Introduction to 98.6° F

The bad effects of chronic coldness

“I constantly feel cold,” explained Mrs. Shiver when I asked her about her body temperature.

“How about putting on an extra jacket and some warm socks?” I inquired further.

“It doesn’t help. I drink hot tea and wear warm clothes as if it were winter year-round.The coldness comes from deep down inside of me.I only feel warm while taking a hot bath or in the sauna.But I can’t just sit in the bathtub all day now, can I?”

More than that. Excessive drinking will make her even colder.Even if the hot tea initially supplies Mrs. Shiver with some heat,it will eventually cool her down and she will freeze and shiver even more. Drinking too much liquid cools the body down.Contrary to all proponents of “drinking as much as possible”, it is recommended to consciously limit one’s fluid intake. You can read more about this later on in the book and understand the reasoning behind this. In principle, the following holds true:Chronic low temperature – as experienced by Mrs. Shiver – cannot be cured with a few cups of tea and wool socks.

Another patient, Mrs. Nightwake, confessed: “I can’t fall asleep for hours when my feet are as cold as ice. It takes forever until my feet warm up and I can finally go to sleep. I never go to bed anymore without a hot-water bottle. Yet even the hot-water bottle does not immediately make me warm on the inside.I need something that can warm me up internally.

Mrs. Nightwake is in a constant state of inner tension due to the low temperature that manifests itself through her cold hands and feet.People who are cold are also stressed. They pull up their shoulders, and their muscles become tense. It is not surprising that Mrs. Nightwake cannot relax and her night’s rest is disturbed. Fortunately, I was able to give her some advice on how to warm herself up internally, and this has made her a completely different person. The internal warmth allowed her to relax. For her, it was the key element in reclaiming – and once again enjoying – her nightly regeneration phase.

More on this later on in the book. If you suffer from low temperature and are one of those people who quickly gets cold hands and feet, then you may dare to hope that this book will finally offer you a solution. If you catch a cold several times a year, this book can also open your eyes in regard to causes and remedies.


Coldness in the body is much more than a bothersome and inconvenient symptom. Coldness makes us sick. A low temperature or hypothermia – as the medical professionals refer to it – is like an octopus stretching its tentacles into all areas of our lives: body and mind, circulation and metabolism, organs and tissue, our sense of vitality and the immune system.

We will never know whether Cat Stevens in his song (see first page) was describing a state of hypothermia in his Lady d’Arbanville, yet the fact remains that she exhibited all symptoms associated with low temperature, namely shallow breathing, coldness, paleness and a weak pulse.

Mrs. Shiver and Mrs. Nightwake are no exception. Chronically sick people lack vitality, and people who lack vitality feel cold. It’s as simple as that.

Yet, the reverse cause-and-effect relationship is also true: A person who feels cold will most likely become sick. In the short term, this means a severe “cold”. Much more alarming, however, is the descent into chronic illness as mentioned before. This coldness, which causes such enormous discomfort in the majority of my patients, is not a trivial matter. A sufficient body temperature is more than just a cozy and pleasant feeling. Proper body heat is one of the fundamental pillars of good health.

Warmth within the body is like the sun for our life here on earth. 98.6° is an indication of vibrant health, strength and vitality. We are “hot”, full of glowing” love when we reproduce; the Grim Reaper, however, takes our life from us with an icy hand. The summer of life is warm and vibrant while winter silences life, burying it under snow and ice.

No athlete can achieve peak performances without first “warming up”. A chef cannot prepare a meal without first heating water, bringing it to a boil. A person cannot be healthy without maintaining the body’s “operating temperature”, and this temperature is approximately 98.6°F or, more precisely, the temperature range from 98.0°F to 99.1°F. I am always implying this narrow window of about 1.0 degrees when I refer to 98.6°F as in the book title.

What about you? Do you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning or do you even experience pain and can you only “get going” after taking a warm shower? Do you get chilled easily and are your hands and feet frequently cold when sitting? Are you susceptible to the flu? Do you believe that catching a cold in fall or winter is “obligatory” just because it has always been this way and the people around you get it too? Does a cold draught cause discomfort or maybe even trigger a cold? Do you immediately reach for a wool sweater when others are still wearing a T-shirt at the beer garden?

