Soaking a hot bath or taking a prolonged hot shower feels good when one is flu-ing or cold-ing, but with the fever of the illness, does this make the body temperature rise even further? Never heard of anyone having issues with this, but from a physical standpoint it would seem that the body would have no way of cooling down in that situation.
A hot bath isn’t that much above body temperature, and in my experience the bits like your head that are above water sweat like billy-o.
What I want to know is - when you’ve got a proper nasty cold and have the associated muscle aches etc - how does immersion in warm water succeed so well in easing that? What’s the mechanism? I suspect psychologically it’s a return-to-the-womb think, but there’s something physical going on too.
My guess was/is that since you have a fever, you feel cold relative to the surrounding ambient temperature, and so a hot shower or bath helps “warm you up” by accommodating that illusion of feeling cold - you felt cold, now you feel warm.
But then, still wonder about the hyperthermia issue, since fever + hot water can only = even higher body temperature.
For me, warm water eases congestion, encourages expectoration, and therefore can relieve upper respiratory symptoms.
One of the ways you warm up is by tensing your muscles. In kids, you get shivering, but IMHO adults just appose the contraction and extension muscles – which ache.
If you warm up, you don’t have to shiver or ache to stay warm. Plus you get improved peripheral circulation.
I’m not clear if it’s a good idea. On the one hand, some infections are, I think, heat sensitive, and warming up helps you fight against them. On the other hand kids, who are more susceptible to this kind of thing, go into convulsions if they get too hot, and I’m sure that’s not a good thing.