For most of my life anytime a member of my family came down with a cold one of the first things we would do is to take a hot bath. As I recall this seemed to work rather well. I have now been living in Japan for about 10 years and if ever I feel that I may be coming down with a cold and express a desire to go to a hot spring, of which there are several hundred near my town, the Japanese folks go crazy telling me that I shouldn't take a hot bath or even a bath at all, and that this will make things worse. My question is whether of not the hot water itself actually helps in any empirical way, or does it just relax one thereby better allowing them to rest or sleep, which in turn helps? Or, is there some reason why one should not take hot baths when having colds? Thanks!
I too take long really hot baths just before bedtime when I have a cold. It does help but I find that I have to go straight to bed and allow my body to sweat. I would not take a bath or shower before going to bed
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