Author Topic: People who've given up washing  (Read 994 times)

John P

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People who've given up washing
« on: August 07, 2019, 07:48:24 PM »
This isn't exactly a naturist topic, but then again, it relates to the way we think of our bodies, and the extent to which we intervene in the way they function. If we don't need to cover them up, then do we need to remove anything from them with hot water and solvents, and what happens if we just let nature deal with our skin? Just as with the microscopic residents of our intestines, it's starting to be apparent that not all bacteria are harmful, and some of them may actually be partners with us. It wasn't so very long ago that people didn't have daily baths, and didn't put many substances on their skin; did that hurt us?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/aug/05/i-dont-smell-meet-the-people-who-have-stopped-washing

BlueTrain

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 09:09:38 PM »
Makes you wonder why some birds and animals spend so much time grooming and why the ones that don't, stink.

John P

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 11:38:04 PM »
What a strange thing to say, Blue Train. Horses don't do anything in the way of grooming, but I don't think they smell much. Even a dog isn't especially smelly, as long as it hasn't rolled in anything recently! Pigs are notorious for smelling bad, but would even that be true if they were allowed to roam around freely? I think you just made that up as an emotional response.

BlueTrain

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 01:47:37 AM »
Are you saying there are no birds or animals that don't groom themselves? Dogs smell like dogs, horses smell like horses. If you like the way they smell, good for you. Haven't been close to any pigs (animals, that is) lately. But my wife claims that dogs love to roll in stuff. Maybe it's to cover up their smell.

I'd say it was a naturist thing.

My father thought a once-a-week bath was sufficient but he washed just the same and shaved every morning. I realize that at one time people may not have taken baths at all, even though a book I have written in the 900s said to bathe as often as necessary. It was written by an Englishman, so it must be true. But people also didn't used to always live as long, either. It might be difficult to say whether one's lifespan was lengthen by regular or frequent bathing or washing or if it was in spite of it. Or if it made no difference at all. To say that people didn't used to put stuff on their skin is a mistaken idea. Even the ancient Egyptians did that, some of them. It should not be inferred that everyone at any given point in history is doing the same thing.

What other habits do people have who do not clean themselves?

MartinM

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 08:57:45 AM »
Dogs love fo go in water, cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves, licking their fur (and getting hair-balls). Birds especially wash and preen to keep their flight feathers in top condition.

What none of them do is wash with soap and other products, dissolving the natural oils etc, or use manufactured anti-bacterial products on their skin.

I have almost entirely stopped using soap and shampoo, except some for my hands. I noticed when bathing regularly in a clean lake, or even the sea, how good my skin and hair felt. Having often heard about the problem of washing natural protective oils out of the skin, rather than start regularly using body lotions I just took the natural, naturist approach of bathing in clean water with no soap. It seems to work a treat.
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BlueTrain

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 01:45:21 PM »
In reading the article, the individuals all mentioned washing, so the original premise (of not washing) is false. Likewise, the premise that it makes a big difference is dubious, although no claims were stated that those who did not wash (much) were going to live longer, healthier lives and would go on to realize their life dreams. In other words, just how much difference does it make? It's like saying brown eggs are better than white eggs--unless you're one of those who wouldn't eat eggs under any circumstances. They are the true believers, of course.

It's a pretty personal thing. I mentioned how my father did not bathe everyday (we didn't have a shower) and managed just fine. But he and some of my other relatives did use cologne or after-shave. That may have contributed to his early death at 83. But an uncle of mine, who was a welder by trade (my father was a truck driver), also did not bathe more than once a week and did not, I think, use cologne, only made it to 64, same as his wife. But they both smoked, even though tobacco is a perfectly natural product. Maybe smoking isn't, although American Indians smoked. That's where it all started. If primitive people like Indians did it, then it must be OK.

I never felt clean after being in the ocean but that may have been a dirty part of the ocean. Bathing in a clean lake or better yet, a river, would be fine except there aren't any here. There have been claims that allowing your beard to grow will protect your face. Even though it has been practiced for a very long time, it can't be claimed that shaving is really natural. Shaving anything, for that matter.

