As I mentioned in this post a few months back, I found my body temperature rises about 2 degrees during my practice (this was not the most accurate measurement and I think it's probably higher than that).
But my question is: what is the effect of generating this daily fever as a result of practice (or any other sweat-inducing exercise for that matter)?
Treatment for certain tumors includes the use of regional hyperthermia (temperatures up to 104-109 degrees Fahrenheit). The high temperature sensitizes the tumor to radiation and/or chemotherapy. Exercise can’t raise our body temperatures that high, but what might be the effect of the more mild increases in body temperature that exercise creates?
I couldn’t find an answer to this specific question, but I did find this paper, which discusses how “mild hyperthermia” enhances immune system functioning and may provide long-term protection from tumor growth. They write:
“There has long been appreciation in this field of the potential similarity between exogenously induced hyperthermia used in the clinic and natural hyperthermic states which occur during fever. Because of the close association between fever, inflammation and immune cell activation during infection, several investigators have speculated that there could be significant effects of elevated (fever-range) temperatures on enhanced anti-tumor immunity.”
I wonder how high we can get our body temperatures during practice... (trying to think of a good way to measure this?)
Might yogis (and other athletes) who create and sustain and daily “fever” have stronger immune function as a result? And might this help fight infections and cancers over a lifetime?