By Michele Crandall
It’s beginning to get cold outside, but it’s always time to get things HEATED inside!
It’s far more than “Ice hurts and heat feels so soothing & melty good when you’re hurting.” Beliefs on Hyperthermia (hyper (rise) thermia (heat)), the forced heating of the body, and Thermotherapy, date back to antiquity. Hippocrates said, “Give me the power to produce fever and I will cure all disease”. Heat as a cure!
The body has its own natural fever response, getting heated to fight an illness, as the fighter T-cells do their work.
In the effort to do more, we humans have gone further:
• Native Americans use sweat lodges
• Finland has an estimated 3,000,000 saunas for a population of 5.5 million
• Hot Stone Massage Therapy is a very popular treatment today, although it was first used 4,000 yrs. ago in Asia.
• Even the Japanese, in their landscape of Pacific Rim volcanoes and mineral hot springs. have the tradition of Touji, which translates to “bath cure”.
The examples of using “heat” to cure what ails us goes on and on. Ice may be what’s always prescribed for an ankle turn or knee strain, a new injury, but it’s HEAT that’s needed to maintain and thrive, with 98.6°F being our sweet spot, where circulation works optimally, moving blood and nutrients, to maintain peak oxygen levels. A lower body temp will often indicate chronic illness. Professor Abo, of Japan confirmed there is “a 40% improvement in the function of the immune system by raising the bodies core temp by only 1.8°F”.
Further showing “the bodies immune system was weakened by 30% when core temp was lowered by mere 1.8°F” Simple muscle movements, such as going for a walk or jog outside, or indoor exercises will always help you increase internal temperature, plus you’ll release all those delicious “happy chemicals” within your body. Go ahead, try that Hot Yoga class!
Sometimes these methods are not possible, due to mobility issues, illness (chronic or sudden onset(flu)) or 3ft of snow that just dropped outside. Warm food, spicy foods and soups are good, and warm bath or sauna are even better. Infrared sauna or FAR Infrared BioMats are phenomenal ways to get heated.
There are varied ways to get your core warmed up, and the benefits are there to be enjoyed. So, however you do it, whatever your budget allows, don’t go silently into those cold Upstate New York temps… go get HOT! *
* of course you should always talk to your doctors before trying any new treatments, including the application of high heat.
Addendum by Dr Puc:
Normal body temperature is assumed by many, including a great preponderance of physicians, to be 98.6° F or 37°C. Those who have shown this value to be too high have concluded that Wunderlich’s 19th century measurements were simply flawed (Mackowiak, 1997; Sund-Levander et al., 2002). Our investigation indicates that humans in high-income countries have changed physiologically over the last 200 birth years with a mean body temperature 1.6% lower than in the pre-industrial era. The role that this physiologic ‘evolution’ plays in human anthropometrics and longevity is unknown.