The following are speculative opinions and theories which do not necessarily reflect objective reality. They are offered only as a means of stimulating your own thoughts on the subject, and do not in any way constitute medical advice.If this is a pro-survival adaptation, the lowering metabolic processes to deal with famines and other problems of food availability, then it is not a new phenomenon by a long shot! Cultures evolve to deal with things like these long before causes are scientifically understood.
I think this is, in part, how your mind runs your body. And as such, MIGHT, for SOME people, be subject to intentional control. There are also other methods, ranging from thyroid supplements, to alpha lipoic acid.
Many paleo-religions had spring ceremonies with trance shamanistic drumming, extreme exertion, and other unusual, "altered mental states" belief type activity. (I am NOT talking about drugs!) In most the individual was immersed and participating in prolonged rhythmic activities. Hutchinson, in his book "Mega Brain Power", talks about how these liberate various neurotransmitters. These are often discussed at health fair seminars by purveyors of often very overpriced light and sound machines, as well as drum vendors and others. One can accomplish similar things with a dripping faucet or a strobe light.
Tai Chi, stresses the bringing out of the Chi force in addition to or as a part of the dominance of the mind over a soft, relaxed body during combat. It isn't just the mythical Bene Geserite sect in Herbert's "Dune" that says "Fear is the Mind Killer".
Monks, Yogis, and other esoteric practitioners are known to regulate their heart rates, metabolisms, and body temperatures. Some sects of Buddhists measure "spirituality" by how many blankets a person can dry while sitting on an ice covered lake.
Music is known to warm the heart and the soul, or to put ice in the veins, depending on beat, rhythm, and whether these are rising or falling. It has even been said that certain rhythms can even paralyze some people.
I started measuring my temperature every hour, not as the official protocol recommends. That's known as biofeedback, training myself by seeing what produces effects. Do note that the body seems to "chug", raising and lowering temperature continuously much as a steam engine chugs spurts of steam. (One may speculate this may be due to the disparate optimal temperatures for various enzymatic processes. I read of some research supporting my observation of "chugging" some years back.) Thus, regardless of how quickly a thermometer can measure temperature, it should be left in for at least five minutes so as to read the peak temperature. In my own case, this has often made a difference of 0.2 to 0.5 degree on the electronic thermometer, and may explain some of the seesaw differences between the readings of my glass/mercury and electronic thermometers. Aside from "chugging", there also seem to be slower and larger swings in temperature during the day, as well as a daily cycle related to sleep and activity.
Molybdenum had seemed to improve my overall ability to withstand cold. Dr. Cooter describes this in his article on this element, which had appeared in the Townsend Letter in 1995. Melatonin, taken before going to bed, seemed to help bring more distinction and regularity to the thermal cycles. And added a few tenths of a degree. I prefer Cardiovascular Research / Arteria brand because it is synthetic and well standardized. No need to fear prions (a kind of sub-virus protein which may or may not cause mad cow disease,) from beef brain extracts.
Before I go into biofeedback type training, let me mention that I have since discovered Alpha Lipoic Acid , also known as Thioctic Acid. This raised my body temperature to the 98.3 range. Again, I prefer Cardiovascular Research / Arteria brand because it is synthetic and well standardized. I have found that in my case, 200mg to 400mg helped notably, and that after so me weeks of use, skin sensitivity, feel, etc. has improved considerably. I am now trying 500mg, taken as 100mg doses over the course of the day. Some of the references talk about higher doses; but I believe one should prefer a cautious approach. I also found that I had to take 1500mg Lysine with each 100mg of thioctic to combat some cold sore problems I had. The relationship is not clear; however it has been noted that whenever the immune system begins working, some old problems re-occur temporarily as the immune system begins fighting old enemies. In my case, the cold sore problems got worse each time I stopped taking thioctic. Each time, several grams of Lysine cleared the cold sore problems within 24 hours.Whenever I was engage in thought, I found had raised my very low body temperature nearly a degree. I became sleepy when the temperature fell, but soon learned to raise that by reaching within and _relaxing_. (Well... sometimes raised it, I am still learning. If it is above 97.4, I can raise it a few tenths with notable cognitive improvements. But if it is at 97.4... it's very hard. This implies numerous factors are at play, some are easier to adjust, others harder.) Remember, this is a disorder brought on by stress and low fuel and bad fuel management. But alas, those have not yet been long term changes. the body has it's "habits".
I have also found that Coenzyme Q 10 can help raise metabolism. I now take between 400mg and 800mg per day. The mechanisms appear to favor electron transport, not unlike that of vitamin C. (See Chronic Fatigue
(That is not an excuse to binge on sugary foods, as the glucose spike triggers a longer insulin response which produces a long term lowering of blood glucose. It can also make you fat if you have a slow metabolism!)
A sense of confidence and interest seemed to go hand in hand with higher body temperature. Posture feeds on that, and feeds it back, not in a simple feedback loop, but in a feedback wreath of multiple factors.
Slow but rising musical themes, when generated by the mind, as opposed to being passively listened to, added another half a degree or more. This seems to be the more reliable methods of influence. But again, transient.
I ate some foods containing red pepper, and saw my body temperature rise. I remembered that feeling. My body seemed to run at about 98.2 the next day. It felt grand!
Now, having experienced the higher metabolism, I am often able to look within, relax, remember how it felt, and use my imagination to "step in" to how it felt then. Sure enough, the body temperature rises! getting it to stay that way all the time, is another matter... But my body temperature is higher now.
Current temperature attained: average: 98.2(F) peak: 98.7(F)
There was an anomalous reading of 107.2, using the faster electronic thermometer, but that was not repeated when I rushed to clear the the glass thermometer. I do think, however, that I was a bit too warm those moments, and measured because I was loosing focus on my work. So... perhaps one should be careful to monitor on's temperature during the learning period, even if one does not think this is necessary...
I might also echo the suggestion that one shake down the glass thermometer after each reading, rather than expecting to have time to do it before the next reading. Shaking the thermometer down is enough exercise to alter your metabolism and thus the reading you will get.
Experiments continue. Stay tuned.