If you’re doing NMT, or you’re familiar with it, you know daily exercise for one hour is part of the curriculum.
For many of us, exercising during TSW is unthinkable.
You’re covered in ooze, it’s painful just to walk, you look like shit, how on earth could you possibly exercise?
But for me at least, I know exercise was one of the key factors in healing.
Why is exercise so good for TSW?
Let’s see a few reasons Dr Sato himself has given:
So basically exercise is important during TSW because:
- It boost metabolism, which produces new skin
- It forces your body to sweat, which is your body’s way of creating moisturizer
Not to mention:
- It’s good for your health in general
- Release endorphins and provides stress relief
- Boosts immunity
- Pumps blood through the body and muscles, which aids healing
Don’t disregard those latter points on general health.
Remember, a huge part of NMT and TSW is improving your overall health so your body can start to recover on its own!
Cortisol levels and exercise
Here’s another theory that I’ve put together on my own (might just be bro science), and it’s actually the one that makes the most sense to me.
Usually, when when our skin flares up, our body produces cortisol to calm that flare down.
However, when we use topical steroids, that acts as the cortisol for us.
This leads to our skin losing the ability to produce its own cortisol over time.
Dr Fukaya, who might not be as well known as Dr Sato but is a TSW doctor in Japan who has done some amazing research and treatment, concluded the following in his study:
“Prolonged application of TCS might suppress the cortisol production of keratinocytes which is poorly developed at the early ages before childhood and completed naturally as to growth. Rebound phenomenon after TSW can occur due to the relative insufficiency of cortisol in the epidermis and the immature corneal layer formation.”
Basically confirming that, yes, TSW inhibits our skin’s ability to produce its own cortisol.
So when we flare, what happens?
It turns into a monstrosity and ravages our whole body!
Our skin wants to create cortisol to calm this thing down, but it can’t remember how.
So the flare has a field day and massacres us.
It’s like a fire is burning all over our body, and we are trying to turn the fire hose on, but there’s no water inside.
Now here’s where the exercise part comes in.
What happens to your body during exercise?
It produces cortisol.
But here’s the catch.
At least according to this study, only high-intensity exercise spikes your cortisol. Low-intensity exercise does not:
“High intensity exercise provokes increases in circulating cortisol levels. These increases seem due to a combination of hemoconcentration and HPA axis stimulus (ACTH). In contrast, low intensity exercise (40%) does not result in significant increases in cortisol levels.”
I do remember reading somewhere Dr Sato stated that you should exercise to the point that you’re sweating and your heartbeat should reach over 130 bpm. i.e. should be high intensity!
Whether or not cortisol production is the reason, I’m not sure, but that’s my guess.
So in summary, we have the following reasons for exercising during NMT:
- Your body’s natural way of producing sebum and moisturizer for the skin.
- Forces your body to produce this moisturizer by sweating.
- Boosts your metabolism, which is essential for making new skin.
- Good for your body and health holistically.
- Reduces stress levels.
- Creates cortisol to reduce inflammation and flaring.
Isn’t that amazing?
Just going out for a run can do all of these things that will kickstart your skin’s healing.
But that also means if you’re not doing the exercise part of NMT, you are missing all of these contributions to your healing!
Remember, when we do NMT, we must do the whole protocol.
Tokuko and Dr Sato have said repeatedly that only doing parts of the protocol does not work.
Each requirement is dependent on the others for your skin to heal.
So how do you exercise during NMT when it’s the last thing you want to do?
How To Exercise During NMT
I’m sorry to say there is no magic bullet that makes exercise easy when you’re in pain.
The reality is you just need to suck it up and get it done.
But here are a few suggestions and tips that might help.
Visualise your healing
Whenever I’m out exercising and I’m absolutely miserable, I just visualise all the good things that are happening to my skin.
I visualise the cortisol that’s magically being made, like they’re little assassins and I see them attacking and killing my flares.
I visualise my metabolism pumping and brand-new skin cells crystalizing out of thin air.
I visualise all my dry skin cells drinking up my sweat like they’ve been dying of thirst and waiting for this moment to heal.
All of this motivates me to just keep on going because there is nothing more I want than to heal!
Running was my main exercise during TSW because:
- You don’t need to go to a gym
- You can do it any time and don’t need any gear
- You can do it on your own
- You can cover yourself up while doing it so nobody can see your skin!
I started running every day, starting at around 15-20 minutes and building my way up to an hour (and eventually a marathon!)
If you’re not a runner, you can start of with just a brisk walk, then slowly work yourself up to “walk-run” which is something like run one minute, walk five minutes, run one minute, walk five minutes, until you can build yourself up to constant running.
Exercise at home
If you don’t want to go out to a gym or running in public, you can do many great exercises at home that are high intensity and will get your sweat glands and cortisol pumping.
Try a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout on Youtube, such as this one:
If you have the financial means, you could also buy yourself a running machine, exercise bike or rowing machine.
I used all three quite often at my local gym during winter, and they are great for working up a heavy sweat.
If “working out” just makes your brain melt you can try something a bit more “fun” – Zumba is one of my Mum’s favourites and it’s a pretty good work out too.
Don’t underestimate it – you can get a hella good sweat out of these!
Anything other exercise is great too!
The important thing here is something is better than nothing, and fitness is something you build up over time, so just get started!
Even if it’s just a five minute walk to start with, this can get you to six minutes the next day, then ten minutes, then thirty minutes, then an hour, then a bit of run-walk, to eventually running.
Or even if you can only do the first ten minutes of the HIIT workout, you can do fifteen minutes the next day and so on.
Just remember how much your skin is going to appreciate all this hard work you’re putting in for it.
Sending love and healing!
Learning about NMT? Read my full guide here.