When your sinuses become irritated, it can result in discomfort. Facial pressure is a key indicator of sinusitis. Here are a few signs that indicate something is out of balance in your sinuses.
Tenderness around nose and under eyes
Soreness where corners of the eye meet the nose bone
Tension around eyes, nose, or temples
Discomfort, tension or pain in teeth
Nasal discharge tinged with yellow or green
To prevent or minimize a sinus infection, there are two things I always suggest to begin with.
Neti Pot I like to make the salt solution with herbs for added benefit. Goldenrod is a favorite, as it helps to clear symptoms that may be leaky or drippy with its gentle astringency, and it also helps to soothe inflamed sinuses with its subtle demulcent property. This herbal medicine also has an affinity for the upper respiratory system, which includes your sinus cavities. Heat 8 ounces of water and pour over a tea ball or bag with dried goldenrod flower and leaves. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or pink salt, and let steep for at least 15 minutes. Once the water is cool enough, but still warm, add the herb-infused liquid to your Neti pot, making sure to strain out any plant matter so that it doesn't get into your nose. The salt should be dissolved. If you're too stuffy for water to stream through, try the next suggestion instead.
Facial Steam While it may sound spa like, it can help to loosen up and drain congestion while providing medicinal benefit from the added herbs or essential oils. You probably have many of the herbs already in your spice rack: oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary. All of these are antimicrobial, so they'll help with any bacterial infection that may exist. If you have peppermint tea, use this. Peppermint helps to open up airways. If you've got essential oils on hand, use something that is minty, or you can use the same ones listed as herbs. If none of these are on hand, use what you've got. Because essential oils are aromatic, which means they are warming, they'll all have some antibacterial action to some degree. How to: • Heat up water until it steams or boils. • In a separate medium-sized bowl, add 2-3 tablespoons of your herbs or TWO* drops of your essential oils, total, not each. Put this bowl on a table where you can sit comfortably in front of it. • Pour water over your plant medicine. • Lean over the steam while covering your head, shoulders and bowl with a towel snugly enough so the steam doesn't escape. If the steam is too hot for you, wait a a few moments to minutes to avoid burning yourself. If it's not steamy enough, reheat the water. It's ok to reheat with the herbs in. • Sit over the bowl for 10-15 minutes, breathing in the water vapor and plant aromatics.
For both, have tissue on hand, because your nose will likely have a lot of gunk to blow out.
These are two ways that may be helpful to alleviate sinus pressure or pain and help to prevent or minimize sinus infections. If you deal with chronic sinus infections, I'd recommend using a Neti pot or steaming at least once per week. And most importantly, discover what the root cause is, so you can put your Neti pot away and be free of the sinus pain for good.
Chronic sinusitis can be connected with your gut health, and your gut health can be out of balance as a result of what you eat––like excess processed food, dairy, wheat and sugar, and too little produce. When you do have an active sinus infection, definitely avoid these foods to heal the sinus symptoms. Other approaches may also be necessary to fully heal your gut.
Repeated sinus infections can also indicate other problems, like mold toxicity, and getting specific about how to detoxify your body from this toxin is key to healing sinus infections.
A belief may also be at the root of the sinus infection. This might be hard to believe, but it's true. Most of the time, there is an emotional factor associated with our physical symptoms, whether they're acute or chronic. This emotion is a result of a belief that you carry, most likely on a subconscious level.
I support people in healing from their symptoms and dis-ease states by guiding them through the process of uncovering the limiting beliefs that influence their bodies and minds and learning how to integrate these into conscious action or facilitating release.
Take this for example: in her book You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay, a metaphysical teacher and author, says that sinus problems can be connected to "irritation to one person, someone close." This is an emotional reaction. I'm curious why this emotional reaction exists and how it connects to other experiences in present day and earlier life. Through myriad types of somatic therapy, we can discover that root cause.
Sometimes, this awareness is all that's needed to disrupt the pattern from continuing, thus alleviating sinusitis. In other cases, action is essential. This may be learning how to communicate differently or starting a meditation practice to slow or stop emotional takeovers.
Let me know how this information works for you!
Kara McNabb of Magnolia Wellness is a somatic naturopath who works with clients in-person and online to help them heal from physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health imbalance. Blending traditional naturopathy with mind-body therapy and energy work allows anyone working with her to benefit from a holistic approach to healing.