Is All This Smoke Bad For My Health?
It's hard to miss the absurd amount of smoke blowing in from the west coast and Idaho fires. It's nearly impossible to see the mountains unless right up against the foothills, and everything smells like campfire. Despite the bizarre climate northern Utah has been facing the last few days, the biggest questions on your mind are probably, "How is this going to affect my health?" or "Is this safe?"
In short, yes it can affect your health, and no, it's not very safe. It may not cause immediate health issues, but it can certainly exacerbate existing issues and over time can lead to the development of other health issues. Many individuals simply experience coughing and trouble breathing, sometimes with symptoms that mirror those of a sinus infection, such as headaches, sore throat, a runny nose, and even general fatigue.
The good news is that it is completely possible to reverse the harmful effects of such terrible air quality. The process itself is relatively simple and relies on basic principles of physiology to help boost your body's ability to deal with and recover from whatever damage was caused. The process has two basic steps: 1. Detox and 2. Heal.
This word has become very trendy lately with everyone trying to find the next unique and bizarre detox method, and yet very few individuals seem to actually understand how it works. The purpose of a detox is to get rid of any harmful substances from your body, or even your mind. These substances can include elicit drugs, alcohol, caffeine, chemicals, toxins, heavy metals, and really any substance that is harmful to your body. Often our bodies can break down, process, and remove these substances on its own, but sometimes our bodies need some assistance, especially if our body is already weakened or compromised.
There are a lot methods for detoxing, depending on which organ system or which form of toxin we're focusing on. But when it comes to respiratory detoxification, the best, safest, and most feasible method is Halotherapy. Pure medical-grade aerosol-ed sodium chloride is dispersed into a salt chamber, and as individuals breath it in, the salt scrubs all the microparticulates stuck in the respiratory track and lungs, while also helping pull out toxins, pollutants, and even pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. You can read more about how Halotherapy works by either reading our article here, or reading about it on our therapy page here.
With any detox, as the body begins to flush out the various toxins, individuals often experience cold or flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, muscle pain, overall fatigue, and even nausea. This is totally normal and an essential part of the detoxification process. As the body begins to remove and release the toxins from affected tissue and cells, it has to move the toxins into essential drainage pathways, namely the lymphatic system. These detoxification symptoms can be mediated and lessened by drinking plenty of water and participating in activities that increase circulation and lymphatic action. Individuals can also start the detox process more gradually to slowly ease into the toxin removal and processing phase without overloading the body.
Even after all the toxins have been removed from the body, the process isn't quite complete. Often these toxins and pollutants slowly and gradually damaged organ tissue and cellular function, and when left alone, your body will continue to struggle, leading to decreased energy levels and reduced cellular efficiency. Fortunately, it is very possible to help the damaged tissue fully recover. Our favorite method is hyperbaric oxygen treatment, or HBOT for short.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a powerful treatment that helps deliver increased levels of oxygen to the entire body, not only helping raise oxygen levels, but also leading to physiological signaling and increased healing. HBOT helps damaged tissue heal at faster rates, reduces inflammation, and improves circulation, specifically to areas with damaged tissue. For more information about how HBOT works, you can read our latest article of the science of HBOT here.
That’s a lot of information and we’re sure you’re looking for specific action steps you can take to help your body heal and recover from this terrible air pollution. We’ve boiled it down to 5 steps that will make the biggest difference for your respiratory health:
Avoid further exposure to air pollutants as possible
Do Halotherapy twice a week for 2-3 weeks
Drink plenty of water
Exercise or do some other activity to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage
Do HBOT therapy twice a week for 2-3 weeks
We know that all this smog and pollution can affect your health and lower your overall energy. But we’re also confident that with the right intervention and assistance, your body is powerful enough to fully heal and recover from such exposure. You can actually reverse the effects of this terrible air quality and get back to living the life you want to live unhindered by the environment!