Sunday Health Hack No. 8 – Beachy, nosy & neti

Sunday Health Hack No. 8 – Every morning in the bathroom, while you maybe still have your toothpaste in your mouth, put some lukewarm water in the palm of your hand, put one nostril into your palm (in the water), breathe in (through your nose) and suck the water up. Repeat the procedure with the other nostril.

I learned this “nosy” trick from my first scuba diving teacher. On the first day she explained to us the importance of the frontal sinus system for pressure equalisation (not so much the “ears” as everyone might think, though an ear-infection can be painful too of course). And to keep that nasal sinus system clean and healthy from day one for enjoying a nice vacation and great dives she recommended to go to the beach at least every morning and pull a bit of salt water up our nose for cleansing the frontal sinus, keeping it free from any potential bacteria or other stuff (dirt, dust, mucus, you name it) which could lead to an infection.

Over the years I got so used to it I continued to do this little procedure not only during my scuba diving vacations but also at home. We constantly breath in so much “dust” when on the street, in the office or at home, which clogs our sinus system, it made sense to get rid of that not only during a sunny vacation.

Much later I then learned that “nose-pulling” is actually an old Ayurvedic medicine tradition as well, called “Neti”. But it is primarily applied only when you are already kinda sick. “Illnesses” in Ayurvedic medicine are principally in association with an “imbalance” of your “Doshas”. In this case an elevated Kapha Dosha can lead to excessive mucus, which then settles in the typical Kapha regions such as the head and chest area. Neti is intended to loosen this phlegm so that we feel free and more relaxed all over again (balancing the Doshas).
Kapha is based on earth and water. It can be described as steady, stable, heavy, slow, cold, and soft. But too much “cold” (winter) and too less “fire”, the “Pitta” Dosha, a Dosha imbalance and thus a congestion of the nasal sinus can be the result.

But then it’s getting complicated. In Ayurvedic medicine you’ve got to use a “Neti” ceramic pot which looks like Aladdin’s magic lamp. If you are not up for an Ayurvedic “deep-dive”, forget it. It’s a mess, spilling water all over your face and bathroom floor if not done properly!
Keep it simple. As mentioned above, just put some lukewarm water in your hollow hand and pull it up through your nose.

In Ayurveda they also use salt-water. That has quite a “burn” effect which is helpful if your sinus is already totally plugged (sniffles, common cold, sinusitis). But on a “normal” daily basis, you don’t have to go through that “extra torture”.

And be “gentle” in the beginning. Don’t go full force right away when sucking in the water. Most are so clogged, their sinus system, it will take a while til “things” loosen up again and the “old dirt” is gone.
No one is rushing you, take your time, and eventually you will have the sensation that the water will go all through and run down the back of your throat.
And have some tissues ready as well. Blow your nose before you suck in the water and then you definitely will have to afterwards, as some water will find its way back too, this time with some “residue”. Which is good!

The first beneficial side-effect you will notice is that you get the feeling that you can “breathe” much better and deeper afterwards (which is correct). And if you haven’t been awake at that time nose-pulling will certainly do the trick, as it also stimulates a little “explosion”, starting at your forehead, evolving into your brain, sort of firing up the brain neurons.

Another (huge) health benefit is that the “membranes” in your nasal system get “flexible”, active and strong again.
Your nasal system is your “first line of defence”. Most viruses are “airborne” and are transmitted via aerosols, entering our body primarily through your nasal system, not the mouth (cavity) as this is a much too long, acidic way for the viruses to get through.
And most often, the viruses can just pass through without any hindrances, when the nasal system is stiff, without activity, and even busy with mucus, dirt and dust.
And then it’s up to the immune system of the body whether and how it can handle the virus load coming in.
A “clean”, active and strong sinus system is of major importance to your overall health. It won’t prevent that no viruses or bacteria enter your system in the first place, put it will put up a good fight.

We all have learned and read that the severeness, eg. of the COVID-19 implications, are in close relation to the “virus load” people took in. Well, if you had been exposed by a virus truck-load but most weren’t able to pass through your active and strong nasal system, your chances majorly improve for not ending up in the hospital.
But it’s not only because of Covid again. The flue virus has got hardly any chance either. And say good-by to common colds (which are also caused by all kinds of different viruses). Sinus infections are also a thing of the past as bacteria have no chance to settle down in this “clean” environment. And so on.

After a while you will notice that you generally can breathe (through the nose) much better. And the intake of oxygen when you breathe through the nose is much higher as if you breathe through your mouth. Your cognition, concentration and focus improve, as does your energy level.
But “the art of breathing” will be another extra hack somewhen in the future.

Extra tip for “snorers”: Maybe an even more important reason for some to at least giving it a try – it helps in many cases against “snoring”. “Snoring” has multiple causes but there are two major ones. One is that most “snorers” breathe through their mouth and the reason for that is most often that their nasal system is totally plugged. The other one is that the whole nasal system is totally hardened, it’s like cement, like creaking oak.
By making it “flexible” again, by increasing the blood circulation in your nasal system again, by being able to “breathe” again (through your nose), many of the root causes of snoring can be eliminated.

Dive & breathe, Yours  Andreas

Sunday Hack Quote
Pause. Breathe. Repair the universe. Repeat.

Sunday Hack Music
A (icon) tonic vibe for the (Sunday) morning bathroom, thrusting you in the right mood for a “chilled” day ahead.

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