Natural Flu Prevention Tips to Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Flu season, spanning from October to May, brings heightened risks as influenza viruses circulate more actively, peaking in February amid cold and dry conditions that facilitate viral spread. The flu’s impact extends beyond inconvenience, affecting health, productivity, and well-being, especially during peak infection months. Proactive measures for preventing the flu naturally are vital, fortifying the body’s defenses and significantly reducing the risk of flu contraction.

Taking a natural and holistic approach to flu prevention can be especially helpful, such as cultivating a robust immune system, maintaining a healthy environment, and using an infrared sauna. These natural flu prevention tips will provide a guide for navigating flu season effectively. Whether preventing or recovering from the flu, read on to learn how to maintain well-being during this critical seasonal period.


Build a Strong Immune System


A robust immune system is your first line of defense against the flu. Maintaining a balanced diet enriched with nutrient-dense foods is a cornerstone in fortifying your immune system. Prioritize a diverse array of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to ensure a spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Key immune-boosting nutrients such as Vitamin C, known for its antioxidant properties, Vitamin D, crucial for immune regulation, and zinc, integral to immune cell function, play pivotal roles in supporting your body’s defense against infections.

Regular physical activity is another potent ally in enhancing immune function. Engage in moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking or jogging, to promote the circulation of immune cells and foster a responsive defense system. Exercise contributes to overall health and is a proactive measure in reducing the risk of infections, including the flu.

For another immunity boost, consider incorporating infrared sauna sessions into your wellness routine. Beyond promoting relaxation, infrared saunas can help stimulate blood circulation, potentially aiding in detoxification and supporting the immune system. While further research is needed, some studies suggest positive impacts on immune function, making infrared sauna use a unique and holistic addition to your immune-boosting arsenal this flu season.


HALO ONE® Halotherapy Generator for Natural Flu Prevention


Practice Good Hygiene for Prevention


In the pursuit of maintaining a robust defense against infections, it is imperative to prioritize hygiene. Mastering effective handwashing techniques is foundational to reducing the risk of germs. Hand sanitizers can provide a convenient alternative when access to soap and water is limited. Extend these hygiene practices beyond your hands by incorporating a UV disinfectant wand to sanitize frequently touched items, mitigating the risk of viral transmission through common surfaces.

On the respiratory front, cultivating proper habits is paramount. Covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the elbow helps contain respiratory droplets, preventing the spread of potentially infectious particles. In crowded places, masks serve as an additional protective measure by acting as a barrier against respiratory droplets.

As an innovative approach to respiratory health, consider exploring halotherapy, commonly known as salt therapy. Salt-infused air is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, hydrophilic, and mucokinetic, making the HALO ONE® halotherapy generator a great natural flu prevention tool. By integrating these hygiene and prevention practices into daily routines, you can contribute to a healthier and safer environment for yourself and those around you.


Consider Your Environment


Creating an environment conducive to natural flu prevention involves a thoughtful approach to indoor air quality. Prioritize ventilation strategies that facilitate a continuous flow of fresh air, diminishing the concentration of airborne pathogens and reducing the likelihood of respiratory infections. To further improve your air quality, air purifiers are useful tools to help guard against pathogens, pollutants, and allergens, helping fortify the defense against respiratory illnesses and contributing to a naturally healthier living space.

When it comes to the toxins you are exposed to in your environment, infrared saunas help play a role in natural detoxification. By inducing a deep sweat, saunas aid in eliminating toxins from the body, contributing to an internal environment less favorable for flu viruses. This dual approach, combining enhanced air quality with the detoxifying benefits of infrared saunas, provides a natural and holistic strategy for preventing the flu. It fortifies the body against potential infections and creates a rejuvenating environment that aligns with natural well-being.


Woman Using Clearlight® Infrared Sauna for Better Sleep


Manage Stress and Get Quality Sleep


Stress can make our bodies more vulnerable to getting sick, including catching the flu. To help our immune system stay strong, it’s important to find ways to manage stress. Simple activities like meditation, mindfulness, or enjoying pleasant scents with aromatherapy can make a big difference in reducing stress and keeping us healthy.

The Aroma One® essential oil diffuser allows you to take your aromatherapy almost anywhere, meaning you can rest and restore on the go. Add an immunity-supporting essential oils such as lemon, oregano, cinnamon, tea tree, eucalyptus, and rosemary to help boost your natural flu prevention plan.

Getting enough good-quality sleep is also crucial for our immune health. Having a regular sleep routine helps our body’s internal clock, making our immune cells work better. Trying relaxation methods like using an infrared sauna or red light therapy before bedtime can help us sleep better. And don’t forget to make your sleep space comfy – adjust the lighting, keep it quiet, and set a cozy temperature. All these steps help us handle stress and build a strong foundation for a healthy immune system, which is vital for preventing the flu.


Stay Informed and Vaccinated


Staying informed about the flu is vital to maintaining good health during the flu season. Regularly checking for updates on flu activity keeps you in the loop about the current situation. Since flu viruses can change, staying informed allows you to make decisions about your health based on the most recent information available.

Understanding the importance of flu vaccination is a key aspect of preventive healthcare. The flu vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months, with a special emphasis on certain groups like young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with specific health conditions. This vaccine serves as a crucial preventive measure, protecting those who receive it and contributing to community-wide immunity. If you have any questions or concerns about the flu vaccine, discuss it with your healthcare provider.

Addressing common misconceptions about flu shots is crucial for fostering widespread acceptance. Some believe the flu shot can cause the flu, but this is a myth. In reality, the vaccine is designed to stimulate the immune system without causing illness. By dispelling such myths, individuals can make informed choices about vaccination, which is pivotal in promoting community health.


Man on Couch Recovering from Flu


Natural Flu Remedies & Recovery Strategies


When facing the challenges of the flu, turning to natural recovery strategies can significantly enhance the healing process. Guidelines for managing the flu involve prioritizing rest and hydration as fundamental components. Adequate rest allows the body to divert its energy towards combating the infection, while proper hydration aids in flushing out toxins and maintaining optimal bodily functions.

To complement these measures, integrating sessions in an infrared sauna contributes to the detoxification process, expediting the removal of toxins from the body and potentially hastening recovery. To alleviate body aches and discomfort, consider using a PEMF amethyst mat to help reduce muscle and joint pains, providing a comforting experience during the flu recovery period. In addressing respiratory symptoms associated with the flu, a halotherapy device can contribute to improved breathing and overall respiratory comfort, providing a natural and supportive element to flu recovery.

When integrated into your management plan, these natural flu recovery strategies help alleviate symptoms and support your body’s innate healing processes. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice tailored to your specific health conditions and the severity of your flu symptoms.


Navigating Flu Season


In navigating the challenges of flu season, adopting a comprehensive and natural approach to health becomes paramount. From proactive measures like building a robust immune system to mindful environmental considerations, stress management, and quality sleep, the strategies outlined here offer a holistic guide for staying healthy and resilient. Should the flu strike, recovery strategies presented provide an alternative to conventional approaches, aiming to alleviate symptoms and support the body’s healing processes.


Remember, individual health needs vary, and consulting with healthcare professionals is crucial for personalized guidance. By integrating these natural fly tips and staying informed about flu updates and vaccination, individuals can empower themselves to proactively manage their well-being throughout flu season and beyond.

