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Prepared by Sayulita temezcalera Linda Mariscal Gracian, this document provides background information and benefits of the temezcal (sweat lodge) ceremony.


The Temazcal is an ancestral ceremony, a ceremonial and healing steam bath, it is the medicine of our grandparents, it represents the belly of our mother earth, it is a ceremony of fire, water, earth and air, a profound experience of rebirth at a level physical, mental and spiritual. 

The Temazcal produces many therapeutic benefits releasing toxins through sweating and strengthening all our systems; opens the heart, naturally leading to healing bonds and relationships; relaxes the mind, releasing stress and makes us aware of our role in life. It is a powerful medicine that connects us with spirit.
The temazcal ceremony is carried out in a round adobe building that represents the maternal womb. In it red hot volcanic stones are introduced, to which an infusion of medicinal plants is poured into the fire and the steam fanned with branches. 

It is a powerful bonding therapy with the earth and it feeds us the awakening of our ancestral memory. But besides the work for our spirit, that this circle of medicine gives us, there are many benefits in the physical.
Currently it is known that the temazcal stimulates the lymphatic system, helps to discard toxins, since when the temperature rises above 40 degrees centigrade the skin becomes a third kidney. The high temperature to which we expose ourselves within a temazcal causes the body to sweat. The steam does not allow the sweat to evaporate, so the system of self-regulation of the body (sympathetic and parasympathetic system) responds, (homeostasis) the circulation is accelerated and we sweat even more, eliminating toxins. The skin turns red indicating that the excessive heat and cold are being expelled, achieving the balance that is required in the body. This way you sweat more than you do any type of exercise since, during and after the temazcal, the metabolism of the body reaches a similar rhythm to running or swimming for a long time.
It also tones the skin, acts by purifying the respiratory tract and the digestive system, tones the nervous system, helps in bone, muscle and gynecological problems, is an ideal vehicle that transports us to a state of peace and inner tranquility quieting the mind to experience the heat of the bath and of the healing properties that nature gives us through the different medicinal plants that are used in it. 

The temazcal surpasses in benefit and efficiency the common steam baths, since the person in charge of the temazcal can increase or lower the heat, thus adjusting to the specific conditions that the patient requires, besides the steam is created from herbal teas, herbs that are chosen according to the condition to be treated. The heat must be higher than the normal body temperature to induce perspiration. High humidity inhibits the evaporation of sweat by cooling the body normally. It is estimated that each liter of sweat lost in the temazcal is equivalent to the work done by the kidneys in several days.
During an intense temazcalli session you lose between 2 and 3 kg of body weight of which a high proportion is water, approximately in a session you lose 1,500 ml of sweat, through this you increase the excretion of terminal products of metabolism (toxins) such as uric acid, creatinine, urea, lactic acid, sodium chloride; it also balances the acid-alkaline pH of the blood and contributes to the elimination of heavy metals that are absorbed in modern societies; such as Zinc, Mercury, Copper, Lead among others. When the intensity of the sweat is low, the concentration of these harmful substances is high.
Water is the ideal conductor of electricity, the electricity of our body is best manifested where there is water, if we impede the functions of the skin, the cellular debris will obstruct the respiration of this leaving a dry skin and without energy.
When cold water is used within the temazcal as part of the therapy, the body makes movement of blood volume, through the heart, this gives way to a quite energetic circulatory exercise (contraindicated in serious heart problems), this is known as the naturists as "blood washing", by cleaning the blood of impurities, stimulating the sweat glands, circulatory system and naturally improving cardiovascular deficiencies. In fifty minutes of bathing it is possible to eliminate a liter of sweat equivalent to one kg of toxins.

The temazcal used medically in the sufferings related to the internal cold has been of great importance especially in the treatment of female disorders, causes heat in the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus, is indicated in infertility, pregnancy, post pregnancy, purification and fluid from breast milk, and to regain the firmness of the skin.
Hippocrates, father of western medicine said: "Give me a fever and I will cure any disease", the hyperthermia induced through the temazcal is comparable to a state of temporary fever which benefits greatly, since it stimulates the defensive capacity against different types of infections; High temperatures also facilitate cell revitalization and repair.

At present science knows that heat increases the functions of each organ and in particular that of the immune system, in this way we can explain the wise action of the body to raise the temperature (fever) in the presence of certain diseases or infections. The lymphatic system is one of those responsible for cleaning and purifying the body, of great importance for its purifying action for the human body. 

The temazcal stimulates the glandular system, in particular the pineal and pituitary glands, they are known as the master glands, since they govern the glandular activity of the whole body, as is the thyroid, adrenal, hormonal, sexual etc.
The steam that is produced inside the temazcal when water is sprayed on the hot red volcanic stones creates a significant amount of negatively charged ozone, which by combining the action of shaking the bouquet of aromatic leaves will eliminate alkaloids and their essences combined with the Ionizing energy produces more ozone, science has discovered important therapeutic uses of ozone, its germicidal action is highlighted, which inside the temazcal acts as a potent natural antibiotic.

