How We Protect the Body (and recover) from Chlorine When We Swim

Ah, Summer. Most people really look forward to it and swimming in pools is typically a big part of summer plans. But when you find yourself healing from chronic illness and on the GAPS diet swimming pools are on the “proceed with caution” list. Really, chlorinated swimming pools are something you want to avoid, if at all possible, when you’re on a healing journey. Especially if you are newly on GAPS.

Raleigh is nearing his 6 year mark on the GAPS diet. He is currently, and very gingerly, on the “coming off” part of the GAPS diet. More on that in another post. So up until last year (2022) he had not been allowed into a chlorinated pool. Instead we sought out more natural bodies of water. For a few years we had access to a natural springs pool that was incredible but sadly has been closed for the past couple of years due to repair. In its stead we would drive a little ways into the mountains and play in a river. If you have access to a natural body of water, or a salt water pool, these are highly recommended as they aid the body in detox while on GAPS.

Every year Raleigh has been on GAPS we have seen immense healing and there has been a slow shifting in what he has been allowed to do. Last summer we decided to test out the pool idea. He was nine, really wanted to get into the pool and didn’t know how to swim yet. My grandparents live in a building with a pool that had recently been converted to a salt water pool that utilized less chlorine. So we decided to give it a try. I’ll be honest. These things aren’t always easy for me and I am always hesitant, and often skeptical, to allow him into situations that can make his skin worse. This journey has been a journey for the both of us.

I did my usual research on how I could best support him while in the pool and came up with a few things that certainly helped. But last summer was a big learning summer in the sense that Raleigh learned to swim and I learned some new tricks to help the body not take in so much of the chlorine.

We still have very limited exposure to chlorine because Raleigh tends to get a very stuffy nose from the exposure. That has been the biggest issue that arises. Sometimes his skin will react, and it did last summer, but mostly he is unable to breathe from his nose. I’ve looked into that as well and that can be an issue for a lot of people due to the chlorine. So it’s something to watch for.

Here is what we currently do to support him:

Before swimming I coat him in shea butter as a barrier. Literally from head to toe, minus his hair. We also use Intelligence of Nature’s Sinus Support spray before and after the pool. He typically needs it multiple times and days following the chlorine exposure. After the pool he gets an immediate shower to rinse off as much as possible. I use either castile soap for his hair and body or a dead sea salt soap. Then I use the Intelligence of Nature’s Skin Support spray all of his body and apply tallow lotion to any area that might need extra support. ***Recipe for my tallow lotion bars under my RECIPES tab. Scroll till you find it.

He eats seaweed as a snack to balance the exposure to the halogens (chlorine is a halogen) that the body will often uptake and replace for iodine. The body will mistake many halogens, chlorine included, for iodine and push iodine out of the cells. Iodine is incredibly important and most people are deficient. So I make sure he eats plenty to counteract this. ***Be careful with which brand you choose. Most use toxic vegetable oils. Be sure you’re choosing a good brand that uses olive oil or avocado oil. My favorite one is pictured below.

At home he gets a detox bath, typically with Epsom salts to help him recover.

We will also increase the “maintenance” sprays of TRS to help his body rid anything extra since it does pull more than just heavy metals. Get TRS here. Or contact me here. I often have extra bottles to sell at a discounted price.

These measures have served us well and do allow him to get into a pool from time-to-time. We still opt for natural bodies of water when possible but it’s a beautiful blessing to see the joy he gets from swimming in a pool with friends.

Happy Summer, everyone!

Have any tried-and-true tricks that help you when you’re in a chlorinated pool? I’d love to hear. Please leave me a comment.

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