8 Natural Remedies for Asthma Symptoms

Living with asthma can be a challenge, especially when it limits your ability to enjoy everyday activities. While traditional medications, like inhalers, can help temporarily relieve symptoms, they don’t offer a long-term solution. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies and habits you can implement into your routine that can alleviate your symptoms and enhance your respiratory health. 

Though there is currently no cure for asthma, trying some of these natural asthma treatments could improve your quality of life all around. In this article, we’ll explore some of these natural remedies, including aromatherapy, yoga, and more. Let’s dive in and discover how you can regain control of your asthma – and your life!


Woman Using Aromatherapy to Treat Asthma Naturally




Certain essential oils, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the airways. These mighty oils can be used in a diffuser to revitalize a space and enhance the aromatherapy throughout your home. Natural plant extracts and oils are also known to elevate your mood, provide a calming sensation, and reduce stress, all which are helpful in aiding asthma symptoms.

You can experiment with different scents to see which work best for you, making it a bit of fun to play around to find your perfect combination. Popular essential oils for asthma include clove, rosemary, and thyme to help with difficulty breathing and wheezing, and lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil to help reduce inflammation.




It is believed that inhaling salty air can help stimulate the respiratory system, reduce inflammation, and reduce discomfort. But you don’t have to sit around the beach for hours to reap all of the benefits of salt. Halotherapy, or salt therapy, is a natural remedy that can be done in the comfort of your own home. 

The treatment involves inhaling microscopic salt particles, which has been found to be effective in clear blockages in the airways. This makes it particularly beneficial for individuals with asthma who struggle with respiratory inflammation. A study found that children with asthma who used speleotherapy, or salt-based therapy, for a four-week period experienced improved symptoms. Regardless of age, incorporating salt therapy weekly can help reduce inflammation caused by asthma.


Steam Therapy


Inhaling steam is another helpful way to open up your airways during asthma symptoms. Steam therapy can be done by taking a hot shower or bath, using a steam inhaler, spending time relaxing in a steam room, or even by simply standing over a bowl of hot water. Using steam is a quick and effective way to help open your airways, reduce inflammation, loosen mucus and congestion, and help provide moisture to airways for asthma attacks caused by dry air. While steam therapy isn’t a treatment for asthma, it’s a wonderful and easily-accessible remedy to alleviate discomfort when it arises.


Person Using HALOONE® Salt Therapy in Sauna for Asthma

Infrared Saunas


Recent studies have found that infrared sauna use may help improve lung and respiratory function. One recent review in 2018 found that those suffering conditions such as asthma saw breathing improvements after sauna use, and another study found that consistent sauna use helped reduce the symptoms of acute respiratory symptoms. Infrared sauna use can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, maintain a healthy weight, and improve immune system health – all factors that can help improve overall lung health.

Better yet, you can incorporate other asthma-friendly practices like aromatherapy and halo therapy into your infrared sauna session with the HALOONE® salt therapy generator and AromaOne® aromatherapy diffuser. Both devices are portable and can be used anywhere in your home, but when paired with your Clearlight Infrared Sauna experience, you’ll surround yourself in wellness and have a powerful trio of natural remedies for asthma in one session.


Weight Management


Many who struggle with asthma know carrying excess weight can worsen symptoms and make it more difficult to manage their condition. Losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way can help reduce overall inflammation in the body and aid your respiratory function. Through a healthy diet and exercise plan, you could find great relief in your breathing. Aim to achieve your weight loss goals through gradual lifestyle changes that are realistic and can be sustained in the long run. Seeking out professional assistance can also help you in making these changes into a life-long commitment. 


Asthmatic-Friendly Diet


As you may be able to tell already, there is a common trend among all of these treatments: anti-inflammatory remedies and asthmatic patients are definitely friends. That is why having a diet plan with plenty of anti-inflammatory properties is optimal to stay in good health. 

Herbs such as ginger, turmeric, and licorice root have been used for centuries as natural remedies for asthma and respiratory ailments. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish, nuts, and seeds can also reduce inflammation in the body.  Even if you don’t restructure your whole nutritional plan around these foods, including them once a day can be helpful in maintaining a healthy diet. If you see a nutrition specialist already, consider sharing about your condition with them and discuss how your nutrition could better aid your symptoms.


Group Breathing Exercises During Yoga Practice for Asthma


Yoga Practice


Yoga is a curative therapy known for its life-altering benefits, especially for those with asthma. This low-impact exercise has the power to improve lung function and reduce stress, two known triggers for asthma symptoms. Specific yoga poses, such as the downward-facing dog and the cobra pose, allow the lungs to expand, enabling deeper breathing.

Additionally, the breathing techniques practiced in yoga, known as pranayama, reduce anxiety by calming the nervous system and relaxing the body. Studies have found that people who practice yoga may experience fewer asthma attacks and get better results in breathing tests, and yoga can be an effective tool in managing mental health to help reduce stress-induced asthma attacks. Implement this easy practice into your fitness routine and take the deepest breath you’re taken all day! 




Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to improve energy flow and reduce inflammation.  A 2017 study found that adding acupuncture to your daily routine may be an effective treatment for asthma, reducing symptoms and improving lung capacity. By balancing the body’s energy flow, acupuncture has the potential to improve overall immune system function, leading to improved health and well-being for asthmatic patients and beyond.


There you have it. Now you know how to reduce asthma symptoms naturally. With just a few simple adjustments to your diet, exercise, and wellness routine, you can regain control of your life and enjoy everyday activities without the constant struggle to breathe. So, whether you try halotherapy, yoga, infrared sauna sessions, or any of the other practices mentioned above, try these natural remedies for asthma to help you get a deeper breath and lead a healthier, happier life!

Infrared Sauna Skin Benefits for Psoriasis & Eczema

If you have a skin condition, you know how uncomfortable it can get. Psoriasis and eczema in particular can lead to a lot of discomfort, whether it’s physical discomfort from lesions or rashes or social discomfort from the appearance of the skin. Though these conditions don’t have a cure, there are treatments you can try right at home to help lessen the symptoms. When used with proper treatment prescribed by your doctor, using an infrared sauna can be a great additional therapy to help reduce your discomfort and improve your skin health. Read on to learn more about these skin conditions and how you can use an infrared sauna for psoriasis and eczema relief.


Woman Checking Psoriasis in Mirror


What is Psoriasis?


Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin. It can appear between the ages of 20-60, occurring in both men and women. It is believed that psoriasis is an immune system issue that is caused by skin regenerating at higher-than-normal rates, and that genetics have a big influence on its onset. The disease is characterized by skin lesions most commonly found on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp that appear red and scaly. While not contagious, those suffering from psoriasis face physical discomfort from cracked skin.

Even when it seems to be under control, there can be flare-ups that can be minor or ones that make it feel like you’re going back to square one. There is no clear cause for why flare-ups happen, but they are often caused by a change in environmental factors such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Infections
  • Medications
  • Skin injury
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Weather


Due to the nature of this disease, it can be very difficult to treat and there unfortunately is no current cure. While there is no end-all cure, there are different treatment options for psoriasis depending on the severity of the case. For patients with mild psoriasis, topical treatment with steroids can suffice. Light therapy is also a first-line treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis. However, for moderate to severe cases, other stronger treatments may be needed such as oral or injected medications.


Woman Suffering from Eczema on Wrist


What is Eczema?


