Owing to the pollution levels in India, several people struggle with nasal and throat congestion.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), about 134 million Indians suffer from chronic sinusitis which means that one in every eight Indians is suffering from this condition.
Now that alternative medicine is gaining popularity around the globe, many people are incorporating meditation in their daily activities to either treat or prevent sinusitis.
How does meditation work for sinusitis patients?
Before understanding how meditation can work for curing sinusitis, it is important to understand how sinusitis develops. Our ENT doctors say that people living in cities with higher pollution levels are more susceptible to developing sinusitis. (Also Read: How do I tell if I have a sinus or migraine? )
To back his statement, he explains how pollution contributes to sinusitis. The particles in the polluted air block the nose thereby blocking the sinuses (air cavities) also. These sinuses are filled with secretions making it suitable for bacteria, viruses, etc. to inflammation of the sinuses.
In sinusitis, there is an excessive secretion of mucus that blocks the nasal passages. The first step is to reduce the mucus level. The conventional way of decreasing excessive mucus secretion is by taking medicines that dry up the fluids. However, this fluid is essential as this keeps the nasal airways moist.
This is where meditation comes into play as this is a natural way to cure this chronic condition. Meditation works on the idea that the mind has the ability to change the body radically.
What are the different meditation techniques?
Power of Om
The mantra ‘Om’ is powerful. Although it is a simple word, it has a vibration and rhythmic pronunciation. When a sinusitis patient chant ‘Om’, it creates sound vibrations that encourage the air to travel back and forth between the sinus membranes and nasal passages. This traveling of airways is important as it helps to drain the sinuses properly. To get better results, place both of the index or middle fingers near the corner of the eyes near the nose and apply pressure on these areas. You can also close the ears with the thumbs to create more vibrations inside the system.
Power of breath
The humming sound associated with deep breathing helps in ventilation and opening up of the sinuses. While practicing deep breathing, the body increases nitric oxide levels in the body which is necessary for the 50 trillion cells in the body to communicate with each other so that the body can function. This helps us to sleep properly, reduce inflammation, ward off harmful microorganisms, and improve the immune system.
Some pranayama techniques that can you can try to get relief from nasal congestion due to sinusitis are-
- Anulom Vilom Pranayam-
To do this, start by sitting in a comfortable posture. Close the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale with the left nostril. Now close your left nostril with the right index finger and exhale through the right nostril. Repeat this the other way. Try to complete 25 cycles.
Sit comfortably. Start exhaling softly from the abdomen. And concentrate on exhaling only instead of inhaling.
- Bhramari Pranayam-
Sit in a comfortable position with the eyes closed. Now close the earlobes with the thumbs and bring the tip of the tongue to the upper palate and inhale. Now exhale with a humming sound with the mouth closed.
Does this mean yoga asanas won’t work?
Yoga gurus around the world believe that meditation can treat chronic sinusitis if they are practiced with a combination of some natural remedies and yoga asanas. (Also Read: Sinus Infection Treatment at Home )
Natural remedies for sinusitis
- Jal Neti- In this, saline water is put inside the nostril through a utensil with a beak. The beak is inserted into one of the nostrils with the head tilted so that the water can enter one nostril and comes out from the other nostril.
- Sutra Neti- The softer tip of thread is inserted into one of the nostrils till it reaches down the throat and removed from the other nostril.
Yoga asanas for sinusitis
Here are some yoga postures that instructors swear by which can help in curing symptoms of sinusitis and help in breathing properly.
- Bridge Pose- This pose calms the brain that can alleviate the stress that can make the symptoms worse. It stretches the chest, neck, and spine in a way that can clear the airways and the person is able to breathe more properly.
- Head-to-knee Forward Bend- This is considered as therapeutic not only for sinusitis but also for high blood pressure and insomnia. This works by calming the brain and relieving mild depression.
- Seated Forward Bend- Another symptom of sinusitis is light headache and heaviness around the eyes and face. This posture can help get relief from both these symptoms.
Other yoga asanas that can work are-
- Downward-Facing Dog
- Plow Pose
- Reclining Hero Pose
- Standing Forward Bend
- Supported Headstand
Also Read: Sinus Treatment in Ayurveda
Important Note- Make sure that you practice both of these remedies and yoga asanas under expert supervision.
Few more words from Pristyn Care
With the help of mind and steady rhythmic breathing, one can start the movement of the bones that can reopen the sinuses. However, if there are recurrent occurrences of sinusitis, it might be due to structural anomalies or other reasons. In such circumstances, get yourself diagnosed at the nearest ENT clinic to get a suitable treatment option.