I have been practicing sinus care for years now, I used to have intense seasonal allergies (especially in Spring), indoor allergies to dust, suffer from yearly sinus infections and morning post-nasal drip. Basically I was never breathing with a clear nose which impacted my energy level and my mood. I am listing the items I have been doing in order to maintain my sinus health. The approach is a having a strong defense year-round instead of suffering with nasal issues and then taking medicine to cover up the symptoms.
Note I cannot guarantee anything for you. I just know that through research and personal experience with trial and error, I have finally found relief. Listen to your body, try some new things. I wish you the best!
Most of below are in line with Yoga’s sister science called Ayurveda. If you want general information about Ayurveda, I suggest the following books…
- “Ayurveda Beginner’s Guide” by Susan Weis-Bohlen
- “Seasonal Health and Wellness” by Melina Meza
Photos of items mentioned along with websites are at the bottom of this page.
Pot Type = Ceramic style. I selected the baraka brand.
Water = Filtered water is required, please do not use water straight from the tap. I have a separate reverse osmosis system which we use for our drinking water. I also purchase 8oz bottles from Amazon to have around. Their brand name is AQUAPAP and they are vapor distilled water for usage with the Neti Pot. The amount you need is between 8 and 10 ounces.
Salt = The salt is used to reduce inflammation and wash out irritations/allergens. I use the baraka brand which is a French Atlantic Grey Sea Salt. I am picky with my salt type, I like this brand because most other salt has been stripped of its trace minerals and is 99% sodium chloride. You want your salt to look like it has glitter in it, those are healthy minerals! It also does not contain any anti-caking agents and is closest to the body’s natural pH level so it will not aggravate your sinuses. Use a heaping 1/2 teaspoon on regular days and 1 full teaspoon on days when you have a cold or allergies are bad.
My Routine = I do not do this daily. I find it to be too drying. I do it about 3 to 4 days per week. It also really depends on what I did that day. If I spent a ton of time outside or I just deep cleaned the house and dealt with a ton of dust.
Preparation / Usage of Neti Pot =
- Fill up a glass Pyrex measuring cup with 8 to 10 oz of filtered water.
- Heat water in the Pyrex for 30 seconds in the microwave, water should be a little warmer than room temperature.
- Pour the water into the ceramic Neti pot and add in the salt, stir with spoon to mix it together and dissolve salt.
- Stand over a sink. Place the spout of the Neti pot to one nostril. Tilt your head to the opposite side (around 45 degrees) and pour slowly. Breathe via your mouth. Use about half of the solution. If you are really congested, you may want to use the entire pot on one side of your nose and repeat it with a fresh pot for the other nostril.
- Repeat on other side.
- Blow your nose and breathe in the sweet relief of a clear nasal pathway.
Nasya Oil is literally nasal oil. It coats the inside of your nasal passage to keep it from getting too dry. It also helps to block from environmental toxins, dust, pollen and reduces inflammation. It is basically a protective barrier for your entire nasal cavity. Can be applied just in the morning or morning and evening. If you used your Neti pot that day, wait one hour before applying the nasal oil, this is to make sure the salt rinse is not trapped.
Brand = I use two different brands…Banyan Botanicals Nasya Oil & baraka dry nose hydrating oil blend (my personal favorite). But you can also just use organic sesame oil.
Usage = There are two ways to apply the oil. After the oil is inside the nose, close your nostrils one at a time and inhale to pull the oil upward and make sure it is absorbed. You can also massage around the outside of the nostrils. Use a towel to wipe off any excess oil that landed on the face and at the base of the nose.
- First option = Place a little bit on your pinky finger (or Q-tip) and apply to the inner nasal passages.
- Second option = Use gravity as your friend! Tilt your head back (I lay on the bed with my head off the edge a little) and allow a couple of drops to go into each nostril.
There are doctors called ENTs for a reason…Ears, Nose and Throat. It might sound like an unnecessary step, but I have discovered that the better I care for my mouth, the more benefits I see in my breathing.
Tongue scrapping is a way to remove the unwanted coating that appears on your tongue each morning. This rids your body of toxins, it sparks your metabolism and contributes to a healthy oral care routine.
Before brushing your teeth, use the scraper to clear your tongue. Gentle motions starting as far back as comfortable and drawing the scraper forward. You will see a collection of icky stuff, wash it down the drain. Repeat around 5 to 7 times until you no longer see the coating on the surface coming off.
Brand = Stainless steel type. I purchased mine from Thunderbolt Ayurveda.
Peppermint Essential Oil
When I need to feel a little more awake or my sinuses are just a little clogged and I want to open them, I put a little peppermint essential oil on my temples. Note about essential oils, you need a carrier oil mixed with it before you add directly to the skin. I use cuccio brand cooling spot therapy.
Not only can you support a local small business, but consuming local honey has the possibility of helping with seasonal allergies. Over time, you become less sensitive to the local pollen. Is there scientific proof of this? Not that I have found. However I do enjoy adding honey to my tea, drizzled on fruit and on cereal. I live in the suburbs of Chicago so I selected Heaven’s Honey Inc which has some fun flavors like strawberry, lemon and cinnamon.
It sounds so easy, but how often do you go for hours in a day and realize you did not drink any water? I have my buddy the pink Yeti cup with me always. It keeps me drinking water throughout the day.
Subtle Breathing to Increase CO2
This will need to be a topic I expand on in future blog posts. I have been reading Restoring Prana by Robin Rothenberg and the importance of carbon dioxide in clearing the nasal passages. Practicing the following can improve a stuffed up nose. The breath in all examples is in and out via the nose. It is not a deep, full, to the max capacity of your lungs breath. It is instead a very subtle and soft breath with little to no movement in the upper chest and belly. Almost like the breath is a whisper.
- Inhale and exhale. Add a small pause after the exhale. It should be a comfortable pause, allowing the next inhalation to flow without strain or effort.
- After your exhale, seal up both sides of your nostrils with your fingers. While gently holding your breath, rock your head side to side (think ear to shoulder to the right, and then to the left). Then bring your head back to center and continue with another breath cycle and repeat this movement around 4 to 6 times. The key is to not hold your breath for so long that your next inhale is really deep and forced like you are gasping for the air.
- Similar to the last example with a little more movement to create an increase in the carbon dioxide in the body. After your exhale, pinch your nose again. Run in place. Stand still and release the hold on the nostrils. Take a breath cycle in a calm way. Repeat again.
These items are for controlling dust year-round and humidity levels during the cold/dry winter months. I listed the brand names that I have been using for over a year and have enjoyed. However, please do your own research since new models are coming out all the time.
- Humidifier, I keep my rooms around 35% humidity
- I also use my filtered reverse osmosis water to fill up the humidifiers. I found that when I did not, there was a huge amount of white dust on the furnace filter and my air cleaners also were getting too dirty.
- Change air filter on furnace often
- Keep furnace fan set to “on” instead of “auto” to keep better air circulation
- Air purifier in each main room
- Bedrooms I have the Medify MA-25 air purifier
- The living room I have the larger AIRMEGA 300S
- Dust and vacuum rooms often, this includes ceiling fans and about four times a year I do a deep clean with moving furniture and wash items like blankets and drapes.
Websites for Items Mentioned
- The rest of the items can be found on Amazon
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