Eczema is a group of chronic skin conditions that result in inflamed or irritated skin. The most common type is known as atopic dermatitis, with “atopic” meaning one’s tendency to have allergic reactions. In fact, eczema is often accompanied by allergic reactions such as asthma or hay fever. Though it is most common in children, affecting 10%-20% of infants, eczema can occur at any age with 3% of adults and children suffering from the condition. Eczema is less severe than psoriasis, and is typically easier to manage.

Like psoriasis, the cause of eczema is unknown, but main theories include immune system response, skin barrier issues, and a family history of other allergies. Also, there is no defined reason why eczema flare-ups occur. Each person facing the condition may have different triggers, and some of the most common include:

  • Animal dander
  • Heat
  • Household products
  • Respiratory infections
  • Rough fabric
  • Stress
  • Sweat


Similar to psoriasis, there is no current cure for eczema, but there are treatments and precautions that can be made to help reduce symptoms and prevent outbreaks. Many people grow out of the condition by age 10, but for those who still feel symptoms, treatment can be fairly easy. Home remedies such as moisturizers, hydrocortisone creams, and antihistamines are popular treatments. For more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe medications or recommend light therapy for extra relief.


Woman Using Infrared Sauna for Skin Benefits


Infrared Sauna Skin Benefits for Psoriasis & Eczema


It’s important to remember that psoriasis and eczema are not localized diseases. These skin conditions involve multiple systems and has an inflammatory and autoimmune component. Thus, anything that can affect the body as a whole could help relieve the burden of both diseases, and infrared saunas do exactly that with the many health benefits provided – including fighting inflammation and stress while also helping improve skin health by reducing the severity of skin lesions.


Skin Lesions

The aspect of both psoriasis and eczema that causes the most psychological and physical stress in patients are skin lesions. These are red patches of skin that are covered with thick and inflamed skin in either patches or scales. They are the result of the disease speeding up the life cycle of the skin cells, which start to build upon the surface of the skin. Infrared saunas have shown promise in this regard since this type of therapy helps reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the blood and stimulates the shedding of this overgrown skin, which leads to a visual improvement of the lesions and physical relief from reduced inflammation and irritation.



Psoriasis and eczema are affected by skin inflammation caused by flare-ups. Infrared saunas have been proven to help decrease systemic inflammation. Studies have shown that infrared sauna use helps reduce the presence of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is an inflammatory marker. The infrared heat also helps promote increased blood circulation, which may help reduce the risk or severity of certain chronic skin conditions. By doing this at a systemic level, infrared saunas do more than just help relieve the skin lesions. They can help control the progression of the disease, lower the frequency of flare-ups, and prevent other inflammatory conditions.



Stress is responsible for the onset and severity of many diseases, particularly those of inflammatory nature. Stress is not just a mental state, it is also a physical reaction felt in the sympathetic nervous system. This is the part of your nervous system that is responsible for fight-flight responses. When this system is overactive, stress can build and develop a wide set of physical and clinical manifestations, especially when there is a pre-existing condition such as psoriasis or eczema. Infrared saunas can also help in this regard by promoting relaxation and homeostasis while fighting the sympathetic nervous system.


Psoriasis and eczema are skin conditions that many face and try to treat. While there is no cure, taking the steps to reduce flare-ups and find comfort can make a huge difference in your quality of life and overall health. Using infrared saunas for skin conditions can help reduce the severity of lesions, decrease inflammation, and lessen stress. You can even include the help of halotherapy, or salt therapy, for added skin benefits and relief from psoriasis and eczema symptoms. For more severe cases, be sure to speak with your doctor for additional treatment.

Is it a Cold or Allergies? Symptoms to Check & Natural Remedies

As the temperatures drop, many people are faced with stuffy noses and itchy throats. But is it a cold or allergies? A cold is an infection caused by a virus. Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a substance like pollen or pet dander. But because the two conditions cause similar symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose, and fatigue, it is easy to get both ailments mixed up. Knowing which is which can help you get the right treatment to help you feel better faster. Read about the differences between cold and allergy symptoms and find natural remedies for each.


Man Sneezing from Allergy Symptoms


Handling Allergies


You’re probably experiencing allergies if these symptoms apply: your mucus is clear or watery, your eyes are itchy or watery, your symptoms stay the same and last, and your symptoms show in certain situations.

When facing allergies, mucus typically stays clear and watery, as opposed to mucus during colds that thicken and may change color. It is also uncommon for colds to result in itchy or watery eyes, which are typically caused by irritation from allergies. As far as other symptoms go, allergies are unfortunately longer-term than colds. If your symptoms stay the same and they’ve lasted longer than a week, you are likely dealing with allergies. Luckily, allergy symptoms tend to be milder in the long run when compared to some of the more intense symptoms of a cold.

Symptoms may feel more intense for the first day or 2, but they will typically mellow out and stay the same day after day and can last several weeks or longer. Allergies also show up only in certain situations, from seasonal allergies in the spring and fall to being in an environment with allergens – such as being in a home with a dog or living in an area where pollen counts are high. A pro of allergies vs a cold include being able to remove yourself from a high-allergen situation to lessen symptoms.


Common Allergy Symptoms


  • Sneezing
  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Circles under eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Clear or watery mucus


Woman Using Infrared Sauna for Natural Allergy Remedy


Natural Allergy Remedies


Have an Infrared Sauna Session

Far infrared heat (FIR) has been shown in studies to relieve eye itching, nasal itching, nasal stuffiness, rhinorrhea (runny nose), and sneezing. Spending time in an infrared sauna can reduce your allergy symptoms with the FIR technology. Infrared saunas also help detoxify your body to reduce the number of toxins and allergens that may be present. You can diffuse essential oils in a sauna for a relaxing and detoxifying experience that further helps relieve allergy symptoms. Be sure to stay hydrated during and after your infrared sauna sessions.


Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Adding spices and anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can help clear up spring allergy symptoms. Your spice rack is filled with natural remedies for seasonal allergies. Look for anti-inflammatory items such as ginger and turmeric to add to your meals, and sprinkle some cayenne pepper to help clear nasal passages. A bowl of chicken soup is a great way to use these ingredients. Research also indicates that a mug of green tea can help you find allergy relief.


Take Probiotics

A weak immune system can lead to more intense reactions to seasonal allergies. One way to strengthen your immune system and treat allergies naturally is through probiotics. Probiotics help boost your immune system by introducing healthy bacteria to the gut, and studies have shown that the addition of probiotics to your diet can lessen allergy symptoms. You can add probiotics to your diet through fermented foods or probiotic capsules.


Be Active

Working out with a stuffy nose or scratchy throat doesn’t sound great, but it can be effective in naturally relieving seasonal allergies. Have you ever stood up and walked around with a stuffy nose to have it clear up? Working out does something similar. Working out increases blood flow and reduces inflammation which helps alleviate symptoms. Be sure to listen to your body and work out indoors to avoid outdoor allergens if they are affecting you.


Person Eating Anti Inflammatory Soup for Cold Symptom Relief


Handling Colds


If you have a cough, low fever, headache, or mild body aches, you’re likely dealing with a common cold. Colds are so prevalent because there are more than 200 cold viruses that spread.

Colds can sometimes be difficult to identify because different viruses cause different symptoms. Even so, a hacking cough, a fever, and achiness aren’t problems you usually see with allergies. The exception: Allergies can sometimes trigger a cough, but often coughing from allergies tends to feel and sound a bit different than coughing from a cold. One tell-tale sign of a cold is the color of your mucus. As immune cells fight back against the cold virus, they can make your mucus discolored or thick.

