toxic chemicals in the form of lotions, creams, and oils, which plug the pores of the skin. When these products are applied to the skin we achieve the appearance of moisturized skin when actually the pores are being plugged so that the toxins cannot be excreted properly and  the body stops producing natural oils. Once the lotions or creams are washed off, the dry skin is still there.

We allow drugs to be absorbed through the skin in the name of convenience. Transdermal patches vary from nicotine, birth control hormones, and appetite suppressants. Antiperspirants contain aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and now one can even buy makeup that contains caffeine for that extra ‘pick-me-up’ in the morning! The effectiveness of transdermal supplementation is demonstrated by taking a clove of garlic, crush it slightly then rub it on the bottom of the foot and within a few seconds the taste of garlic will be in the mouth. When dealing with upper respiratory congestion rub the menthol ointment on the soles of the feet, particularly the ball of the foot and toes, to feel the soothing vapors in the chest quicker than when applied to the chest. This is easily explained as all nerves for every organ and system of the body end in the feet so it is logical that when anything is applied to the feet that the resulting benefits to the corresponding organs will be the greatest. Reflexology is based on this premise. Any soreness in the feet that is not an injury to the feet is an inflamed nerve ending and with proper massage as the soreness leaves, the corresponding organs are relaxed as well. Let’s take a closer look at the skin.

Keeping the pores of the skin open and clean are imperative to allow oxygen and healing elements in as well as excrete toxins and waste. Daily skin bathing is necessary to remove dead skin, perspiration, and environmental toxins from the skin and may be done with water only. If soap is used, one should only use liquid biodegradable soaps to prevent pore blockage that occurs with most bar soaps. One of the best hair and skin washes is one part apple cider vinegar containing the mother, such as Bragg’s, plus three parts water (preferably distilled). This mixture not only removes built up soak scum but restores the skin and hair pH to its proper level. Individuals with oily hair tend to use shampoo designed to remove the oil. The body responds by creating more oil, then more shampoo for oily hair is used, then more oil is generated, and the cycle continues. The same holds for dry skin and hair. When the skin is artificially lubricated the body stops producing oils, the lotion wears off, dry skin returns, more lotion, still no oil production by the body, and this cycle continues. When the apple cider vinegar and water mixture is used consistently without the commercial chemical products, the body will regulate the proper amount of oil to be produced and healthy skin and hair is the result.

Another aid to healthy skin is dry skin brushing with a natural bristle brush – always brushing towards the heart. The lower half of the body and the upper right quadrant should be brushed towards the right side of the heart with the left upper quadrant being brushed to the left side of the heart. Brushing the skin in this manner stimulates the lymphatic system and removes old lymphatic fluid following the proper circulatory flow of the body while exfoliating dead skin. This is exercise for the lymphatic system and, like other forms of exercise, should be done on alternating days. As the lymphatic system is kept clear, wastes in the form of fats, salts, proteins, white blood cells, and other substances are carried away for elimination. Every cell in the body depends on the movement of liquids from the inside out and outside in to function properly. Stimulating the skin, lymphatic system, internal organs through diet, routine maintenance, exercise, and fresh air will bring renewed energy and health. The skin, when functioning properly, is truly multi-tasking.

In our quest for eternal beauty and radiant skin we must start internally. The human body has four eliminative channels: the bowel, the lungs, the kidneys, and the pores of the skin. By design as we accumulate toxins in the body, the natural eliminative channels are employed to allow the toxins to be excreted. When the bowel is blocked and the kidneys are not functioning properly the respiratory system and the skin must do the work of these other organs. Upper respiratory conditions and skin rashes, acne, and other types of dermatitis are frequent and can be avoided by proper diet and elimination. Unfortunately, as a society we fall short of doing our due diligence in the areas of “proper” diet and elimination. If the channels of elimination are blocked the result will be disease. When we eat wholesome, unprocessed foods, keep our intestines and blood stream free of mucus and toxic waste we can provide an environment where diseased cells cannot survive. When infections occur from small cuts or slivers it means the blood stream and body is full of mucus and toxic waste. Because germs can only live on filth and waste, keeping the skin and other eliminative organs clean is critical to good health.

Now that the skin and our entire system are clean, what does one do?

Understanding the principle of transdermal supplementation of nutrients and minerals gives us the key to greater health and wellness. It has already been stated and is widely known that drugs and chemicals can be absorbed into the body at a steady rate. There is a difference between accepting and assimilating, however. The body will accept inorganic, harmful substances and deposit them in the body, sometimes in the joints causing arthritis, sometimes in the arteries causing hardening of the arteries, heart attacks, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease, and sometimes in the organs leaving the way open for other diseases such as cancer. When the body assimilates nutrients, it puts them to use where the body needs them and excretes any unneeded amount, assuming the eliminative channels are healthy and functioning. One such nutrient is magnesium in the form of magnesium chloride.

