Most of the people I know, including me, have had for a period in their lives congested sinuses resulting to bad mood, prolonged periods of feeling tired (we don’t get enough oxygen for the whole body to relax and recharge), sleepiness, snoring, apnea, runny nose, recurring sinus problems, headaches, migraines, hay fever the list can, of course, go on.
The reason I am writing about our noses is very important. As a student and follower of Ayurveda, I learnt that breathing is health, if obstructed then imbalance is about to occur. Let’s focus on the breathing for a while. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to inhale and exhale through our nose, we instantly calm down, get grounded. Now imagine trying to inhale with a blocked nose. The flow of breathing is fragmented, creating tension.
Since Ayurveda is literally the study (Ayur) of life (veda) I would like to make this connection: Life=breathing, Breathing=Life. One of the basics to maintain healthy sinuses is Pranayama, in Sanskrit it means “extension of the pran or breath”. It is a simple breathing technique used by many for relaxation, mediation and of course better breathing.
Besides Pranayama, Ayurveda provides simple yet very effective solutions for decongesting the sinuses and eliminating other imbalances that might stem from just a blocked nose and bad breathing.
This is what I do to decongest my nose that has immediate results:
-Nasal douche, yes, nasal douche. A clean nose is a happy nose. With nasal douche, sinuses get cleaned gently from dust, pollen, mucous that has built up over time, so it is a simple yet effective way to clean thoroughly our sinuses. I remember how relieved I felt after daily nasal douching when I had acute sinusitis. For this, a neti pot and saline solution (most pharmacies sell it).
-Nasya oil. I was introduced to nasya oil by Sabro, my wonderful Ayurveda massage teacher two years ago. Since then, it has become my best friend. It is the first thing I use when I wake up and the last thing I do before going to bed. The base is sesame oil combined with specific herbs. The benefits of using this oil are many:
- When with sinusitis, nasya oil helps to ‘break’ the sinus infection, blocking further formation of bacteria that create thick pus or mucous.
- When suffering from hay fever, it oleates the nasal passages creating a protective film so it is difficult for pollen or dust to pass through the nose and the throat.
- When suffering from insomnia, it can help alleviate the feeling of ‘not being able to sleep’.
- When having the sensation of dry nose, especially during winter time, it keeps the nose in tip-top condition!
- It helps a lot with headaches and migraines. Personally speaking, using nasya oil and practicing pranayama, I found migraine’s intensity subsided dramatically.
All you need is a good quality nasya oil. Use 2-3 drops of the oil on each nostril in the morning. Massage lightly the side of the nose while breathing deeply and slowly. Do the same before going to bed. If you are not consistent with trying new things, try using the oil for 5 days. It is a good time indicator to notice how your nose feels, how your breathing feels and how your overall mood and energy have changed.
If you are looking for an effective alternative to nose sprays, pills, recurring blocked nose, then try what Ayurveda offers.
I would be interested to know if you tried these simple, yet powerful basics for a happy nose!