Another differentiator between cold and allergy symptoms is that cold symptoms change every few days. You may start out with a fever and stuffy nose, then have a sore throat for a few days, or get a cough or sinus pain before getting better. Colds tend to last for a shorter amount of time, on average lasting 3 to 7 days, but sometimes as long as 2 weeks. Allergy symptoms will last longer, as allergens tend to be present longer than just a week, especially if you are dealing with seasonal allergies.


Common Cold Symptoms


  • Low fever
  • Sneezing
  • Running or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Hacking cough
  • Muscle pain
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Yellow, green, or thick mucus


Woman Blowing Nose from Common Cold Symptoms


Natural Cold Remedies


Use an Infrared Sauna

Just as using an infrared sauna for allergy relief, it can also help relieve cold symptoms naturally and help speed the rate of recovery. As mentioned before, far infrared heat has been shown to reduce respiratory symptoms often seen in colds. Spending time in an infrared sauna can reduce cold symptoms and can also help detoxify your body to reduce the number of toxins present, thus helping you get well sooner. When suffering from a cold, it is especially important to stay hydrated to replenish any hydration lost from sweating in the sauna.


Steam in a Shower

The steam in a hot shower helps moisturize your nasal passages and aid in decongestion, especially when paired with aromatherapy. Peppermint oil is effective in reducing inflammation to improve quality of life for those suffering from nasal and bronchial allergies, and using eucalyptus oil is great for its antimicrobial properties. A warm shower before bed also helps promote better sleep, which helps speed up recovery.


Get Adequate Sleep and Rest

Getting plenty of rest, relaxation, and sleep (around 8 hours) is critical to your health. Your body is going through a lot, and a tired body means a weakened immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness. A rested body helps your immune system work better. A healthy immune system can help shorten your sick period. Reducing stress will make it easier for your body to function properly and fight illness if need be.


Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water is always one of the top health recommendations, and it’s especially important when feeling under the weather. When it comes to being sick, hydration is key to improving your overall health and lessening the impact of spring cold symptoms. By staying hydrated, you also allow your body to detoxify impurities that may be exacerbating your symptoms. Try adding electrolytes or vitamins when hydrating to boost the health effects further.


If you are feeling under the weather, take a look at your symptoms as they might help you identify the underlying issue. Be sure to discuss with your doctor if your symptoms are severe, regardless of whether it is a cold or allergies. Plenty of rest, detoxification, hydration, and having a healthy diet can help relieve your symptoms and can help build up your immune system to prevent future colds and allergies.

The Benefits of Infrared Saunas on Depression

Taking care of your mental health is a necessary factor in your overall well-being. If you or a loved one are facing depression, infrared sauna use might be a beneficial addition to your health routine in conjunction with advice and treatment from your doctor. Many studies have recently been conducted to test the effectiveness of whole-body hyperthermia, or the use of extreme heat, to assist in the treatment of depression. Read on to learn more about these recent studies and how they are paving the road toward more knowledge on the benefits of hyperthermia and infrared saunas on depression.


Man Using Infrared Sauna for Depression Benefits


Studies on Saunas for Depression & Mental Health


Feasibility and Acceptability of a Whole-Body Hyperthermia (WBH) Protocol

A recent 2021 study has shown promising results with whole-body hyperthermia (WBH) as a non-pharmacologic treatment for major depressive disorder while using Clearlight Saunas Far Infrared heating technology in The Curve Far Infrared Sauna Dome. Where prior trials in similar studies have used medical infrared hyperthermia devices, this study studied to see if a commercial device without FDA-imposed limitations could produce the degree of core body temperature (101.3 °F) associated with reduced depressive symptoms in prior WBH studies.

The study assessed the amount of time needed to achieve this core body temperature and the changes (pre-post WBH) in self-reported mood and affect. Twenty-five healthy adults completed a single WBH session lasting up to 110 min in the Curve Sauna Dome. Core body temperatures were recorded during WBH as well as mood and affect at points before and after whole-body hyperthermia. Whole-body hyperthermia treatment ended after a participant maintained 101.3 °F for two consecutive minutes. The study shows the effectiveness of Clearlight Saunas Far Infrared Heating technology at raising core body temperature.

Results found that all participants achieved the target core body temperature (101.3 °F) within 82.12 minutes on average. In analyses of changes in mood and affect, the study found that participants noted reductions in self-reported depression symptoms from 1 week pre- to 1-week post-WBH, and reductions in self-reported negative affect before and after their whole-body hyperthermia session. This research shows that WBH protocol holds promise in further research on the benefits of commercially available infrared sauna devices and hyperthermia in major depressive disorder treatment.


Woman Improving Mental Health in Curve Infrared Sauna Dome


Whole-Body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

A 2016 study conducted by psychiatry professor Charles Raison and his team aimed to explore the need to identify novel treatments for major depressive disorder. Prior to this study, a smaller study took place in which of 16 individuals with major depression, a single hyperthermia treatment reduced their depression scores almost by 50% five days later. The 2016 study was conducted to test whether whole-body hyperthermia has specific antidepressant effects when compared with a placebo condition and to evaluate the persistence of the antidepressant effects of a single treatment.

A 6-week, randomized, double-blind study took place comparing hyperthermia with a placebo condition. Participants were medically healthy, met criteria for major depressive disorder, were free of psychotropic medication use, and had a baseline 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score of 16 or greater. During the study, researchers compared a single session of active WBH to a placebo condition. The placebo condition matched all aspects of the whole-body hyperthermia condition except intense heat.

When compared with the placebo group, the active WBH group showed significantly reduced Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores across the 6-week post-intervention study period. A single session of hyperthermia produced a rapid and powerful antidepressant effect that was not observed in the placebo group. Additionally, the benefits of a single hyperthermia treatment persisted for six weeks, leading to the conclusion that whole-body hyperthermia holds promise as a safe, rapid-acting, and prolonged antidepressant effect.


Happy Couple Enjoying Infrared Sauna for Mental Health


A Hot Topic for Health: Results of the Global Sauna Survey

Researchers set out to determine the motivations and experiences of typical sauna users. An online 71-item questionnaire compiling information on the individual characteristics, sauna-related habits, and perceived health and wellness experiences of regular sauna bathers was conducted. The 2019 study incorporated a quality of life scoring tool to measure physical and mental indicators of well-being.

The study was made up of 482 respondents who sauna-bathed approximately 1–2 times per week. The key reasons indicated by respondents for sauna-bathing included relaxation/stress reduction, pain relief, and socializing. Nearly a third of respondents reported medical conditions. Of this group, those with back/musculoskeletal pain and mental issues cited the greatest improvements in their conditions with sauna use. Of all respondents, 83.5% reported improved sleep after sauna use. This study documents that sauna users are motivated to use saunas predominantly for relaxation, reporting health benefits especially around mental well-being and sleep

Analysis of well-being scores after grouping respondents into groups by sauna-bathing frequency revealed that sauna users who utilize a sauna 5–15 times monthly recorded comparatively higher mental well-being scores as compared to respondents who were sauna-bathing less frequently.