The high presence of negative ions exerts reactions in the body causing the aura (electromagnetic bio-structuring pattern) to expand, manifesting radiant in all body functions including those of the brain. The aura is the one who directed the construction of the body in which we live and who keeps it functioning, the practice of temazcal therapy allows and propitiates that this auric intelligence regenerates the body.

The electric field goes through all the cells, organs and the whole nervous system, stimulating all the physiological functions and the metabolism; if the electric field is too weak, fatigue, reluctance and lack of vitality are manifested. This is the main cause of the fatigue and numbness that is felt when traveling in cars, planes, tanks, submarines and trains. The same happens when working in an environment with air conditioning or heating usually leaves people completely exhausted, even if they do nothing but sit behind a desk, a person who works in the field, the same hours with a strenuous physical effort, they do not exhibit this exhaustion when they finish their work, the difference, the quality of the air.

Infrared rays emitted by hot stones are very useful especially in those conditions where these rays have proven their effectiveness and therapeutic benefits. The healing effects of infrared rays are very important and beneficial in the temazcal, is an alternative treatment of pain, very useful in the suffering of rheumatoid arthritis, the rehabilitation of joints affected by this disease, provides great help to people suffering from sciatica , rheumatism and in all conditions where it is required to increase blood flow, reduces joint stiffness and pain, improves circulation in general and reduces stress.
Some of the benefits that the temazcal provides:
- Relieves premenstrual discomfort
- It helps you lose weight
- Help eliminate toxins
- It benefits the blood circulation
- It cleanses the digestive system
- Destrophy (sic) muscles
- Reduces bone problems
- Filter the respiratory tract
- It encourages introspection and reflection
- Decrease liver disorders,
- Reduces the size of cysts in the ovaries,
- Relaxes the nervous system decreasing stress and anguish,
- Resolves problems of menstrual irregularity,
- Tones the skin

The heating to which the body is subjected during the bath in temazcal therapy, reaches high temperatures producing a series of reactions, among them: it stimulates the superficial and deep circulation of the blood, accelerates the frequency of the beating of the heart increasing its strength , also generates the action of the mechanisms of thermal regulation and activates the metabolism. It is an effective method to stimulate all internal organs, since when sweating in large quantities, we discard accumulated toxins, it is said that it helps in the treatments for obesity being a very effective auxiliary for the loss of body fat, stimulates the basal metabolism simulating physical activity as if you were exercising. It significantly improves the functioning of the skin and kidneys, since it stimulates the disposal of toxic substances when opening and activating the pores of the skin.

Therapeutic properties of temazcal

Reproductive system of women: This bathroom is recommended to remove cold or heat from the body. Most of the problems associated with the reproductive system of women have to do with coldness, the temazcal contributes by heating the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus, if we use herbs of a hot nature such as Santa María, cinnamon, rosemary, lime, pennyroyal, pericón and patchouli among others.
At present, there are many couples who manage to get pregnant by regularly attending the temazcal bath.
The traditional birth attendants used it with pregnant women as a preventive, curative and for the delivery care, taking advantage of the occasion to accommodate the baby for its good birth, within the temazcal the pregnant woman's womb expands, making it much easier Labor of labor Both in the Mexican Republic and in Central America, the prehispanic bath with medicinal plants was used in these two important events in the life of a woman. After the birth, the mother was bathed several times with medicinal herbs so that her womb would contract and return to its original state. In this stage the bathroom is not as hot as usual, the temazcalero takes care that the heat does not pass 40 degrees centigrade, not only the warmth of the place helps in labor, but the baby is born in a similar environment in temperature , from which it comes, and on the other hand, the womb is not exposed to the cold as much as a normal delivery, it calms pains, it facilitates the exit of placental remains and toxins, stimulates the production and conduction of milk.
The prehispanic bath is not recommended during the period of menstruation, but it is very useful and advisable to use it regularly since it is very useful in the premenstrual syndrome (pain, irregularity, depression, and/or swelling).

Women have been treated recently and according to medical reports, the cysts on their ovaries were larger in volume than their uterus, after a series of baths in the Temazcal, a considerable reduction of the cyst size was found. A series of baths are accompanied by infusions of medicinal herbs that are taken by the patient as well as preparation with medicinal herbs suitable for the infusion with which the stones are sprayed and inhaled by the bathers, without forgetting the conformation with the correct herbs for the bouquet with which hot air is manipulated towards the patient.