John P

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 04:32:38 PM »
I think they make a distinction between "washing" and "rinsing". If they don't use soap or scrub the skin, then it's just "rinsing". But I think the issue isn't how much cleaning a person actually does, but to get us to question the need for daily showers with soap. To turn your point around, does the modern convention allow us to live longer, healthier lives and  realize our life dreams, or could it be that rising expectations have made us slip into a state of hygienic mania? To the point where if there's a suggestion that we don't need to spend so much time and resources on cleanliness, we respond with an immediate "Oh, I could never do that" and a string of obviously false reasons why it would never work.

Bob Knows

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2019, 06:13:35 PM »
Very interesting approach to natural life.  In my personal life I've cut way back on showers.  I shower only every few days and then I don't use soap on most of my body.  Mostly I'm just rinsing off and washing my hair. 

Reading the article they referred to "the importance of the gut microbiome" in the 3rd paragraph but farther down still insist that washing hands is important.  They really haven't thought that through.  Our gut microbiome is supported by acquiring widely divergent bacteria with our hands. Washing all the good things off runs counter to the whole theory this article promotes.   

All those toxic chemicals in lotions, scrubs, makeup, soap, wash, etc., can't be doing us any good, and apparently are doing us harm.  I'll take the forest bath and be happy. 

On a related topic I rinse off my behind after taking a dump, using my hand with the warm water and without soap. That keeps me clean enough to sit on furniture without a towel.  If I'm out in the woods and have to poo it dries and flakes off naturally like all the other animals. 

I saw a thing from Levi Strauss that said you don't have to wash jeans every time you wear them.  I don't wash shirts and such every time any more either. Our microbiome is important.  Being overly clean with toxic chemicals is not healthy
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jbeegoode

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2019, 06:55:32 PM »
If I wear clothing, or the heat AND humidity is up, then I bathe more often. Nude, I have less need. I just need to rinse off the dust sometimes, instead of washing clothes. My body hasn't needed soap that I withhold from it for many, many years, other than crotch and arm pits, again, nude makes a huge difference.

The skin removes a great deal of toxins, mineral build up and crap. These things migrate from inside the body in places like organs. We have discussed how vitamin D is manufactured in the body and sources of the process come from without and through the skin. Skin is a major organ. Clogging it up, covering it up, can be harmful to its natural functions.

Exercising the skin will help its function. So I sweat. It likes sweat. Optimizing function is a good health practice. Sweat is exercising the skin.

Eating a supportive diet will maximize the quality of life, how one feels. Doing things for the body will increase feel good chemicals, and give positive confident attitudes, which affect biology significantly. I could say that using some of these chemicals is an act of love to the body and good for it, but doing more natural things even better. Just the act of thinking that one is healthier for doing something for the body will make a body healthier.

So, natural is better. The new weird food habits , lack of exercise and chemicals never before seen in history are not to be trusted for quality of life and longevity. Just look around and it is obvious, apparent that people are sluggish and over weight, moving like they are aged, earlier than they should. The statistics will tell us that certain diseases are becoming more prevalent and they are all lifestyle issues. There has been a change.

It is true that some people live longer no matter what they do to abuse their bodies. Most don't.

Do what you want, but I'll be taking more natural measures for my health. Chemicals can change a body, enter a body, either orally, or through the skin. Then, my body has to deal with them. My body has other natural, normal things to be occupied with. Dealing with chemicals is using up its energy and resources. Then, there is the issue of building up chemicals, storing them to toxic levels.

We are probably just scratching the surface of skin knowledge. Many people have reactions to these new chemical products. Long term affects are not known. They are obviously not necessary. This article is about researching natural body care, something that is necessary.

DF has problems from work, because she is required to wash her hands so often with anti-bacterial soaps. Not just soap, anti-bacterial. Anti-bacterial is everywhere and we now know what it has done to people's gut. We, know how mouthwash kills bacteria wholesale, including beneficial bacteria. We know that the body has balance and will maintain and heal itself in conditions. We know that many of these chemical interfere and we haven't figured them out until it was too late. If it works don't fix it. See what will naturally happen. The body is certainly more wise than the human mind's concoctions.
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BlueTrain

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2019, 07:04:40 PM »
How much time do people think other people spend on their personal hygiene anyway? Fifteen minutes? That was always enough for me in the morning when I was getting up and going to work. And that included a shower and shaving. A few minutes more at night to brush my teeth and that was it. I spend somewhat less time now because I only shave about every day and a half. It varies according to the weather, though.

