Manage Sinusitis Naturally With Yoga, Naturopathy & Acupuncture
Natural Healing Solutions | Jul 06, 2024

Sinuses are air filled cavities present around the nasal passage in our skull. These cavities contain cilia that drains mucus and is meant to lighten the weight of the skull. At the same time the mucus secreted shall help to humidify the air we breathe and prevents the microbes to reach the tissues . Any impairment in this function will lead to excess mucus production in the cavities leading to inflammation. This inflammation is known as sinusitis.

CLASSIFICATION

  • Acute sinusitis – symptoms lasting for less than 4 weeks
  • Subacute sinusitis – symptoms last between 4 to 12 weeks
  • Recurrent sinusitis – 4 episodes of acute sinusitis and complete resolution in between the episodes in a year
  • Chronic sinusitis – symptoms lasting for more than 12 weeks

RISK FACTORS

  • Impaired immune reaction
  • Allergies
  • Bacteria/Virus/Fungus exposure and infection
  • Nasal septum deviation
  • Nasal polyps
  • Dental infection
  • Smoking

MECHANISM OF DISEASE

TCM’s (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Perspective of Sinusitis

  • According to TCM, stagnation of mucus in the sinus cavity is due to repeated exposure to cold and wind leads to inflammation.
  • The stagnation impairs the Qi flow leading to inflammation and eventually the growth of pathogens are encouraged and leads to infection.
  • Generally, deficiency in the lung qi (Chi) could also be underlying cause for being prone to inflammation on repeated exposure to cold & wind.

SYMPTOMS

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Heaviness of head
  • Headache
  • Tenderness in sinus area
  • Sore throat
  • Anosmia (loss of smell)
  • Halitosis (bad breath)

MANAGEMENT THROUGH YOGA AND NATUROPATHY

A few Yogic and Naturopathic interventions for the management of sinusitis are listed below-

Intervention

Rationale

Vitamin C rich fruits

Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory and also improves immunity

 

Lemon Honey Juice

Lemon is a mucolytic (cuts the mucus) by its property  and honey acts as an expectorant (expel the mucus)

 

Early morning Sunlight exposure

Stimulates Treg cells which in turn releases IL- 10 that act as an anti-inflammatory

 

Steam inhalation with Eucalyptus oil

Clears nasal blockage and act as mucolytic

Jal Neti (Nasal rinse)

Warm saline water being hypertonic in nature helps to  destroy the bacterial cell wall structure through osmosis. Along with this, it decreases hypersensitivity to allergens and also drains excess mucus.

Kapalabhathi

Cleanses sinus cavities

Bhastrika Pranayama

Promotes nasal and sinus drainage

Bhramari Pranayama

Resonance of ‘Ma’ kara chanting encourages air to move To and Fro which helps to open the blocked sinus  ventilating and draining the sinuses properly. Nitric Oxide released while practicing Bhramari Pranayama improves  ciliary movements leading to better drainage of nasal and paranasal sinuses.

Acupuncture therapy

Acupuncture therapy shall help to reduce the inflammation, drain the sinuses and bring about a balance in the Qi levels during the acute phases.

In chronic cases, during remission; acupuncture shall prepare to fight and prevent the acute phases by building a strong and protective Qi.

 

RESEARCH UPDATES

Few research papers on Yoga and Acupuncture for Sinusitis are quoted below –

  • A review paper on Neti kriya in special reference to Jala Neti stated that by practicing Jal neti on regular basis will reduces the frequency of Upper Respiratory tract infection, sinusitis and allergic conditions along with improving the vision (Meera, 2020).
  • A case report on effect of Kapalabhathi for chronic headache due to paranasal sinusitis showed that there was significant improvement in headache, sinusitis, sleep quality and overall quality of life in individuals (Poornima, 2023).
  • A randomised controlled trial study on Bhramari Pranayama and Chronic Rhinosinusitis showed that Bhramari Pranayama alleviates the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis by ventilating sinuses by its mechanical cleansing and by anti-inflammatory effects (Abhishek, 2019).
  • A randomised controlled trial study on Acupuncture for nasal congestion showed that there was significant improvement in alleviating the symptoms of nasal congestion compared to the placebo group (Sertal, 2009).

CONCLUSION

The incidence of allergies, impaired immunity are increasing these days due to environmental pollution, unhealthy eating habits, reduced exposure to Nature leads to imbalances in the Qi. One can easily restore the Yin and Yang balance and Qi by integrating Yoga, Acupuncture and lifestyle modification as explained above.

REFERENCES

  • Abhishek, K. (2019). The efficacy of Yogic Breathing Exercise Bhramari Pranayama in relieving the symptoms of Chronic Rhinosinusitis . International Journal of Yoga.
  • Meera, S. (2020). A review on the therapeutic effects of Neti Kriya with special reference to Jalaneti. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine .
  • Poornima, R. (2023). Effect of Vatakarma Kapalbhathi on Sinus headache. Journal of Primary care specialities.
  • Sertal, S. (2009). Acupuncture for nasal congestion: a prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical pilot study . American Journal of Rhinology and allergy.

Dr Gurudatta H K, BNYS, FCRSW, Founder, Anandamaya Wellness Center

Dr Aishwarya P (BNYS), Intern, S-VYASA University

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