Immune disorder, AIDS and cancer: Heat is a means to produce the protein of stress, it appears organizing the molecular activity, helping through regulation, to be able to realize, when a cell is different from the others, for its structure or its size; We find this reaction when we are subjected to chemotherapeutic agents, when we are in a pathological state of viral inflammation, when we have fever, inflammation, etc. When the temperature of the body increases immediately there is a reaction, all the cells, from a bacterium to the neuronal cells present an increase in the production of certain molecules that protect the damage produced by the heat.

This was observed by biologists more than 30 years ago. Studies show that being within a temazcal session, the stressful therapeutic heat, may be able to generate proteins with immunological effect, scientific studies are still searching and trying to discover more about the subject. This could help in treatments of cancer and other immune disorders, it is worth mentioning that when heating the temazcal stones emit radiant energy or thermal radiation (infrared, ultraviolet) the quantity and quality depends on the temperature reached by the stones, the human body partially It is capable of absorbing the radiations emitted by hot stones.

Effects on the skin: Tones, regenerates and purifies the skin. This is the largest organ of the body and acts as a regulating mechanism of the internal temperature of the organism, is equipped with a mechanism of internal self-regulation where even if it is in a medium greater than 40 ºC it does not exceed 38 ºC (it cools to through sweat). The skin is like a third kidney, where toxins accumulated in the body are eliminated. People who live in contaminated media, can have pores covered, these are activated by the therapeutic mechanism of temazcal, by the effects of high temperature, stimulating skin renewal, because it favors the peeling of the superficial layer, activating the At the same time protection against skin infections through the formation of the acid mantle. If you apply aloe juice on the body before entering the bathroom, the results are favorable on spots and other skin problems.

Effects on the nervous system: It has a relaxing and stimulating effect on the body, helps to treat stress, insomnia, nervous tension, etc. Stimulates the hormonal system, works as a blood cleansing eliminating toxins and impurities through sweat, automating the nervous system.

Effects on the respiratory system: Used to treat problems such as: flu, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and sinusitis. Cleans and decongests the nasal and nasal canals when the temperature rises and combines the steam with the aroma of the medicinal plants, uncovering the respiratory tract. The effect of heat is inhalation therapy, with water vapor, steam from flowers and healing herbs, oils released from these and deposited on the stones during the ceremony automatically produces the unclogging of the respiratory tract.

It also activates irrigation in an impressive way, 7 times more than under normal conditions, it also increases blood flow, added to the expansion of the lungs, the bronchi facilitate the expulsion of accumulated toxins.

Effects on the circulatory system: Increases blood circulation, mobilizes blood reaching the recondite places of the body. It facilitates the expulsion of toxins by dilating blood vessels as well, such as the elimination of uric acid and cholesterol; It is a natural auxiliary in the treatment of diseases related to circulatory and cardiovascular deficiencies. By means of the high temperature and the boiling of fresh water, a high degree of movement is achieved in the circulatory system (blood washing), helping to correct problems of varicose veins, varicose ulcers, thrombus phlebitis, embolism, numbness of hands and feet , high or low blood pressure, and other circulatory problems.
Effects on the muscular system: In the temazcal bath, the skin is heated first, gradually the heat penetrates the subcutaneous cellular tissue up to the muscle, this heat provides relaxation to the muscular system, contributes to the relief of muscular contractions (shrinkage of a muscle) , stiffness post "plaster", back pains, muscular atrophy, knee and ankle pains, among others, thanks to the effects of temperature and volatile oils of the plants that are used.

Improvement of the immune system: The prehispanic bath increases blood circulation and lymph, the production of leukocytes (white blood cells) of the body and decongests the lymphatic system. It has been observed that people who regularly visit these sweat baths and suffer from chronic or recurrent diseases, reduce their suffering, realizing that if they get sick they recover easily.

Currently we know that induce sweating of the body has benefits in various treatments of diseases such as those of the reproductive system of women, dermatological, liver, circulatory, respiratory, immune, problems of rheumatism, arthritis , gout, as well as in acute problems, pains, chills and muscular congestions. The prehispanic bath is perhaps the most effective healing technique of this type.
In the temazcal one works and the four elements, the earth, are present and intervene, when we symbolically enter the maternal womb when entering the temazcal; the fire, we use it to heat the stones, (the grandmothers), The air, is always present around us and when using the bouquet and finally the water, which does not present at the end is the least important, it transports the energy throughout our body, if we lost 50% of it, we did not survive since it is transported by the blood and body fluids, means by which nutrients circulate through our body. 

There are theories that are being studied where they mention that water has the ability to copy and memorize information, when speaking to it, praying or praying in front of it, or putting music to it. It has been discovered that water changes its "vibrational" frequency enormously, if we remember our ancestors venerated, saluted, prayed, sang and offered offerings, since these times the Indians already used this preferential and respectful treatment that is now being discovered with scientific backing.

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