Magnesium chloride has an extraordinary effect on a wide range of diseases and has the ability to rejuvenate an aging body as it prevents calcification of the organs and tissues. The chloride form of magnesium is necessary as it is a counterbalance for all atoms carrying a positive charge. All the cells and tissues in the body need chloride to function well. The stomach lining needs to secrete chloride, which is essential for the production of hydrochloric acid. The elderly typically have difficulty with digestion as their ability to produce hydrochloric acid is greatly reduced. Unfortunately, this condition is not restricted to the elderly as this is appearing in many that are middle aged. Along with improper diet, our society tends to gulp food without chewing it completely, which causes extra stress on the stomach. If food is chewed to a liquid state, the digestive process has already begun in the mouth and the resulting digestion in the stomach is much more effective. Nutrient absorption is increased 40-60% and this pre-digestion eliminates stress on the pancreas. Undigested food will putrefy in the system causing excess mucus and putrefaction throughout the eliminatory tract. Transdermal magnesium chloride supplementation will improve the production of hydrochloric acid and aid in digestion and elimination without stressing and weakening the colon.

The health benefits of magnesium are widely known and the best way to increase magnesium at the cellular level is through the skin. The only people who should never supplement with magnesium are those in severe renal (kidney) failure. Soaking the feet in magnesium chloride will increase magnesium to all cells in the body. Soaking in a tub with magnesium chloride (hexahydrate is more concentrated and less expensive) added to the water is not only relaxing but aids the skin directly as it is absorbed for use throughout the entire system while tightening and toning the skin. Magnesium chloride may be applied directly to the skin through spraying or direct application and massage. Care should be used for those with sensitive skin by diluting the magnesium chloride 50/50 with distilled or water structured with magnesium oxide. The magnesium chloride may be mixed with shampoos, conditioners, lotions, oils, and any other product that is applied to the skin. Adding a penetrating ointment containing cayenne pepper (capsicum) or a castor oil pack will speed delivery to the underlying muscles and tissues. Quality magnesium chloride is 28 – 32% concentration and will never be any greater in concentration as the liquid becomes unstable in that there may be a separation of ingredients when stored in colder conditions. Magnesium chloride is also available in a hexahydrate (crystal) form that contains 60 – 66.8% magnesium chloride. Using USP (United States Pharmacopeia) grade is preferred for its purity.
While treating one’s body to the best skin care possible and safely increasing magnesium levels some other considerations are to wear only natural fibers that are free of chemicals. Make sure bed linens are also natural fibers as they are high vibration and these healing energies are needed for peak performance. These include cotton, wool, and silk. The quality of these materials is important as the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals have increased in the last 50 years. A study by the USDA in 2000 reported 84,000,000 (eighty four million) pounds of pesticides were sprayed on cotton in the United States including Paraquat and Parathion which is 60 times more toxic than DDT. Seven of the top fifteen pesticides used on cotton are classified as “likely” or “known” human carcinogens according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Organic cotton, wool, and silk provide healthier options for our clothing and linens.

Choose biodegradable, natural detergents and softeners to avoid the putting chemicals on the skin. Any clothes that are dry cleaned should be exposed to well-circulated air to help remove some of the toxic fumes from the chemical process. The chemicals will still be in the fibers of the fabric but this will eliminate the noxious odor.

Releasing the static electricity that accumulates in our bodies is also essential to good health. In the process of daily activity the hair acts as an antenna and pulls electrical energy from the atmosphere. As this electricity enters the top of the head every cell, gland, and organ takes what is needed to function properly. The unneeded electricity is supposed to pass from the body through the soles of the feet but with the constant wearing of leather soled shoes and socks, or stockings, the electricity cannot be grounded properly and is collected in the body as static electricity, which causes mental confusion or frustration. Some individuals who experience seizures can eliminate these simply by walking barefoot in the grass daily to discharge the static electricity. Many times seizure activity is a result of an electrical imbalance and when the static electricity builds the body will self regulate through seizure activity. This action, usually through a grand mal or tonic clonic seizure, is enough to discharge the unwanted static and return the body to its normal electrical state. By walking barefoot in the grass 15-20 minutes before retiring, the static electricity is discharged, the body is prepared to receive new energy from the universe, mental clarity is improved, and restful sleep occurs. This, in combination with a hot tub soak with added magnesium chloride, is heaven.

Joan Schrader, Nemenhah Medicine Woman
Naturopathic Doctor
Master Herbalist

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