We're in the middle of summer and with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. The official temperature at the closest reporting point for me is 88 degrees and 47% humidity (which isn't bad). But when I go out for my usual walk in the woods, about two miles there and back, I am soaked when I get back. I don't take a shower when I get back, though, but I do change clothes and let the damp ones dry out. I'll wear the same pair or two of pants for a couple of weeks before laundering them. But everything else only gets one wearing, except my socks. For some curious reason they are dry and so are my feet when I get back. But summer doesn't last forever. Not here anyway.

The reason for soap or detergent (or 'washing up liquid') is to reduce the surface tension of the water. In other words, it makes it wetter. The water in some places feels soapy coming out of the faucet. It isn't; it just feels like that. It feels like you can't rinse off when you take a shower. I suspect water like that is better for washing. There is no need for any fragrance in soap but I doubt there is enough of anything in bath soap to cause anyone harm, unless you were of a weak and delicate nature.

jbeegoode

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2019, 07:36:24 PM »
Very interesting approach to natural life.  In my personal life I've cut way back on showers.  I shower only every few days and then I don't use soap on most of my body.  Mostly I'm just rinsing off and washing my hair. 

Reading the article they referred to "the importance of the gut microbiome" in the 3rd paragraph but farther down still insist that washing hands is important.  They really haven't thought that through.  Our gut microbiome is supported by acquiring widely divergent bacteria with our hands. Washing all the good things off runs counter to the whole theory this article promotes.   

All those toxic chemicals in lotions, scrubs, makeup, soap, wash, etc., can't be doing us any good, and apparently are doing us harm.  I'll take the forest bath and be happy. 

On a related topic I rinse off my behind after taking a dump, using my hand with the warm water and without soap. That keeps me clean enough to sit on furniture without a towel.  If I'm out in the woods and have to poo it dries and flakes off naturally like all the other animals. 

I saw a thing from Levi Strauss that said you don't have to wash jeans every time you wear them.  I don't wash shirts and such every time any more either. Our microbiome is important.  Being overly clean with toxic chemicals is not healthy
Washing hands has an immediate effect on the viruses that go around each cold season. I wash when I'm around more people and their habitat. I wash less when I'm at home, in retreat, more alone. When I'm out camping, I am less clean about my hands. I don't like being sick. The more unnatural environments that people frequent, I think, have to be mitigated.

I may wash less frequently, but there is something to be said for slipping into nice clean sheets with ones lover after a nice hot shower. I like clean.

I'd like to think that crotches get clean, but over and over I have been smacked in the face with the contrary. More recently, I have been practicing squatting. I have cleaned out, washed in the stream on the trail, but then squatted. The position brings one closer to the facts. I think that the position and subtle, even unconscious communication has been done with more primitive cultures. I have noticed a disturbing bouquet, in spite of my efforts. There are natural oil secretions which associate with what is in the body's pores, there is leftover, unless soap is used.

I have had many lovers. I have had my nose in a variety of places as a result. Without going into detail, I have realized that even girls have bodily stuff going on. If your home is temperature controlled and you don't exercise, you may avoid much of this. What you eat may have effect. But I'll stick to a towel on my butt, just in case. I tend to keep the same furnishings for decades and will continue to do that, protecting them with a nice soft terry towel.

As for washing clothes. I put something on. Go to a usually indoor function for a couple of hours and then done, get undressed at the front door, or sooner. Two to four hours without breaking a sweat, and I'm usually bathed before, doesn't really get clothing dirty. So they get used again before washing. Sometimes used again and they aren't dirty yet. Washing wears out clothing sometimes more than wearing them. So, why have more labor and time used, wear out and replace clothing quicker, use more water and energy, decrease the life of something I prefer and that expense, just because I have worn something and not soiled it? Underwear gets changed, each use. I'm clean, I feel and smell clean.
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jbeegoode

