Colds & Flu
How infrared saunas can help you fight colds and flu
How can our infrared saunas help you fight off colds and the flu?
First let’s define the characteristics of a cold and the flu.
While the words “cold” and “flu” are used interchangeably so often, the truth is that they are not one and the same thing!
Both a cold and the flu are caused by viruses. A cold however can typically be relieved with over-the-counter medication, drinking a lot of fluids and getting good rest.
On the other hand, the flu has to be diagnosed by a doctor and you will most likely be prescribed an antiviral medication to help get rid of the flu virus.
Symptoms of a cold include: sore throat, runny nose, congestion, sneezing and coughing.
Flu has all these symptoms but will also include headaches, muscle soreness and a fever.
Fever is part of the body’s natural healing process. Although they are uncomfortable, a fever is an important way your body signals that there is something wrong which in turn allows for the release of immune cells that then fight whatever the problem is.
Think of a fever as a sentry sounding the alarm to the troops that an enemy has entered the camp. If that sentry fails to do his job, his army could get annihilated!
Our infrared sauna creates an artificial fever state that helps the body fight off the cold or flu. When sitting in your sauna for flu, your skin temperature rises to 40°C (104°F) and internal body temperature rises to about 38°C (100.4°F).
This process is known as hyperthermia.
In fact, using heat for healing and specifically for colds has long been an effective natural remedy for curing colds and the flu.
In parts of Africa, when a person has a cold, they are made to inhale the hot fumes of boiling water to help the “fever break”. This natural remedy is made even more effective when mint leaves or menthol balms are placed in the hot water and the person is allowed to inhale those fumes.
What happens internally when you use an infrared sauna during a cold or flu?
- Do you realize how stuffy you get and difficult it is to breathe when you have a cold or the flu? That is because inflammation will oftentimes constrict (close up) your airways making it difficult to breathe properly. Our infrared saunas for colds and flu help to open up your airways so you can breathe easier.
- Sitting in one of our infrared saunas when you have a cold increases blood flow. Heat opens up blood vessels so that more blood can be transported easily. This easier transport of blood means that the immune cells which are also carried in your blood will be able to reach the infection faster and help you fight off the cold or flu quicker.
- Hyperthermia boosts the immune system. In one research study, the researchers found that a type of immune cell called the CD8 cytotoxic T-cell increases when heat is introduced. CD8 T-cells specifically fight off viral infections. We already mentioned that colds and the flu are caused by viruses. And so what you do by exposing yourself to a hot sauna when you have cold or the flu is that you in fact practically boost your immune to fight for you. How amazing is that?
- During the cold and flu, it is common to feel tired and drained. Therapy in a sauna for cold and flu will help you relax and regain your energy. As mentioned above, heat will open up your blood vessels and improve blood flow. This improved blood flow also means more oxygen will be delivered to your brain. More oxygen to your brain will relieve you of that sense of exhaustion.
- Heat from the sauna will also help to release muscle tension that comes with the flu.
- There is research that shows that the symptoms of colds and flu-like illnesses are dramatically reduced if far infrared sauna therapy is used in its early stages. This means using your infrared sauna for colds means you can help your body stop colds and flus before they take hold.
Healing the body using hot fumes and heat therapy is something that has been done for centuries by many cultures.
And even though medical research has made it possible for us to have several effective medications, nothing beats a proven natural remedy.
Getting a cold is uncomfortable. The flu is even worse! An excellent home remedy? An infrared sauna.
We see how sitting in the heat for even just a few minutes has all these scientifically-relevant benefits on helping you heal from a cold or flu.
We still recommend that you see a doctor if you suspect it is the flu but then once you have done all that, come home and enjoy the healing properties of an infrared sauna from Good Health Saunas.