Hippocrates, the Greek physician known as the Father of Medicine, once made this declaration: “Give me a fever, and I can cure any disease.”
Therein lies one of the reasons that regular sauna use is so effective for the body’s immune system. When you take a sauna, your core body temperature rises during the session, tricking your physiology into experiencing a fever.
This leads to several things occurring which give your body’s overall defense system a hand. Since many viruses and bacteria can’t survive in high heat, the sauna makes it hard for them to stick around. It can also help your body tackle a bacterial or viral infection you might be experiencing. The resulting sweating that takes place when enjoying a sauna aids in detoxification, flushing those nasty bugs out of your system. (And it makes your skin look pretty darn amazing to boot!)
If you’ve never tried going from your sauna to a cold splash, give it a try! Your white blood cell count increases when you alternate between hot and cold in a short span of time. Use a sauna for ten minutes, then retreat to a cold shower or bath for a period, then repeat the process a couple more times. It’s a simple way to give your body extra immunity boost with a higher white blood cell total.
When your wrap up is a sauna session, your body moves into cool down mode. Not only does this help you get a more restful night’s sleep (sleep is well known to be key in helping your body’s immune system), the cool down also increases cardiovascular circulation. This assists in cell repair—and it’s certainly heart health.
There are a myriad of reasons that sauna use is good for us. Know that you’re also doing your body good by naturally helping your immune system be more effective at doing its job.