Photo by Susan SandlinSinus Rinsing

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, wind refers to anything airborne like pollen, mold, dust, smoke, chemical scents, animal dander, smog, bacteria, viruses or a literal breeze. The nose is the barrier between the atmosphere and our bodies. The mucus and hair cells in our nose filter the air from airborne particles.  Without cleaning the mucus out often, the particles can end up in the stomach.

Nasal washing, often referred as sinus rinsing, is a practice that has been around for thousands years. As a means to ultimate health and better breathing, it is used to clean out the nasal passageway to counteract pollution exposure, allergies, and sinus problems. This cleansing method is safe, comfortable, and effective for most people.

The process uses either a Neti Pot, which looks similar to a teapot, or a squeeze bottle. Either of these is sold widely in both natural food stores and drug stores. Fill the Neti Pot or bottle with tepid filtered or distilled water and 1 or 2 premixed packets of buffered saline and baking soda. You can use pure non-iodized salt (packaged specifically for this purpose) but it may sting a bit. Then lean over a sink with your nose slightly higher than your lips and leaning toward one side. Breathe through your mouth; insert the spout of the pot or bottle in or near your upper nostril until it forms a comfortable seal. Raise the pot or bottle to allow the solution to flow through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril.  After you are done, be sure to exhale vigorously through both nostrils, simultaneously, to clear the nasal passages. Repeat with the other nostril.

Many of my patients have used nasal washing in conjunction with their acupuncture treatments and have found the combination to be life-changing. Since we experience such high mold and pollen counts in our area, I recommend incorporating sinus rinsing into your daily routine. It becomes something you want to do, just like brushing your teeth.