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2019, 07:48:47 PM »
The water that doesn't seem to rinse off is soft water. I despise soft water conditioners. I can't get the soap off.  Left on soap makes me itch. Soap feels like slime on a hot day. It stuffs up my pores. I feel it in my scalp. The stuff that won't come off scrapes off some into the towel and permeates the towel with those soaps and still it can be felt on my body. I've never felt anything like it in a natural stream. I don't think that it is very unhealthy to leave soap and all the rest on the body and the results are apparent when I've been subjected to soft water.
Jbee
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ric

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2019, 10:44:46 AM »
just a few random thoughts,   40 years ago we had to use specialist industrial hand cleansers to get the oil off our hands after working on an engine, now i just use whatever cheap squirty soap weve got by the sink.. it works just as well as the industrial hand cleansers used to.
after a bath or shower my skin itched like crazy.... enough to make me reluctant to shower or take a bath ,  in recent years chlorine filters on the shower head and just rinsing ,no soap of any kind has eased the itching,  but i still only shower when i need to,   sometimes even twice a day, lunchtime and early eve if ive been toiling in hot weather. , do wipe crotch and armpits most mornings with a damp flannel though.
ive not used shampoo or soap in the shower for best part of twenty years.   last autumn i gave up shaving my face, so a wipe with a damp flannel every morning is the new routine, soap is now only used on  hands.
historically wed wear shirts for a couple of days, trousers all week maybe two, underwear would be changed twice a week, socks daily.... clothes washing was either done by hand or in a twin tub.... laundry for a family was a mornings graft,   changing clothes multiple times a day is only possible because of automatic washing machines.... which use gallons of water and pollute the planet with detergents.

theres an old saying  "only dirty people need to wash"

BlueTrain

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2019, 11:46:46 AM »
That's all the reason I need.

At first when I read your post, I thought that changing clothes twice a day seemed excessive but that's what I do sometimes. When I go out for a long walk now, I will come back soaking wet with sweat. That will happen when it's 90 degrees in the shade with thick humidity (the air really feels thick). This is from being out for an hour or two for a walk from two to four miles, depending on where I go. So when I get back home, I take off the wet things, hang them up to dry and put on something else. The pants I will wear again the next day but everything else goes into the laundry basket. I mentioned already that for some curious reason my feet and socks do not seem to get wet or even damp. It does not trouble me ethically to do laundry as often as necessary. I eat meat, too. I have two chain saws, too, and you know what they're for. Where I live, things grow so well that in two weeks a house will look abandoned. It is a sub-tropical climate. Unless you're in a windy spot doing nothing, sweat simply will not evaporate. Those who live in the Southwest may not understand that.

A funny thing is the descriptions of all the things that were considered necessary before WWII for hiking and camping. Apparently, a neckerchief, Boy Scout style, was an essential and sure enough, lots of people wore them in the old photos. Likewise, breeches ("foot breeches") were popular for outdoor wear, if not essential, as were high boots. Long underwear all year long and nothing but wool was also recommended by experienced woodsmen, none of whom seemed to populate desert places. Home-made insect repellants suggest that insects were more of a nuisance than they are now, too. On the other hand, most books on camping seemed to have assumed that the only reason for an outing was to hunt or fish, so there were always chapters devoted to gear for that. Although canoeing is usually mentioned, there was never anything remotely resembling thrill sports like mountain climbing (not in my collection of books, anyway), white-water kayaking and the like. But Nessmuk said we go to the woods to smooth it, not to rough it. And by the way, L.L. Bean in his little red book said to wear from home (to your camp) your heaviest business suit and to bring a dozen doughnuts.

Peter S

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Re: People who've given up washing
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2019, 03:42:32 PM »
Quote
Washing hands has an immediate effect on the viruses that go around each cold season. I wash when I'm around more people and their habitat.

I know it's widely reckoned that the winter germs spread mostly via things like door handles - sneeze with hand over mouth, open door, next person picks up germs, etc - so hand washing can undoubtedly lessen the spread. But as someone whose work took me into possibly four or five different homes a day, I recommend wide exposure to bugs as the best way to build up immunity. In all that time I rarely got more than a short sniffle in any bug season thanks - I believe - to multiple low-level exposures. Since retirement I find the bugs can be a bit more invasive.
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