Friends Smiling While Using Infrared Sauna


Benefits of Infrared Saunas on Mental Health


Mental health can be based on a number of factors, from chemical imbalances to chronic pain. Frequent sauna use can assist in reducing the symptoms of depression and other mental health issues. A short daily session in an infrared sauna can increase your exposure to heat therapy and help with:


While medical treatment should be discussed with your doctor for clinically-diagnosed conditions, adding infrared sauna use to your regular routine can offer many health benefits that assist in symptom reduction and enhance medical therapies. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of major depressive disorder or need to discuss your mental health, be sure to discuss with your doctor regarding next steps and proper treatments.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a crisis, please reach out immediately to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. The services are free and confidential.




Mason, Ashley E et al. “Feasibility and acceptability of a Whole-Body hyperthermia (WBH) protocol.” International Journal of Hyperthermia vol. 38,1 (2021): 1529-1535. DOI: 10.1080/02656736.2021.1991010

Janssen, Clemens W et al. “Whole-Body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA psychiatry vol. 73,8 (2016): 789-795. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1031

Hussain, Joy N et al. “A hot topic for health: Results of the Global Sauna Survey.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine vol. 44 (2019): 223-234. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.03.012

Natural Winter Cold Remedies & Prevention Tips

Unfortunately, the cold weather also means cold season. Staying healthy is extremely important, and getting a cold can put a damper on your day-to-day life. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do at home to naturally reduce common cold symptoms and precautions you can take for future cold prevention. Learn more about the common cold and follow these prevention tips and remedies to help make cold season less daunting.

Winter Cold Symptoms & Causes

The common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection that is transmitted through virus-infected airborne droplets or contaminated surfaces. Though the common cold can be caught at any point in the year, winter colds are most prevalent due to drier air conditions, more time indoors closer to people, and cooler temperatures that may allow viruses to replicate faster. If you are feeling under the weather this season, watch for common cold symptoms such as:

Runny nose Congestion
Stuffy nose Slight body aches
Sore throat Mild headache
Cough Sneezing

Natural Cold Remedies


Use an Infrared Sauna

Far infrared heat has been shown in studies to relieve nasal stuffiness, runny nose, and sneezing. Spending time in an infrared sauna can reduce cold symptoms and can also help detoxify your body to reduce the number of toxins present.


Take Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an important role in your body and has many health benefits – one of the biggest being an immune system boost. Getting enough vitamin C can relieve illnesses, and can help naturally reduce the length of a cold.


Steam in a Shower

The steam in a hot shower helps moisturize your nasal passages and aid in decongestion, especially when paired with aromatherapy. A warm shower before bed also helps promote better sleep, which helps speed up recovery.


Rub on Menthol

Some mentholated rub under your nose can help open air passages to combat congestion, reduce coughing, and improve sleep. Menthol also has mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of an irritated nose.


Mix in Honey

Honey has a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey and lemon in tea can ease sore throats, and honey before bed can help improve sleep. Research suggests that honey is an effective cough suppressant, as well.

Person Eating Anti Inflammatory Soup for Cold Symptom Relief

Make Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is comforting, but research suggests that chicken soup with vegetables, prepared from scratch or warmed from a can, can enhance the movement of white blood cells in your body that help protect your body from infection.


Gargle Salt Water

Gargling with salt water may help prevent upper respiratory infections. It may also decrease the severity of cold symptoms. For example, it may ease sore throat pain and nasal congestion.


Drink Echinacea

Echinacea’s active ingredients include flavonoids, chemicals that have many therapeutic effects on the body such as boosting your immune system and reducing inflammation. Drinking echinacea tea can help reduce cold symptoms.


Cook with Garlic

Garlic contains the compound allicin, which is believed to have antimicrobial properties that help reduce cold symptoms naturally. If you don’t like the taste of garlic, you can take a garlic supplement to still enjoy all the health benefits.


Boil Some Ginger

The health benefits of ginger root have been touted for centuries, and studies today show that it is indeed antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. A few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water may help soothe a cough or sore throat.

Cold Prevention Tips


Avoid Crowds

Unfortunately, large crowds allow for more germs to be present and can help them spread more easily. If you are doing anything social, keep the group smaller so you have a better idea of other peoples’ health.


Be Active

Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells that help the immune system fight disease.


Eat a Healthy Diet

Your meals should have the right balance of nutrients you and your baby needs. This also means choosing healthier drinks like water, having frequent small snacks, and bringing your sugar intake down a notch, to name a few.


Get Adequate Sleep and Rest

Getting plenty of rest, relaxation and sleep (around 8 hours) is critical to your health. Your body is going through a lot, and a tired body means a weakened immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness.


Reduce Stress

As noted above, a rested body helps your immune system work better. A healthy immune system can help shorten your sick period. Reducing stress will make it easier for your body to function properly and fight illness if need be.

Stay Hydrated

Along with eating well and exercising comes staying hydrated. Fluids are essential to a well-functioning, healthy body because they wash out your system, so drink water as often as possible.


Take Supplements and Vitamins

Vitamins and supplements can be very useful tools in helping your body build a strong immune system to avoid sickness. Think of them as bricks on the wall of defenses your body is building up to fend off the viruses you might encounter daily.


Wash Your Hands

Germs can enter your body to infect you when touched. However, you can avoid germs by adopting consistent hand washing. Wash your hands when out in public, after touching contaminated surfaces, and before touching your face.


Wear a Mask

Wearing a mask can play a big role in keeping you safe from infection and illness, especially in highly-trafficked places such as schools, hospitals, restaurants, shops, and transportation.


Talk with Your Doctor

Above all, always be careful to talk with your doctor before making any major health decisions. If you feel yourself starting to come down with something, check to make sure any remedies you try are safe and healthy for you.


This cold season, try these natural cold remedies and prevention tips to keep your health in top shape. As mentioned above, consult your doctor if you feel your symptoms are concerning or if you believe you may have come down with something more severe. Health is a top priority, and these winter cold tips are great ways to ensure that!

Salt is in the Air: Halotherapy as a Potential Way to Boost Immunity and Lung Health

By Dr. James DiNicolantonio


Halotherapy is the breathing of salty air. It is an alternative treatment that has been used since medieval times. In Eastern and Central Europe, underground salt caves have long been claimed to provide numerous health benefits.1 Going into salt caves for therapeutic purposes is known as speleotherapy (speleo being the Greek word for cave). Halotherapy involves inhaling salt microparticles aboveground to mimic the microclimate of salt caves. Even Hippocrates is said to have known about the benefits of salt caves.1


Halotherapy was first recognized as a treatment in 1843 by Polish physician Dr. Feliks Boczkowski, who noticed that salt mine workers rarely suffered from respiratory issues.2 Impressed with the health benefits he personally witnessed in salt mines, Dr. Boczkowski founded the first health resort at the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland. Soon after, all throughout Eastern Europe others began using salt caves as underground health resorts. Realizing that most people didn’t have a means to go into a salt cave, in 1976, Russian doctors and scientists created the first machine to produce salt microcrystals, known as a halogenerator, and halotherapy was born. In the 1980s, halochambers were built lined with rock salt and were eventually certified as medical devices in Russia. Essentially, we have a Polish doctor and the Russians to thank for the birth of halotherapy.1, 2

There are two types of halotherapy, dry and wet methods. The dry method of halotherapy is free of humidity and uses dry salt microcrystals, whereas wet halotherapy uses a mixture of salt and water in the air. A typical salt room delivers 5 mg of dry salt aerosol (with particles ranging from 0.1 to 5 microns) into the air during a 1-hour session.1, 2 A usual halotherapy plan entails 14 1-hour sessions over 2 months with a 48-hour break in between sessions, with an initial course of 4 sessions being recommended to check for a beneficial effect.1 A brief worsening of symptoms may occur prior to improvement, which has been termed “speleo-reaction.” This may be due to the breaking up of mucus and its subsequent draining increasing cough.