When was the last time you had a high fever or does your immune system only reach an “increased temperature” of up to 100.0°F? Or maybe you are one of those people who have grown accustomed to a low body temperature of 96.8°F and therefore perceive this as “normal”. “I just have a cold constitution,” some people tell me. There is, however, no human constitution that can justify such a claim. You are not condemned to spend your lifetime with a low body temperature even if you are a quiet, sober-minded person who acts and reacts somewhat slower.

Low temperature, as the designation indicates, is not a normal state.For many, this temperature loss has become normal, but this does not mean that a body temperature of 96.8°F can be considered natural.There are reasons why a low temperature has established itself.This book will reveal the causes of hypothermia and explain how to revert this unnatural state.

Some people only occasionally experience certain body parts as cool: posterior, thighs, abdomen or sometimes a knee or shoulder joint. Do you shudder when you think of an ice-cold beverage? Or are you one of those people for whom the head is the point of identification – and your point of reference – and so you think of yourself as too hot only because your head feels warm while your stomach and extremities are cold? Some people are amazed when a temperature reading indicates a low body temperature because they actually feel too hot.Women in menopause also frequently assess themselves as too hot as they suffer from “ascending heat” (as a Chinese doctor would call women’s heat flushes). Taking their temperature often reveals precisely the opposite: a chronic low temperature.


Hidden symptoms of hypothermia


An osteoarthritic knee joint, recorded with an Oberon device, based on quantum-physical testing. Right diagram with the red and blue curves (right/down): The red curve on the left is to weak and does not reach the blue line. The blue and red curves should be at the same height (and at the blue line level).This indicates loss of heat and local hypothermia.

For some people with hypothermia, the symptom of coldness is not even at the forefront. Other symptoms or “phenomena” top their list of discomforts or “malaises” including all first-category functions that are essential for survival. Hair, skin and fingernails, e.g., can become dry, brittle or thin. The cooling also extends to the libido and all functions that ensure a healthy sexuality. What about your sense of adventure? Is the spirit willing, but the flesh already too weak? Do you feel vibrant and spirited or do you frequently require external motivation? This is the first phase of a cooling body, struggling to reach operating temperature. At this point, we are not yet talking about the severe or sickness-causing consequences of low temperature or “hypothermia”.


Why hypothermia is not a trivial issue

If one or several of these scenarios apply to you, then you – just like approx. 70% of my patients – are among those suffering from hypothermia or chronic coldness.You have become chronically sick and can no longer – either consciously or unconsciously – generate sufficient body heat.A list with possible functional disorders is provided later on in the book (3.5).All of these disorders stem from an inability to generate sufficient body heat. Some of these disturbances or functional losses in turn cause heat loss and thus intensify the downward spiral. Mental and physical health declines as the body temperature drops further.The spiral leads a person deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of undercooling, functional losses and an inability to cope with psychological strains.

This “unholy” combination then creates optimal conditions for a whole range of chronic and low-energy disorders.The rate of these disorders caused by hypothermia is increasing every year, as indicated in the studies by health insurances and health authorities.Formerly virtually unknown, these illnesses are being discussed in newspaper articles, magazines and books: burnout syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), depression, Alzheimer’s and dementia, sleep disorders, cancer and many other hypothermia-related diseases.All of these illnesses are referred to as coldness-related illnesses since they are caused or accompanied by a low temperature.The symptoms and causes of these diseases can be effectively treated by external heat supply, especially infrared radiation, but more on this later.

Unfortunately, the “trivial” symptom of feeling cold is usually not taken seriously enough, neither by our fellow human beings nor by the doctors. You will only be taken seriously if you complain about a fever or painful bleeding, but not if you say things like “I often feel cold”. “I feel cold” is regarded as trivial. For many it sounds like you are saying “I just don’t feel like doing anything”.

