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Wellness and Clothing

Anthropologists report that people who wear little or no clothing show much greater skin sensitivity than do people who are usually clothed. Observations of infants verify this. Babies who are almost always covered are less active and less sensitive than those who are generally lightly clothed or naked. There is little chance that nudity will ever become the social norm, but we can still learn how to use our clothing rather than be used by it.

The skin must be allowed to breathe if it is to remain healthy. Many skin disorders are the results of irritation and improper ventilation caused by clothing. Popular synthetics, such as nylon, Dacron, and polyester, are made of smooth fibers that can be very tightly woven. These fabrics are often favored because they resist wrinkling, but they don't breathe." Our bodies invisibly eliminate a substantial portion of waste products through the skin, and it is best to allow these to pass out via the open weaves of natural fibers such as cotton, silk, and wool. The first nylon pantyhose were discovered to promote vaginal infections because they trapped heat and moisture, making an ideal environment for infection. This necessitated the addition of breathable cotton crotch panels.

If they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, open my closet and show them my suits. - Albert Einstein (upon being asked to change his clothes to meet an ambassador)

People who wear skintight clothing might cause a sensation, but they may do so at a cost to their skin. For ages, religious ascetics used coarse fabrics and even hair shirts to subdue the flesh as a method of penance and self-discipline. If you have to wear tight, coarse materials in uniforms or suits because of your work, you can minimize their restrictive or numbing effects by wearing soft natural-fiber undergarments (cotton or silk) next to your skin and by changing into something more comfortable after work.

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. - Oscar Wilde

As you look over your wardrobe today, consider these questions:

  • How many of your clothes are constructed of natural fabrics?
  • How many contain synthetics?
  • What differences in mood and behavior do various textures produce in your body?
  • Do you want more of your clothes to be comfortable - soothing to the skin, loose enough to provide for freedom of movement, enhancing of sensual pleasure?
  • Does your clothing really reflect you - your moods, your personality, your ideals of how you want to be?

You might want to try going without clothing, whenever appropriate, in order to air your skin. This will enhance its sensitivity and promote its health. Even Inuits who live in snow huts sleep nude under thick furs.

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