So, are there any potential benefits with halotherapy?

One article suggested potential benefits of sitting in salt rooms and inhaling microscopic salt particles in those with asthma, bronchitis, lung disease, respiratory allergies, other respiratory-tract disorders, and chronic ear infections.1 The article also indicated claims of a success rate of 90% for treating pediatric asthma in salt rooms.1 Other publications show that halotherapy is associated with relief of cystic fibrosis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).3, 4 The idea is that the inhaled salt helps thin and break up mucus and other airway secretions improving their elimination.

Another review article on halotherapy cited three case-control studies in patients with respiratory diseases, all of which reported improved respiratory function and improvements in several lung functions tests, including forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), oxygen saturation, partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood, and partial pressure of carbon dioxide in arterial blood.4 Others have found improvements in quality of life in COPD patients with halotherapy finding reductions in exacerbations, hospitalizations, improved physical tolerance and reduced fatigue.4 Even positive shifts in immunological status and decreases in medication use, such as inhaled corticosteroids, have been found. A randomized study by Nurov documented increased levels of lymphocytes, immunoglobulins and increased neutrophil phagocytosis activity. In other words, halotherapy increased immune cell numbers and stimulated their activity.5  Thus, it’s possible that breathing in salt microcrystals may help to improve lung function, oxygenation, and immune function.


Other studies have found improvements in chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis (destruction and widening of the larger airways) and common colds during the cold season being cut in half.1 A 2006 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found three randomized clinical trials of salt room therapy, two of which reported that this therapy had beneficial effects on lung function.1 In COPD patients, nebulized saline has shown improvements in breathlessness scores and mucous expectoration.6 In a long-term, double-blind, parallel-group trial of 164 patents with stable cystic fibrosis with mild to moderate lung disease, inhaled hypertonic saline improved lung function as measured by forced vital capacity and FEV1 and fewer pulmonary exacerbations and antibiotic use. The researchers concluded, “Hypertonic saline preceded by a bronchodilator is an inexpensive, safe, and effective additional therapy for patients with cystic fibrosis.1, 7 Other potential benefits may include improvements in skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis although more research is needed.1, 8

Two randomized trials showed that a salt chamber reduces bronchial hyper-responsiveness in asthmatics.9, 10 Other publications note that halotherapy improves occupational chronic obstructive lung diseases.11 Halotherapy can even improve enlarged adenoids and tonsils, which is the main contributor of sleep apnea in pre-pubertal children.12 And halotherapy has even been suggested as a first line treatment for bacterial vaginosis.13 

Salt caves have been used for thousands of years. Halotherapy, which mimics the microenvironment in these salt caves, is now a potential strategy to provide therapeutic benefits. In Canada, Romania, and Israel, certain specialized nebulizers that release finely pulverized dry salt aerosol particles are approved as medical devices. Breathing in salt is something that we experience whenever we enter a salt cave or are near the ocean. Inhaling salt microcrystals using modern-day salt rooms or devices may be another strategy that mother nature has given us to improve our health.



1      Horowitz S. Salt Cave Therapy: Rediscovering the Benefits of an Old Preservative. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 2010;16:158–162.


3      Rashleigh R, Smith S, Roberts N. A review of halotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2014;9(1):239-246

4      Chervinskaya AV, Zilber NA. Halotherapy for treatment of respiratory diseases. J Aerosol Med 1995;8:221-32.

5      Nurov I. Immunologic features of speleotherapy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Medical and Health Science Journal. 2010;2:44–47.

6      Khan SY, O’Driscoll BR. Is nebulized saline a placebo in COPD? BMC Pulm Med 2004;4:9.

7      Elkins MR, Robinson M, Rose BR, et al. A controlled trial of long-term inhaled hypertonic saline in patients with cystic fibrosis. N Engl J Med 2006;354:229-40.

8      Endre L. [Theoretical basis and clinical benefits of dry salt inhalation therapy]. Orv Hetil 2015;156:1643-52.

9      Bar-Yoseph R, Kugelman N, Livnat G, et al. Halotherapy as asthma treatment in children: A randomized, controlled, prospective pilot study. Pediatr Pulmonol 2017;52:580-7.

10    Hedman J, Hugg T, Sandell J, et al. The effect of salt chamber treatment on bronchial hyperresponsiveness in asthmatics. Allergy 2006;61:605-10.

11    Chervinskaya AV, Kotenko KV. Efficiency of controlled halotherapy in rehabilitation of patients with occupational lung diseases. Med Tr Prom Ekol 2016:38-40.

12    Gelardi M, Iannuzzi L, Greco Miani A, et al. Double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial on the efficacy of Aerosal in the treatment of sub-obstructive adenotonsillar hypertrophy and related diseases. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2013;77:1818-24.

13    Maliavin AG, Filiaeva Iu A, Umakhanova MM, et al. [Halotherapy–a new treatment of bacterial vaginosis]. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult 2004:35-7.

Can Sitting in a Sauna Help Fight Infections?

By Dr. James DiNicolantonio

Did you know that since 1957 sauna therapy has been used as a potential way to prevent the flu? 1 It’s true! During World War II, sauna therapy was even noted to prevent the spread of typhus fever in Finnish troops, “The main method of typhus prevention in Finland consisted of regular sauna bathing, which was culturally acceptable and very efficient.” 2 Since then, numerous studies have been published confirming that sauna therapy is indeed beneficial for fighting infections. 3, 4

For example, a clinical study divided 50 patients into two groups, one group of patients were assigned to sauna sessions over several months and the other group did not receive sauna therapy; can you guess what happened? The group that received sauna sessions had their incidence of the common cold cut in half. 4 And the benefits of sauna therapy don’t stop at the common cold. People who use saunas at least 4 times per week, compared to those who use the sauna once per week or less, have approximately half the risk of developing pneumonia or respiratory diseases. 5, 6


So how does going into a sauna help fight against infections? For one, our body’s first defense against an infection is a fever. By boosting core body temperature and mimicking a fever, sauna therapy may help our bodies fight off infections before they take hold. It’s not recommended to go into a sauna once you have a fever because at that point your body is doing sauna therapy on its own. However, consistent use of a sauna may help reduce the ability of viruses to replicate in the body. 4-6  And this is important, especially early on in an infection, prior to it causing a fever, spreading to the lungs and taking a firm hold.

Going into the sauna causes hyperthermia or a rise in core body temperature. Essentially, sauna therapy is “heat shock” therapy. It shocks the body with heat and induces a short-term stress on the body. However, once the body has recovered from a sauna session it is more resilient to other stressors. This is known as hormesis. Basically, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (think of sunlight, exercise, or cold therapy). And in the case of sauna therapy we are talking about the immune system getting stronger.

We didn’t know exactly how saunas worked against viruses until recently. For example, when we go into a sauna our body increases the production of something called heat shock proteins (HSPs). 7 HSPs are released to prevent proteins from degenerating from heat shock or other stress. 8 They also help stimulate both our innate and adaptive immune system.  9 Thus, making our overall immune system more robust. Additionally, heat shock proteins can directly inhibit influenza viral replication  10,12  and make our cells more resistant to death from external stressors. 13, 14 In other words, the release of heat shock proteins with sauna therapy may, 1.) boost our immune system, 2.) inhibit viral replication and 3.) protect our immune and lung cells during cytokine storms. Talk about a triple combination punch!

