Each day people all over the world awake to their own personal cleansing routine. Quite often, though, the inside of the body is not considered. The nose is the body's primary anti-pollution filter. Without it functioning well, all sorts of nasties can get into the lungs and blood stream, thereby causing a build-up of poisons. Blowing the nose is usually the only way we try to keep this vital life sustaining filter healthy.
There is a network of many features within the nose, all important to your physical and mental health. To do their job well and to inter-relate properly, they rely on correct nasal breathing. Clearing the nasal cavities and restoring a healthy nasal environment can be the beginning of the path to better health.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Nasal Cleansing can help sufferers of hayfever, sinusitis, allergies and other upper respiratory disorders like sore throats and coughs.
It can benefit conditions like asthma and bronchitis by reducing the tendency to 'mouth-breathe' which chills the lungs, worsening the condition.
It has a cooling, soothing effect on the brain, therefore can relieve headache, migraine, epilepsy, temper tantrums, hysteria, depression and general mental tension.
Problems associated with the eyes can be helped as it cleanses the tear ducts, encouraging clear vision and adds a sparkle to the eyes.
It can benefit certain ear disorders like glue ear, middle ear infections and tinnitus, as the eustachian tubes within the nose are cleansed.
Your sense of smell can be improved.
It can stimulate better powers of visualisation and concentration and affects the psychic centre, the ajna chakra that helps in awakening higher states of meditation.
It is of great benefit to those who are Giving up Smoking, as it re-sensitises the nose to the actual pollution of ingesting smoke, thereby de-programming the brain of the physical and psychological addiction.
WHY SALT WATER?
Salt water is a great cleanser. Think of how good you feel after a swim in the sea or breathing crisp sea air. Salt water and salty vapours clear your head and clear out the junk. Nasal Cleansing scientifically has exactly the same effect.
When water gets up your nose (while swimming for example), the water doesn't contain salt so it will be very uncomfortable and even sting as it draws salt out of the tissues in our nasal passages. (Not only this it contains chemicals which will burn too!). Therefore this is no indication of what nasal cleansing feels like. By adding salt to the water at a level that is at least the same saltiness as our bodies, it will prevent tissue mineral loss and cause no discomfort.
Generally an isotonic level of salt is recommended, but if there is a complaint that is caused by inflammation of the nasal passages, or in the case of any infection, hypertonic solution is recommended. This is slightly saltier than the body, and the dosage can be increased up to 2 times the recommended salt dosage. This helps to draw excess fluid from the nasal tissue, reducing the inflammation.
Our whole family, including children, benefit from regular sinus cleansing and would strongly recommend this to everyone, even if there is no known sinus problem.
Jala Neti, or Saline Nasal Irrigation (SNI), is the traditional method of self-administered nasal cleansing. Originating in the yoga tradition, it has been used in many cultures for thousands of years and is known by satisfied users for its many physical and psychological benefits. It comes from the branch of Yoga called Hatha Yoga, where 'Ha' means the solar force and 'Tha' means the lunar force. In balancing 'ha' and 'tha', good health can be maintained.
HOW IS IT DONE?
A "Neti Pot" is filled with warm water (about body temperature is best) and about 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the spout of the pot is inserted into one nostril. Lean over a sink with your head horizontal and turned to the side. You will need to adjust your positioning a little, until you feel the water flowing up around your sinuses and out of the other nostril. If you feel some water to the back of your throat, tip the forehead lower. When your Neti Pot is empty take care, hold one nostril closed and gently blow the other into the sink. Repeat blowing on the other side, then repeat both sides again a little stronger, and then a third time, as strong as you can, before using Neti Pot on the other side.
Once you have completed both nostrils, dangle your head to the floor upside down, swaying gently for about 30 seconds to drain any excess water from the sinuses. Blow each side once more and only then blow both together. To dry the nasal passage, quickly and forcefully breathe in and out 10 times, blow drying the inside of the nose.
The technique is not as hard or uncomfortable as it seems. You will be pleasantly surprised at this simple and effective method of health maintenance. Once learned, the practice can be done in about 3 minutes, and is easily integrated into a daily routine of body cleansing.