It all started when…
Ah, the joys of flu season. Just when you think you made it through the current season, the flu starts making its rounds through your family or office. All of a sudden, you’re the next lucky winner of a fever and body aches (and hopefully a few days of rest). There are some great natural remedies out there to ease flu symptoms. However, if you’re looking for that upper hand to recover quickly and get back to your normal life, think about trying far infrared therapy.
The science of the flu.
The flu is a virus strain that specifically attacks the respiratory system. As it wreaks havoc on your system it causes an inflammatory response that leads to symptoms like cough, fever, body aches, fatigue and congestion. To adequately combat the flu, the body’s immune system will need to take full action and fight back. The strength it has to fight back largely depends on your general day to day health.
Optimizing the immune system to recover faster.
The immune system will work to ease flu symptoms primarily via the lymphatic system. This intricate network will bring “good” cells (aka the front line fighters) into an infected area, while taking away the bad infected ones and disposing of them. (This is basically the body’s way of taking out the trash when a virus or bug is trying to take over.) To optimize the body’s reaction, it makes sense that things like stress reduction, hydration, circulation, healthy eating to optimize nutrient intake, and adequate rest and sleep are key to a speedy recovery. (For a full list of natural remedy options, look here.)
How far infrared therapy is a game changer.
Now that you understand that a healthy balanced body will more easily fight the flu, it should be a no-brainer that the many benefits of far infrared therapy can only magnify your health and recovery process (add it to your arsenal of tricks!). The top benefits of far infrared therapy to ease flu symptoms include sleep, stress reduction and improved circulation.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of a good night’s rest.
Sleep is often underrated, yet it is a highly important aspect of health. When it comes to the flu, it’s crucial in allowing your body to get to work in recovering. Far infrared therapy has been found to promote better sleep through mechanisms related to correct hormone balance and good old relaxation. Sleep allows the body to recharge and keep firing on all cylinders.
Put those feet up for some rest and relaxation.
Relaxation is a major benefit of infrared therapy. In addition to sleeping well, the ability to relax also affects your ability to cope with daily stresses. Unless you live in a bubble, there is a chance some kind of stress affects you on a daily basis. On a biological level, when the stress hormone cortisol is overproduced (due to lifestyle choices, excessive stress, or certain autoimmune illnesses), this keeps the body in a constant state of “fight” mode. By lowering your biological (and psychological) stress levels through far infrared therapy, the body’s energy can be used to fight that flu virus!
Good circulation helps ease flu symptoms.
Lastly, the penetrating heat of far infrared therapy will promote adequate circulation of blood and lymph. If you’ve ever used a heating pad, you will see the noticeable increases in superficial circulation on your skin related to warmth and redness. Infrared has this heating effect as well but on a more therapeutic level that can promote deeper healing of any bodily ailments. For the flu, the lymphatic system is optimized by infrared therapy to rid the body of all those bad bugs and restore balance.
For next time: preventing the flu.
Wouldn’t it be great to completely avoid the flu when the next round hits? Prevention is always the best treatment. Although there is no completely preventable measure, taking care of yourself and supporting a healthy lifestyle will make a difference.
Make a commitment to your health now.
As you start the New Year, this a great time to start making health goals that will affect every facet of your life. Being able to quickly ease flu symptoms is just one of many benefits to starting to take full control of your health. While you’re at it, why not add all the benefits of far infrared therapy to your arsenal? Plus, let’s face it, flu or not: better sleep, decreased stress and good circulation all sound like ideal ways to take life by the reins and live life to the fullest.
JayDee is a practicing Doctor of Physical Therapy and freelance medical writer specializing in health education. As a Montana native, she loves to travel the world exploring nature and doing pretty much anything exercise related outside.