Man Using Infrared Sauna for Depression Benefits

The benefits of HSPs and sauna therapy on our immune system don’t stop there. Heat shock protein-70 can stimulate the release of nitric oxide from monocytes. 15 And nitric oxide can inhibit the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). 16,17,18 Additionally, sauna therapy boosts nitric oxide, 19 as it increases the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), which is the enzyme that makes nitric oxide in the body. 20,21 Infrared sauna therapy stimulates eNOS above and beyond any thermal effect, suggesting that infrared saunas may have an advantage over traditional saunas. 20,22,23

A 15-minute sauna session can also stimulate the immune system, increasing the number of white blood cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils and basophil counts. 24 Hyperthermia, as found with sauna therapy, also increases the antiviral effect of interferons. 25,26 Interferons are produced by our body to increase antiviral antibodies and to stimulate our immune system. Thus, there are many pathways for how sauna therapy may help us fight against infections.

Overall, sitting in a sauna for approximately 15-30 minutes per day, for 4 or more days per week, is a great way to increase heat shock proteins, activate the immune system, and potentially inhibit viral replication. Clinical evidence in humans suggests that sauna therapy reduces the incidence of the common cold and may reduce the incidence of influenza, pneumonia, and respiratory diseases.



1      Hartmann A. [Asiatic flu in 1957; sauna baths as prophylactic measure]. Hippokrates 1958;29:153-4.

2      Laurent H. Control of typhus fever in Finland during World War II. Vesalius 2009;15:71-9.

3      Brenke R. Das Potenzial der Sauna im Rahmen der Prävention – eine Übersicht neuerer Erkenntnisse. Forschende Komplementarmedizin (2006) 2015;22:320-5.

4      Ernst E, Pecho E, Wirz P, et al. Regular sauna bathing and the incidence of common colds. Ann Med 1990;22:225-7.

5      Kunutsor SK, Laukkanen T, Laukkanen JA. Frequent sauna bathing may reduce the risk of pneumonia in middle-aged Caucasian men: The KIHD prospective cohort study. Respir Med 2017;132:161-3.

6      Kunutsor SK, Laukkanen T, Laukkanen JA. Sauna bathing reduces the risk of respiratory diseases: a long-term prospective cohort study. Eur J Epidemiol 2017;32:1107-11.

7      Iguchi M, Littmann AE, Chang SH, et al. Heat stress and cardiovascular, hormonal, and heat shock proteins in humans. Journal of athletic training 2012;47:184-90.

8      Xue J, Fan X, Yu J, et al. Short-Term Heat Shock Affects Host-Virus Interaction in Mice Infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus H5N1. Frontiers in microbiology 2016;7:924.

9      Wang Y, Whittall T, McGowan E, et al. Identification of stimulating and inhibitory epitopes within the heat shock protein 70 molecule that modulate cytokine production and maturation of dendritic cells. J Immunol 2005;174:3306-16.

10    Hirayama E, Atagi H, Hiraki A, et al. Heat shock protein 70 is related to thermal inhibition of nuclear export of the influenza virus ribonucleoprotein complex. J Virol 2004;78:1263-70.

11    Li G, Zhang J, Tong X, et al. Heat shock protein 70 inhibits the activity of Influenza A virus ribonucleoprotein and blocks the replication of virus in vitro and in vivo. PLoS One 2011;6:e16546.

12    Conti C, De Marco A, Mastromarino P, et al. Antiviral effect of hyperthermic treatment in rhinovirus infection. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1999;43:822-9.

13    Novoselova TV, Margulis BA, Novoselov SS, et al. Treatment with extracellular HSP70/HSC70 protein can reduce polyglutamine toxicity and aggregation. J Neurochem 2005;94:597-606.

14    Guzhova IV, Arnholdt AC, Darieva ZA, et al. Effects of exogenous stress protein 70 on the functional properties of human promonocytes through binding to cell surface and internalization. Cell Stress Chaperones 1998;3:67-77.

15    Wang Y, Kelly CG, Singh M, et al. Stimulation of Th1-polarizing cytokines, C-C chemokines, maturation of dendritic cells, and adjuvant function by the peptide binding fragment of heat shock protein 70. J Immunol 2002;169:2422-9.

16    Akerstrom S, Mousavi-Jazi M, Klingstrom J, et al. Nitric oxide inhibits the replication cycle of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. J Virol 2005;79:1966-9.

17    Akerstrom S, Gunalan V, Keng CT, et al. Dual effect of nitric oxide on SARS-CoV replication: viral RNA production and palmitoylation of the S protein are affected. Virology 2009;395:1-9.

18    Chen L, Liu P, Gao H, et al. Inhalation of nitric oxide in the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome: a rescue trial in Beijing. Clin Infect Dis 2004;39:1531-5.

19    Gryka D, Pilch WB, Czerwinska-Ledwig OM, et al. The influence of Finnish sauna treatments on the concentrations of nitric oxide, 3-nitrotyrosine and selected markers of oxidative status in training and non-training men. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2020;33:173-85.

20    Huang PH, Chen JW, Lin CP, et al. Far infra-red therapy promotes ischemia-induced angiogenesis in diabetic mice and restores high glucose-suppressed endothelial progenitor cell functions. Cardiovasc Diabetol 2012;11:99.

21    Ikeda Y, Biro S, Kamogawa Y, et al. Repeated sauna therapy increases arterial endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide production in cardiomyopathic hamsters. Circ J 2005;69:722-9.

22    Akasaki Y, Miyata M, Eto H, et al. Repeated thermal therapy up-regulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase and augments angiogenesis in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia. Circ J 2006;70:463-70.

23    Yu SY, Chiu JH, Yang SD, et al. Biological effect of far-infrared therapy on increasing skin microcirculation in rats. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2006;22:78-86.

24    Pilch W, Pokora I, Szygula Z, et al. Effect of a single finnish sauna session on white blood cell profile and cortisol levels in athletes and non-athletes. Journal of human kinetics 2013;39:127-35.

25    Chang CC, Wu JM. Modulation of antiviral activity of interferon and 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase gene expression by mild hyperthermia (39.5 degrees C) in cultured human cells. J Biol Chem 1991;266:4605-12.

26    Payne J, Nair MP, Ambrus JL, et al. Mild hyperthermia modulates biological activities of interferons. Int J Hyperthermia 2000;16:492-507.

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

At a time like this, taking every precaution to stay healthy is imperative. Strengthening your immune system can help prepare your body to fight off sickness. But what exactly does the immune system do, and what steps can you take to help it perform properly? Learn more about your body’s process of protecting from sickness and discover how to boost your immune system naturally below.


What Does the Immune System Do?


The immune system is designed to detect and destroy foreign invaders inside the body like bacteria and viruses. When working optimally, the immune system can prevent sickness when we’re exposed to germs. Several factors like sleep, diet, stress and hygiene can affect the immune system’s performance, and any offsets in these behaviors can decrease immune function. Our bodies have two immune subsystems: innate, which fights harmful substances and germs that enter the body, and adaptive, which fights certain germs that the body has previously come into contact with.

