I had a friend with a horrible cold this past week, and, knock on wood, so far have NOT gotten sick. But every shopping stop I’ve made has resulted in me wishing I could bathe in antibacterial gel or immerse myself and my children with a bubble of immunity. It’s that time of year- the tissues are bought in bulk, and the kids are sent off to school with travel packs, and I gaze at everyone with a doubt of “Should I shake your hand? “ or “ Did you really bring your child to this event to infect all of us!?!” The weather changes instantly — plus, let’s just face it- we are all running around doing so much and are compromising taking care of ourselves.
Before I got in the hot tub, I had a light bulb moment- “Will getting in a hot tub actually benefit cold sufferers? I bet so! “ Frantically I undipped my toe and ran to the computer to begin researching online. Numerous blogs and medical websites boast hot tubs can help cure the common cold. After all, hydrotherapy has been used for ages!
Here are a few reasons hot tubs can help out with colds:
Anxiety can reduce your immunity. If you’re relaxed you will actually have better immunity.
Guess what? Hot tub usage will help you become relaxed and be more open to receive optimal rest.
3. Raise your body temperature
All cultures use elevated body temperature for therapy. Increased circulation and sweating may reduce the infection load. Increasing circulation helps bring the healing factors to the needed area. As it turns out some infections actually respond favorably by elevating body temperature.
4. Treat the whole body
You are doing something that in the past has made you feel better. This triggers the brain to deliver the healing factors.
When we are fighting a bug our bodies tend to hurt everywhere. Heat therapy can aid in getting rid of the aches and pains related to a cold.
5. Clear your Nasal Passages
Apply a tiny bit of mentholated salve, i.e. Vicks, under your nose. Combining the salve and the steam from the hot tub can clear up your nasal passages to help you breath easy.
6. Blow Your Nose
Blow your nose frequently when you have a cold. Have tissues near you while in your hot tub- The heat from the hot tub will cause your nose to run.
7. Get Plenty of Rest
Stuffy heads, inability to freely breathe as you sleep, and body aches can all create a perfect storm for losing sleep. When you soak in your hot tub you elevate the body’s temperature, and when you exit your body’s temperature starts to decrease. The end result will cause you to become relaxed and in the mindset to become tired, in order to rest better.
8. Drink your water
Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water while you are unwell. Hot tubs can dehydrate your body. Please consume lots of water or something with electrolytes in it before, during and after your soaks; this will ensure that you maintain hydration.
If you begin to get that stuffy head and feeling of something coming on, we encourage responding quickly by:
1. Simply get into your hot tub. Do this many times per day every couple of hours. Incorporate 20 minute soaks into your day.
2. Turn up the heat. If you can tolerate it, crank it up to 104 degrees. If you elevate your body temperature and actually sweat, you may notice relief of aches and pains.
3. Keep this routine up until you begin to feel better.
Although having a cold is not a fun situation, or caring for a loved one who is sick and cranky may not be the most fun, at least the cure is pleasant. So…. turn up the heat, grab your Vicks and tissue, and get in your hot tub!
If you have a serious health condition, please consult your physician on how to properly use hydrotherapy.