Since ancient times, people have recognized the healing properties of the mud surrounding Israel's Dead Sea. Its "salts" are a complex mix of minerals purported to draw toxins from the body and nourish the skin. Folks travel from around the world to soak in the water and bathe in the mud. Many spas and resorts import the mud and incorporate it into their treatments.
At Spa Reverie in LaPorte, mud wraps are an important part of the detoxification regimen, which also includes massage and healthy eating. "Even if you're living a clean lifestyle, you still have toxic buildup through the foods you eat, the air you breathe, and the water you're drinking," says Reverie owner Beth Warren. "Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and that's going to absorb the most, and it's going to release the most toxins. The mud draws out toxins through your skin."
The process begins with a thorough exfoliation of the skin, followed by the application of warmed mud. Warm linens complete the wrap, which is left on for about ten minutes before a gentle massaging shower to remove it. "It's very relaxing," Warren says. "People really enjoy it, and your skin is so soft. It looks and feels great after a mud wrap."
Detoxification is also aided through steaming and massage. "Some people fast, a juice fast, or fruit fast, for ten days, seven days," Warren says. Exercise is a good detoxifying activity, too. Reverie encourages people to avoid alcohol and caffeine, to eat as healthily as possible, and to drink pure water.
Toxic elements are just another stressor on a person's physical well-being. Stress is another. "We operate on a high stress level," Warren says. "We're stimulated constantly." Constant stress increases cortisol and adrenaline in the body, creating a state many people see as toxic—a state linked to heart disease and obesity, even many autoimmune diseases.
The spa offers overnight and weekend stays to help people not only detox, but de-stress. They provide meals that are "very clean," in a calming environment. Televisions and other electronic devices are banned (yes, even cell phones), and the focus is on cleansing and rejuvenation. "You come back stronger and more clear-minded," Warren says, "and then you can do what you want to do better. You can deal with things better when you're not overwhelmed."