I am not referring to the Madonna cover song but rather one of the immune system’s fascinating methods of killing foreign invaders; The Fever. As you all know a fever is an elevated body temperature. It is also an indication that something strange is brewing in your body and usually a sign that your immune system is in proper working order. A fever helps the immune system by literally cooking the intruders – bacteria or viruses. Brain damage from fever generally does not occur unless the fever reaches upward of 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you are pregnant, have heart disease or have suffered a stroke, it is always best to seek medical counsel for any elevation in body temperature.
Elevated temperature is poorly tolerated by the brain and can cause intense discomfort and irritability. When OTC medications are given to reduce fever this can potentially increase the amount of time it will take the body to fight off the intruders because of the disruption of the natural immune response. Cooling the forehead by placing a cold hand or cloth on it has been proven to cool the brain down to below the elevated core body temperature and provide significant relief from fever. Most of the blood flowing through the forehead and the triangle around the nose pass to the cavernous sinus, a complex of veins at the base of the brain. So cooling the blood as it flows through the forehead and upper face significantly reduces the temperature before it flows through the brain.
And perhaps the act of cooling another’s forehead can also strengthen the human to human emotional bond and enhance wellness.