The adaptive immune system can be activated by things the body doesn’t recognize as its own, called antigens. These are called antigens. When these antigens attach to special receptors on the immune cells (immune system cells), a series of processes is triggered in the body. Once the body has come into contact with a disease-causing germ for the first time, it usually stores information about the germ and how to fight it through antibodies. Then, if it comes into contact with the germ again, it recognizes the germ straight away and can start fighting it faster. Because the adaptive immune system is constantly learning and adapting, the body can also fight bacteria or viruses that change over time.


What Affects the Immune System



As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions. While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases. This is likely due to the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection



Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from harmful environmental factors and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, exercising, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and taking general steps to avoid infection.



Increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, makes it difficult for the immune system to function properly. The American Psychological Association reports that 75% of Americans experience moderate to high levels of stress. In addition to the direct impact of stress on immune function, unmanaged stress can influence our sleep patterns, our mood, our dietary intake and our physical activity levels. All of these factors are associated with immune system function.


How to Improve Your Immune System Naturally


Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas have many health benefits that play in to helping boost your immune system naturally, including:

  • Increasing White Blood Cell Production: The heat generated by an infrared sauna stimulates energy at a cellular level which, in turn, increases the body’s production of white blood cells. These cells form a component of your blood and act as your immune system’s first line of defense when infection strikes. When a harmful substance enters your body, white blood cells detect it and control the immune system’s response.
  • Creating an Artificial Fever: Fevers help your body to fight off infection by allowing certain immune cells to work more efficiently and effectively, and increased temperatures trigger the body’s immune system response. Hyperthermia, or the exposure of the body to high temperatures, gives these cells the ability to destroy virus-infected cells and tumor cells.
  • Releasing Impurities: When your body does not sweat enough, it holds onto potentially harmful toxins, chemicals, and impurities that were meant to be eliminated through sweat. A typical 20-minute session in an infrared sauna allows your body to flush out these impurities from the inside out so your immune system has less to fight off.
  • Reducing Stress: Since high stress levels often result in a weakened immune system and, as a result, illness, reducing your stress levels is crucial when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. Regular use of an infrared sauna balances cortisol levels and relaxes the body and mind. This allows your immune system to work efficiently, without the hindrance of high cortisol levels.
  • Improving Blood Circulation: The deeply penetrating heat of an infrared sauna promotes blood circulation throughout your entire body, providing oxygen-rich nutrients to your extremities. The increase in circulation pumps the blood towards the outside surface of your body, taking with it any bacteria or other illness-causing substances.


Healthy Diet

Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Scientists have long recognized that people who are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Whether the increased rate of disease is caused by malnutrition’s effect on the immune system, however, is not certain. There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans.



There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies — for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — alter immune responses in animals. While there is no one magical natural immune system booster, supplying your body with the necessary nutrients and vitamins can help set it up for success when it needs to fight something off.



Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.


Stress Reduction

Ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease because the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system, which then releases an array of hormones that not only gets us ready for emergency situations but severely decreases our immunity at the same time. Try things such as relaxation exercises, positive thinking, behavior modification, meditation, and finding social support to help reduce stress.


Your immune system is an incredibly powerful and useful system in your body that helps it fight disease and learn how to protect from future illness. Luckily, the most effective way to boost the immune system naturally is through a generally healthy lifestyle. There are no miracle pills to take or special treatments to do, just steps you can take to help support your body in being strong and able to fight off what comes its way.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms & Treatment

As winter settles in, many people unfortunately feel the winter blues settle in as well. If the cold weather and longer nights seem to be giving you the winter blues, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Learn more about SAD symptoms and remedies below.


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.

Some researchers point to the fact that we may be hard-wired to experience the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder due to early human’s need to conserve energy during the food-scarce winter months. A lack of food and substantially colder temperatures may have caused our ancient relatives to go into a sort of hibernation mode, where a low mood and lack of desire to complete tasks may have been a life-saving temperament.

Other researchers talk about the depression that comes from the amount of serotonin in our systems. Melatonin production is essentially regulated by our circadian clocks, but it can be affected by exposure to bright light. Seasonal Affective Disorder is, by most accounts, a direct correlation to the amount of light we’re exposed to, and at what specific duration.


Seasonal Affective Disorder Statistics

  • SAD is diagnosed four times more often in women than men.
  • SAD is more frequent in people who live far north or south of the equator. For example, one percent of those who live in Florida and 9 percent of those who live in New England or Alaska suffer from SAD.
  • People with a family history of other types of depression are more likely to develop SAD than people who do not have a family history of depression.
  • The symptoms of depression may worsen with the seasons if you have one of these depression or bipolar disorder (but SAD is diagnosed only if seasonal depressions are the most common).
  • Younger adults have a higher risk of SAD than older adults. SAD has been reported even in children and teens.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

Do the winter months get you down more than you think they should? If so, you might have seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not considered as a separate disorder, instead it is a type of depression displaying a recurring seasonal pattern. People with SAD have many of the normal warning signs of major depression.


Symptoms of Major Depression

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Having low energy
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having problems with sleep
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide.


Symptoms of Winter-Pattern SAD

  • Low energy
  • Hypersomnia
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain
  • Craving for carbohydrates
  • Social withdrawal (feel like “hibernating”)


Symptoms of Summer-Pattern SAD

  • Poor appetite with associated weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Episodes of violent behavior

Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment


Infrared Sauna Use

Many of today’s better saunas come equipped with built-in lights that are designed to deliver a calming and therapeutic effect. This process of light therapy for SAD is called chromotherapy, and refers to the use of lights to create changes in mood in the person using the sauna. If you find that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a reality for you or a loved one, try to find time to get in an infrared sauna with LED color lights that can help in a variety of ways.


Light Therapy

Light therapy has been a mainstay of treatment for SAD since the 1980s. The idea behind light therapy is to replace the diminished sunshine of the fall and winter months using daily exposure to bright, artificial light. Symptoms of SAD may be relieved by sitting in front of a light box first thing in the morning, on a daily basis from the early fall until spring. Most typically, light boxes filter out the ultraviolet rays and require 20-60 minutes of exposure to 10,000 lux of cool-white fluorescent light, an amount that is about 20 times greater than ordinary indoor lighting.



Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to treat SAD. The FDA has also approved the use of bupropion, another type of antidepressant, for treating SAD. As with other medications, there are side effects to SSRIs. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition. You may need to try several different antidepressant medications before finding the one that improves your symptoms without causing problematic side effects. Speak to a doctor if you believe you need medication for SAD treatment to find the right prescription for you.



Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is effective for SAD. Traditional cognitive behavioral therapy has been adapted for use with SAD (CBT-SAD). CBT-SAD relies on basic techniques of CBT such as identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive thoughts along with a technique called behavioral activation. Behavioral activation seeks to help the person identify activities that are engaging and pleasurable, whether indoors or outdoors, to improve coping with winter.


Vitamin D

At present, vitamin D supplementation by itself is not regarded as an effective SAD treatment. The reason behind its use is that low blood levels of vitamin D were found in people with SAD. The low levels are usually due to insufficient dietary intake or insufficient exposure to sunshine. However, the evidence for its use has been mixed. While some studies suggest vitamin D supplementation may be as effective as light therapy, others found vitamin D had no effect.

If you feel you are suffering from seasonal affective disorder, speak with a doctor. While you can try infrared sauna use, light therapy, and increasing vitamin D levels on your own, a proper diagnosis and potential further SAD treatment may be necessary. Don’t suffer through the seasons!