Many people regard such a statement as a cheap excuse or, at best, a minor inconvenience.While coldness is still seen as a slight or even pitiful and almost negligible phenomenon, an increased body temperature or fever has established itself as a directly felt and alarming deviation from the norm, indicating a serious illness. Mostly any form of assistance is denied if the only complaint is feeling cold.

I regard this as a serious mistake as I know that something is being neglected here that is crucial to life. Heat and light are basic necessities of life, necessary preconditions for all metabolic processes and any form of activity. Heat, like breathing, is a life necessity and as essential to life as a beating heart. By the way: both of these – breathing and the heartbeat or pulse – slow down when the body’s temperature drops.

“Just put on some warm clothes,” is often given as advice. Though perhaps well-intentioned, such a measure is usually not sufficient in my experience. It may help temporarily, in particular in case of acute states of coldness or colds, but will not cure chronic conditions.A band-aid on an infected wound is not sufficient or acceptable as the sole form of treatment.In the same way, a low temperature due to chronic illness cannot be cured with warm socks and a woolen sweater.

Do you feel really well and relaxed in the sauna or after a hot bath?

A patient with joint pain told me how her pain virtually melted away like a block of ice in the sun after a few hours on an infrared radiation mat, and, two hours later, her constipated colon fully voided itself for the first time in many years. Insufficient warmth means a deficient metabolism as well as a lack of vitality and energy. A smoothly functioning metabolism, “brimming” with vitality and abundant energy are indispensable preconditions for good health and beneficial for body and mind.A body temperature of 98.6° increases performance and energy levels and this puts us in a good mood. This is simple and easy to understand.

Is it perhaps too simple for our complicated modern medicine with its high-tech devices? Has your family doctor ever advised you to take your body temperature? He would certainly only demand this if he suspected an increased temperature.A table has been provided at the end of this book where you can enter 20 measurement values, taken over the course of 5 days. A fever thermometer, as the name says, is supposed to detect high and not low body temperatures. The name in itself already indicates what medical professionals emphasize most. Otherwise one may have called it a ‘temperature measurement device‘. A doctor will only take notice if a fever is detected, but temperature readings below 96.8°F will not raise any eyebrows (unless you were just rescued after being buried in an avalanche or pulled from an icy creek).

The doctor’s focus is on fever and not on the other end of the spectrum – hypothermia. This approach is rooted in tradition.Medical expertise developed over the last centuries due to severe infectious diseases that were predominantly accompanied by fever.The medications developed in the last centuries were almost exclusively designed to fight infections.An entire arsenal of pharmaceutical weapons has been created to combat fever and illnesses that cause high temperatures. However, a rethinking of this approach is required in the light of today’s illnesses, which are frequently chronic, low-energy and sclerosis-based, i.e. rigid,hardened and accompanied by coldness. Regrettably, such a realignment has not yet occurred or only insufficiently at best.

Many of my patients have told me about their odyssey of suffering, about hypothermic symptoms lasting decades, and attending physicians who never even bothered to take their body temperature, not even once in all these years.Reports of icy hands and feet that even “resist” warming while lying in bed with a hot-water bottle are overlooked. The complete neglection of these symptoms can only mean that hypothermia is not consciously acknowledged by the healing professions or – if at all only as a subordinate symptom. The importance of a sufficient body temperature of 98.6°F is neglected by most medical professions and even by the affected persons themselves. I am hopeful that this book will contribute to raising awareness about the importance of an ideal body temperature of 98.6°F as a means to maintain optimal health.

In medical terminology, the term “hypothermia” only refers to body temperatures of 95°F and lower. According to this assessment, mild hypothermia falls within the temperature range of 89.5-95,0°F.This is also characteristic for a medical practice that regards an elevation of 3.6° – i.e. a fever of 102.2°F – as significant while a low body temperature of 95,0°F is dismissed as irrelevant.


Excerpt from the book “Uwe Karstädt: 98.6° F – Ideal Body Temperature

Copyright 2014 |


About Uwe Karstaedt

The German naturopath lives and works in Munich since 1986 and has published many bestselling books on health and alternative medicine. He is an inspiring speaker with a fascinatingly broad range of in depth knowledge about the basic principles of healing on all levels.

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