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Nicholas Covey
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Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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In light of all this hype over the Swine Flu...

I think maybe we might want to visit the idea of a sauna, as heating the body to 101 degrees F is a way to keep a virus from reproducing in our bodies until our immune system can fight it off. This is a tried and true method that has worked for thousands of years in various cultures.

So. Anybody built one at home? I'm looking for something simple online, but it looks like there are a number of factors that come into play with ventilation, type of heat, type of rocks, etc. Obviously it works optimally at a certain temperature, but I cannot seem to find that specific temperature.

Can somebody shed some light?

Could a rocket stove be a good heat source?

Paul, this may not go here, but I wasn't sure where to put it.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Hi Quittrack,

If I recall correctly, mike oehler built an earth-sheltered sauna on his property, and used a small wood stove to heat it. Perhaps Mike might still visit the forums and could elaborate or maybe Paul can remember more details. I think a pocket rocket would be an excellent use in a small space like this.

I agree that heating the body is important. That's what fevers try to do to protect us. In our modern age, many see fevers as "bad" and take meds to get rid of them. In the herbal remedies forum, I listed a thyme bath that actually works to intensify a fever. I've seen this bath cure nasty cases of flu before. I think it works both through the herb and the heat.
 
paul wheaton
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This is the right place.

Saunas and hot tubs and sweat lodges and massage stuff are all things I'm just not into, so when I see it or hear something about it, I tend to sort of tune it out.  Usually because I have 20 or 30 questions in my head already that I am looking for the right opportunity to ask.

I'm not sure what one needs from a sauna for it to function correctly.  Heat and steam?  A cold water source nearby for the cold water on hot body experience

Since the mission is to heat a lot and not keep the heat around for the next 24 hours, I would think that some kind of rocket stove that tries to put as much heat into the air as possible before the exhaust goes outside would be best. 

A pocket rocket would probably do an okay job.  Something a bit better thought out might do an even better job.

 
Leah Sattler
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sorry don't know about the sauna. I suppose you could do an old fashioned sweat lodge.

I never thought much about it but when I get sick with a fever the first thing I want to do is take a hot hot bath. my husband thinks I'm crazy but in addition to taking that fever chill off i feel soooo much better afterwards. I do the same for my daughter (although the only time she has been sick is after vaccinations..nother story  ). I suppose I am helping to boost the fever and killing off the virus/bacterial invader. cool. 
 
Nicholas Covey
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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Well basically my understanding of it is that the human body creates a fever to drive the temperature up to 101F in order to starve out the virus, which cannot propagate at that temperature. Thus warming the body core up when you have a fever is a much better option than taking cold medicine to knock down the fever, as the virus will likely hang on longer if you try and make the fever go away. The sweat lodge/sauna/finnish bath is one way to do that.

Also there is some speculation about a sauna set up properly generating negative ions in a small space, which is something that is is apparently vital to our health and well being. Probably has to do with all the power transmission lines spewing positive ions into the atmosphere, creating an imbalance. I will have to look into this.
 
                              
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My friends and I built a sauna at my New Mexico land. It's made of rock gathered from the land and sides of the road around the property. Walls are 18" thick with mortar and it has a roof of Cedar boards covered with pvc , felt and then 10 " of earth. A couple of 5 gal buckets were laid in as well as numerous colored bottles for light. We got an old wood stove from the dump which is 1/4" plate steel (with no glass in the door). We heat some water on the stove and have a few 5 gal buckets of cold water and mix the two as desired for showers using a common sauce pan. Becase the stove is steel instead of cast iron, and has no glass door, you can throw water on it when it's hot without breaking anything. The floor is cement over chicken wire with a slope toward the center and a buried¬† 35 gallon drum with holes punched into the bottom and sides so it slowly drains into the earth. it was built with the intention of using the heat to warm a utility room and a bedroom by venting near the floor and ceiling into those rooms but they haven't been built yet. The sauna is sunk into the ground about 18" so you step down about that much upon entry. It stays about 65 - 70 degrees year round due to the thermal mass. More Pictures are at:  http://gallery.me.com/lightningheart#100188&bgcolor=black
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Joel Hollingsworth
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I have heard of increased body temperature being good against bacteria and against cancer, but not so much against viruses.
 
                          
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Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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www.cyberbohemia.com/Pages/buildyourown.htm  seems like reasonable sort of site
 
Nicholas Covey
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Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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That site is actually where I got the idea from in the first place.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday my wife and I went to Dallas to visit my brother. On the way back we stayed in a hotel with a sauna, and since I had been nursing a cold since before we had left, I decided to partake and see what happened. I spent 30 minutes inside, the first 15 of it the room was just heating up. It was a dry sauna, so i didn't actually feel sweaty (when its hot here it's also very humid). When I came out, i felt like my sinuses were unusually clear and the cold disappeared overnight. Looking at the design, there's nothing to it really. My only concern is getting it too hot, so a thermometer is a must, and i noticed that there was a thermostat that would turn on an exhaust fan if the temperature got too hot in the hotel sauna.
 
                    
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Here is a sauna with a rocket stove............
http://donkey32.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=discuss&action=display&thread=103

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She still doesn't approve of my superhero lifestyle. Or this shameless plug:
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/digital-market/digital-market/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
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