A technique called saline irrigation can help people with chronic nasal and sinus conditions.
Researchers tested saline sprays (which squirt saline solution into the nostrils) against saline irrigation, a more rigorous nasal cleaning process. Patients using saline irrigation were much less stuffy and congested than those treated with saline spray.
Saline irrigation probably works by thinning mucus, decreasing swelling in the nasal passages and removing debris, bacteria, allergens and inflammatory substances from your nose.
Sinus infections (sinusitis) affects some 37 million Americans every year. It occurs when the mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses become irritated by a cold, allergy, pollutants or exposure to dry or cold air.
This irritation causes your membranes to become inflamed, which slows down the motion of your cilia (the tiny hairs that coat the mucous membranes and are responsible for moving mucus over their surfaces). At the same time, the irritation stimulates your mucous glands to secrete more mucus than usual to dilute the bacteria. As a result, mucus gets trapped in your sinuses, where it can easily become infected.
Do You Have a Sinus Infection?
Symptoms of sinus infection include:
- Congestion and pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead
- Cold symptoms lasting more than 10 days
- Thick, green or yellow mucus
- Postnasal drip (excess mucus dripping down the back of your throat)
Sinusitis can be acute or chronic, and can last for months, even years if not addressed properly. Surprisingly, it is more prevalent today than it was in the pre-antibiotic age. And, in fact, antibiotics can spell disaster for this problem if used long-term and can lead to some very serious long-term complications that may be very difficult to remediate against. Chronic yeast infections and impaired immune function are common complications of using antibiotics for this, and this is not something you should need to live with.
How to Treat Sinusitis Without Drugs
The following natural treatments will help you get over your acute sinus infection without the use of antibiotics and unnecessary OTC drugs, by keeping your cilia healthy and functioning, thereby preventing excess mucus build-up in your sinuses.
1. Drink hot liquids, such as tea or hot chicken soup. It will help moisturize your mucous membranes, speeding up the movement of your cilia and thus washing mucus out of your sinuses more quickly.
2. Apply warm compresses to your face, three times a day for five minutes. A small towel soaked in warm water, placed over your face below and between the eyes, will help increase the circulation in your sinuses, which will also help speed up the movement of your cilia.
3. Irrigate your sinuses. (If you’ve never done this before, see the Nasal Irrigation Guidelines source link above.) Make sure you use a saline solution that does not contain benzalkonium. Benzalkonium is a preservative that can impair nasal function and might sting and burn. To make your own preservative-free saline solution, add one teaspoon of table salt to one pint of distilled water.
4. Clear your sinuses with an aromatherapy steam bath. To help open up congested nasal passages and sinuses, put a couple of drops of eucalyptus or menthol aromatherapy oil into a bowl of hot water, then breathe the vapors. In lieu of aromatherapy oil, dabbing some Vick's VapoRub on your skin underneath your nose is also effective.
5. Unclog your sinuses with the right foods. Horseradish, grated on top of a sandwich, or some Japanese wasabi mustard can also help open up congested sinuses.
6. Elevate your head when sleeping.
7. Dust your bedroom. Dust and dust mites can wreak havoc on your mucous membranes, especially when you're asleep and your cilia are at rest. Using a HEPA filter air purifier is also beneficial in keeping your air as free from allergens as possible.
How to Prevent Sinus Infections Before They Start
Poor food quality, excessive exposure to toxic chemicals and a high-speed lifestyle in combination with poor adaptation to high stress levels puts you at greater risk for not only sinus infection but all disease.
Therefore, maintaining a robust immune system and creating an environment inhospitable to bacterial and fungal proliferation can help prevent sinus infections from occurring in the first place.
Here are the top ways to do this:
- Avoid eating sugar or grains, as detailed in my nutrition plan
- Consume good quality krill or fish oil, high in omega-3 fats DHA and EPA
- Eat coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. However, be careful with which oil you choose, as many coconut oils contain fungal toxins. This is because they are commonly made with copras, or dried coconuts, which are often contaminated with mycotoxins. So in order to fully enjoy the benefits of this coconut oil, you will want to be sure that you find a company that uses only fresh coconuts to make their oil.
- Avoid eating these top 10 mycotoxic foods
- Get proper sleep
- Get regular exercise
What Does Emotions Have to Do With it?
Actually… Your emotions have everything to do with it.
Western medicine is just beginning to understand the connection between unresolved emotional issues and illness. But with the emergence of scientists and doctors like Bruce Lipton, and Geerd Hamer, this fact is slowly gaining exposure and momentum.
For example, Dr. Hamer’s extensive research, which spans two decades, has shown that sinus problems are triggered after the experience of an emotional “stink conflict.” This could be a severe emotional reaction to an actual odor, or it could be the symbolic feeling that “this situation stinks!”
Once you’ve resolved the conflict (either literally, or in your own mind), your ensuing sinus infection is in fact part of your healing process – not a disease process.
I highly recommend you visit Dr. Hamer’s website for more in-depth information about this fascinating subject.
Having a tool to address your emotional traumas can therefore be virtually indispensable to optimal health.
One such energy psychology tool is the Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is profoundly simple, inexpensive and effective tool to address the underlying emotional traumas that can devastate your immune system. (Remember, everything is connected, so a robust immune system can not only handle a heavier emotional stress load, but can also help get you through your “healing crisis” faster.)
After using EFT to clear unresolved negative emotions, allergies and sinus conditions have been shown to clear almost immediately, and often permanently.