Will Saunas Help With My Cold?

Posted on 28 March 2024

The common cold doesn’t have a preferred season; it’s an equal-opportunity annoyer. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found cold viruses are now starting to carry their winter reign into spring. So, even though you are more likely to get a cold in winter, you could also suffer anytime the weather changes. A cold can be 10 days of irritation for some and potentially more severe for people with underlying health conditions. Mysteriously, this everyman illness remains undefeated despite the rows of remedies at your local drugstore. However, time in the sauna may offer a holistic approach to colds that blends the ancient tradition of thermal therapy with modern wellness practices. SaunaFin’s state-of-the-art sauna kits and outdoor saunas promise relaxation and relief from the bothersome symptoms of your cold. Here’s a breakdown of the hard science supporting saunas as one of the most beneficial tools in your cold-fighting arsenal. 

Sauna’s Healing Heat

sauna kit use for coldThe runny nose, sore throat, and fever are responses created by your body to flush out the virus, combat infection, and create an inhospitable environment for pathogens. Though frustrating, these symptoms are your body's way of throwing a punch at a virus. The foundation of sauna therapy for cold relief lies in the heat exposure. Bumping up the mercury mimics the body’s natural response to fever, your frontline defense against infection. This elevated temperature can help clear nasal congestion, soothe achy muscles, and promote general relaxation, offering a multi-faceted approach to combating your cold symptoms. While some research found that inhaling heated air didn’t ease cold symptoms, these methods didn’t create the full-body sauna sweat that enhances circulation and uplifts your immune system. SaunaFin’s luxurious saunas provide an optimal environment for those seeking these therapeutic benefits, matching modern amenities' comfort with the robust health advantages of traditional saunas.

Boosting the Immune System Through Thermal Therapy

While plenty of people enjoy noticeable relief from their cold symptoms thanks to a sauna session, it’s also a powerful preventative practice. A trial published in Annals of Medicine found significantly fewer episodes of common colds among people who participated in regular sauna sessions compared to controls. During the last three months of the study period, the incidence of common colds was roughly halved compared to the controls, showing a seriously efficient effect. Regular sauna sessions can fire up your body's immune system because the heat stress increases the production of white blood cells and antibodies. These strengthen the body's defense mechanisms against pathogens. Additionally, the relaxation that comes with sauna sessions can help reinforce your defenses by reducing cortisol, the stress hormone that can dampen your immune defense.

How to Use a Sauna When You Have a Cold

Saunas are therapy, but you can do more harm than good if you do it wrong when you’re really sick. Follow these guidelines to optimize the cold-fighting powers found in the cedar sweat lodge. 

  • Stay HydratedDrink at least 16oz (500ml) of water at least 30 minutes before your sauna. You can dissolve and drink 2-3g of Celtic Sea salt or Himalayan rock salt into a separate glass of water to help you better hydrate your cells. Continue to drink regular water during and after the session. 
  • Customize Your Comfort: Adjust your heat setting based on how you feel. You don’t have to go as hot as usual if you feel like death warmed up. A good time marker is to limit your exposure to roughly 20 minutes. 
  • Relax and Breathe: Practice deep breathing or other relaxation techniques to amplify the stress-relieving benefits.
  • Make It a Habit: Regular home sauna visits can be a great addition to your wellness routine, possibly making colds less frequent and severe.
  • Listen to Your Body: If time in the sauna is making you feel worse, it's okay to tap out early, cool off, and return to the comfort of your bed. 

Should You Alternate Between Cold and Hot When Sick? 

The research around alternating between a steamy sauna and an icy dip, specifically while you have a cold, isn't vast, but some evidence hints at the benefits. The shock to your system from alternating temperatures could rev up your body's defense mechanisms, potentially offering you some armor against the common cold. But (and there's always a but), diving into extreme temperature changes when you're already feeling under the weather might ask a lot of your body. Instead of accelerating through your cold, you might feel worse or drag out the illness. If the hot-cold therapy tempts you while battling a cold, consider toning it down a notch. Shorter sessions in the sauna and a less icy plunge could be the way to ensure you're not overdoing it. Since the verdict's still out on the perfect approach, the best advice is to listen to what your body tells you. So, while we wait for more research to clear the mist on a sauna-cold-plunge combo while you have a cold, keeping it gentle is probably your best bet. 

Customizing Your Sauna Experience for Maximum Benefit

SaunaFin saunas are at the crossroads of tradition and modern luxury, offering saunas designed with both health and comfort in mind. These customizable sanctuaries provide a reprieve from the discomforts of the common cold and are a commitment to a holistic wellness lifestyle. When integrated into daily routines, sauna use goes beyond symptom relief and allows you to employ preventive health. SaunaFin’s dedication to quality and innovation ensures each session contributes to a broader strategy for maintaining health and preventing illness. The effectiveness of sauna therapy in supporting your health and wellness depends on personalization. SaunaFin caters to individual needs, allowing users to adjust settings for optimal comfort and health benefits. Introducing elements such as aromatherapy can further enhance your sauna experience, potentially aiding respiratory health and offering a more immersive relaxation experience. With SaunaFin, you can tailor your sessions to address cold symptoms and return to feeling like your old self.

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