I needed to detoxify. Some doctors believe that atopic skin conditions (アトピー性皮膚炎) are caused when patients cannot digest and detoxify unnecessary substances in their bodies; therefore, they itch to force scratching, which helps release the substances from their scars. I realized that I do not sweat -- when my death metal husband was sweating a gallon of perspiration in the hottest summer in Japan, I sweat just ant’s tear worth -- I needed to find a way to sweat.
When I thought of sweating, the first thing that came to mind was a sauna; so I looked up sauna places around my apartment. They were usually available in fancy gyms and beauty spas. However, their monthly fees were super expensive. If I have to spend $30 - $80 every month, I would rather buy new handbags, shoes, and skirts instead.
I was thinking of how I could have a sauna in my apartment without spending a lot of money while avoiding any mold buildup -- when I was a student in Indiana, my school house had a mold problem because I created a jungle-like atmosphere -- Once, I even had mushrooms growing in my bathroom (that’s my story and I’m sticking with it)! I am a tiny Asian girl, so I don’t need much of a moisture barrier to keep my body moist. I thought of using an umbrella, a bucket over my body, and even building a plastic igloo in my bathtub. But I did not want to suffocate with those plastic covers over my head.
Disposable plastic bags are ideal for cost and sanitary reasons. If they are old and dirty, I simply toss them out and use new shopping bags that I occasionally collect. I cut a rectangle out of the shopping bag (one of the higher quality, thicker plastic bags from upper-class or specialty stores, like the Tin Tin tote bag my sister gave me) to expose my face and breathe. Then I take a bath with it over my head for a straight week. Amazingly, I sweat!
My facial skin became smooth and fabulous after a few weeks, so I decided to create a cover for my whole body. I cut the needed holes in a trash bag (eco friendly and recyclable) and used it with my facial bag.
I also bathe with natural salt and lemon. Salt makes me sweat more and helps detoxify. I sometimes use table salt when the natural salt is gone, but I prefer to use natural salt with minerals from the ocean (I don’t mind which one, they’re all great oceans). I bought a bag of it from a regular supermarket. Lemons' vitamin C helps neutralize tap-water. I used to bathe with a whole lemon, but for budgeting reasons I now cut them into eighths.
A bath usually lasts about an hour (I listen to musicals, like "Chicago" -- my husband downloaded it for my phone). I used to read poetry books in the tub; but I realized that I cannot sweat much when I do not concentrate solely on sweating.
With hot water in one fifth of the bathtub, two plastic bags, a handful salt, and a piece of lemon (while singing “Pop! Six! Squish! Uh uh, Cicero, Lipschitz!” -- my husband was frightened when I did it behind the shower curtain), I have finally worked up a sweat and have great looking skin. After the bath, I do not forget to dry the two bags (proudly hanging from the shower curtain bar).
As fate would have it, I was finally happy with my skin three days ago. But then I cooked potato salad (I know, the nerve), and the hottest potato splashed on my forehead. A quarter size skin came off above my right elbow. I burnt myself.
Well, life moves on -- I took bath every night and brain storming how I could erase this burnt scar.