Looking for natural relief for your congested sinuses?
Many people suffer from chronically congested sinuses. Although there are many reasons for the congested sinuses such as food or airborne allergies, an effective technique for unblocking them is Nasal Lavage.
What is a nasal lavage?
It is a procedure of washing out the nostrils out with a salt-water solution.
Why do a nasal lavage?
The idea of a nasal lavage program is to reduce chronic infection so the body can heal itself. In many cases antibiotics are not able to reduce the infection however nasal lavage may prove to be effective and beneficial. It aids in sinus congestion and infections, stuffy nose, difficulty breathing through the nose, and for re-current sinus infections.
It is important to follow the instructions carefully. The lavage can be continued until the symptoms resolve. It should be done twice daily. There may be some discomfort or bleeding after a lavage. This might mean that there is still an infection present. However, if the pain and bleeding continues discontinue the treatment and be sure to consult with your physician.
What do you need?
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 cup of distilled water or filtered water – it is best if the water is close to room temperature. (You want the water warm but not hot)
- a water container with a small spout (like a small watering can or neti pot) or you can use a bulb syringe
- optional: a pinch of powdered acidophilus
- mix the water and salt (and acidophilus) together
How to do you do nasal lavage?
First do an alternating hot and cold compress to the nose/sinuses:
- Apply a hot wet towel to the nose/sinus area for 3 minute. (The towel should be hot enough to tolerate but not too hot so that is burns). Then quickly switch to a cold wet towel for 1 minute. Repeat this two more times.
Proceed with the lavage:
When first doing this, it will feel strange or uncomfortable. With your head forward and tilted to the left into a sink insert the bulb syringe or spout in the right nostril. Gently pour some of the water solution into the right nostril making sure it comes out the left nostril. If it does not come out then tip your head more to allow the stream of water to come out the left nostril. Continue this for half of the solution.
Now reverse sides tilting the head to the right pouring the water in the left nostril and allowing the water to come out the right nostril.
If you experience a lot of discomfort then reduce the amount of salt in the solution.
Dr Rachel Stewart, ND