When your body is fighting illness with a low-grade fever, one simple trick can really help speed up the healing process.
How to Assist a Fever in Healing
There will probably be few times in your life when you actually need to give medication for a fever. When I was growing up, people rushed to get the body’s temperature down using medications, but that is not the case anymore.
Today, we know that a fever is the body’s way of fighting certain infections that it cannot handle by other means. Various bacteria and other organisms cannot live in elevated temperatures, and fever is one technique the body uses to kill them off.
That is quite amazing, don’t you think? The intelligence of the body continually stuns me.
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Throughout my life, I’ve found it to be true that it is best to let a fever run its course. Apparently, a fever is a problem if it gets over 104 degrees F for very long. I suppose that upper number is a bit debatable, but it’s the one I’ve used. However, I’ve never had (or known anyone who has had) a fever higher than that.
Help a Fever Heal Your Body by Elevating Temperatures in Localized Areas
I have also used this principle of fever to help heal in localized areas.
When I am getting a bit of a sore throat, I’ll wear a neck wrap to help elevate the temperature in that area. The idea is to help create a fever in that specific area of the neck and throat. It does help.
Another thing that I’ve found immensely helpful with fevers (or even before you get that sick) is to take a very hot bath or spend time in a hot tub. The principle here is that I am helping my body warm up. I am using the heat of the water to help elevate my overall temperature.
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If your body has to create all the heat of a fever by itself, it uses up a lot of energy—which is quite draining at a time when you most need to preserve it. Having an external source of warmth aids the healing process by reducing your body’s workload when it’s getting your temperature up.
I remember a time a few years back when my daughter started showing the first signs of coming down with the flu (achy muscles, slight fever, cranky temperament). I went with her to the hot tub (although a hot bath would have also done the trick). We soaked together for a good long time, until our bodies felt like it was time to get out. By the time we returned to the house, my daughter was back to her happy, perky self.
I would say that, in my personal experience, the hot tub/hot bath treatment has worked about 90 percent of the time.
What Do You Think?
What about you? Have you had good results with using general or localized heat to help your body heal? What’s your favorite way to support your body when you have a fever? Let me know in the comments below!
(And be sure to read through the existing comments, too—our Community has offered some really great additional suggestions!)
This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on January 17, 2014.
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Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, which is a community of people focused on modern self-sufficient living. She has been featured by National Geographic as an expert in off-grid living, she hosted the Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, and she is listed in Who’s Who in America for having inspired hundreds of thousands of backyard gardens. Marjory was the focus of an article that won Reuter’s Food Sustainability Media Award, and she recently authored The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficient Living—From Growing Food to Making Medicine.