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How is an infrared sauna good for a cold?
Well let us explain it step by step.
Catching a cold
A common cold is a virus infection in your nose. It can also affect the ears, bronchial tubes and the sinuses. So how do you catch it? You can pick up the virus from touching things or by people coughing and sneezing around you. There are many cold viruses but the Rhinovirus can cause over half of the colds going around.
The virus can only multiply in living cells but it can survive in the environment staying infectious, just waiting for you to pick it up and transfer it into your body.
The best way to avoid catching a cold and definitely to avoid passing it on is to wash your hands often and try not to touch your nose and eyes.
Don’t catch a sneeze or cover a cough with your hands use a paper tissue which you can discard.
The symptoms of a cold are caused by the body’s immune system releasing inflammatory mediators like sneezing and coughing to try and rid the body of the virus.
Killing off the cold virus
The body’s natural response is to heat up the body to kill it off because viruses are heat sensitive. This is where the infrared sauna can come into it’s own. When you sit in an infrared sauna the infrared can penetrate the skin and the heat starts from the inside out creating an artificial fever. Heating up your core temperature can kill off the virus quicker. This can also help as a preventative measure if you have daily saunas by not giving the virus chance to replicate.
When you go into an infrared sauna it will cause you feel warm which is great when you have the shivers, and it causes you to sweat. One of the most important parts of using an infrared sauna and dealing with a cold is to keep well hydrated. The benefit of hydration allows the body to naturally flush out toxins.
It’s suggested that you should do exercise to increase the heart rate and get the circulation going which improves the healing process, but who would want to exercise when you feel ill.
Again the infrared sauna can help you here, it heats up your body and increases your heart rate. This relaxes the cells in the muscle and expands the walls of the blood vessels increasing blood flow and oxygenation. This helps stimulate white cell production including lymphocytes which all work to fight off a virus.
Rest and relaxation is an important factor in fighting off colds. This is hard to do when you’re coughing and sneezing and trying to stay warm. When you feel stressed it’s hard to relax especially when your full of cold and your tensing your body to try and stay warm. A session in an infrared sauna allows the muscles to relax and it relieves the tension in your whole body.
Having a cold can stop you from being able to sleep but after your relaxing infrared sauna you should be able to have a deeper sleep and this is when your body does it’s healing and regeneration.
How long to stay in the sauna
So how long should you stay in the sauna? If you haven’t used a sauna before you need to build up to it but you can stay in the sauna 20-30 minutes and if you’re fighting a virus you can use it 2-3 times a day. The body is going to sweat and any toxins come out in that sweat. When you come out of the sauna take some time to let your body temperature normalise then take a shower to clean any toxins off the skin.
If you don’t have a health spa or clinic near you where you can use an infrared sauna or you can’t afford multiple sessions how can you benefit.
Infrared saunas at home
There are infrared saunas for use at home if you want to invest in something that can not only help you fight a cold but can also help you prevent them too.
If you have plenty of space in your home or a spare room or basement you can buy and wooden infrared sauna which looks just like a Swedish sauna but doesn’t work with steam. They cost in the region of $2000 and are easily assembled.
These saunas are kept fully assembled so you can use it whenever you want to. You can get larger units for 3 or 4 people or get a unit just for 1 person. You have the benefit of just switching it on and you’re ready to go.
You have controls to adjust the heat and you can build up your tolerance in your own time. If you’re paying for regular treatments at a spa this would pay for itself over time. If you buy a sauna that can hold 2 people you can relax with your partner so you both can benefit.
If you want something that is cheaper and doesn’t require a lot of space there are portable infrared saunas that you can set up in any room in your house, have your sauna and then fold it up and store it in the cupboard. If you haven’t used a sauna before and want to test it out before you invest in something a bit more substantial this works really well.
You sit on a chair in the zip up sauna with your head out of the top of it. There are hand openings so you can use the handset to control the temperature and timer. You can set this up in your living room and watch tv while you relax. These saunas cost around $200.
A home infrared sauna can give you the option of daily use or at least regular use for a one off cost and if you need to use it more than once a day to fight off a cold you can fit that easily into your day.
So in answer to the question ‘is an infrared sauna good for a cold?’ we believe it’s not only good for a cold but good for prevention too.