There’s an old expression that says: April showers bring May flowers, and for some, they also bring sinus issues. We’ve had a wet and rainy season on the east coast this spring and it’s causing havoc with people who have allergies, etc.
Even people who are not usually bothered by these effects are finding that they have more stuffiness and inflammation in their sinuses this season. The symptoms often subside when the summer and drier weather begins, but until then it can be bothersome.
Reflexology has historically been found to be effective for issues involving the sinuses. Optimum relief for my clients has often come from a -three prong- reflex approach.
I include the foot reflexology with a session that details the specific sinus or allergy points, hand reflexology where additional access to the powerful reflex areas are located and the face because the basic Face Reflexology warm-up session alone will help to drain and open the sinuses.
In addition, Face Reflexology is a great
rejuvenator and helps with the puffiness that’s so uncomfortable for some people.
In today’s article, I’ll offer you some reflexology strategies as well as things that others have suggested and found useful. If the problems involve allergies or hayfever – both the respiratory and the immune systems are implicated. Today, I’m going to focus just on the sinuses and their reflexes. I’ll write about the rest in a future newsletter.
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Reflexology and The Sinuses
Generally, the term sinus is used to refer to paranasal sinuses that are air cavities near the nose and they are connected to the nose. In simple terms, sinuses are cavities in the cranial bones. There are many paranasal sinuses in the human body and they are:
• The sphenoid sinuses– they are found in the middle of the skull base in the sphenoid bone, just below the pituitary gland.
• The ethmoid sinuses– these are formed from a number of different air cells in the ethmoid bone.
• The frontal sinuses– they are located in the frontal bone.
• The maxillary sinuses– they are also referred to as the maxillary antra and they are considered to be the largest paranasal sinuses, located in the maxillary bones.
It’s no wonder that they wreck such havoc when inflamed – they’re located at center of the face and the head.
There are many functions of the sinuses – some of which are to enhance the voice resonance, to reduce the relative weight of the skull, offer a buffer to the face against blows, etc.
Sinusitis is a condition where the paranasal sinuses are inflamed. This condition may or may not be caused by infection. This type of disease may be acute, subacute or chronic. An acute sinusitis is the type that usually lasts for less than four weeks. Subacute sinusitis is the condition where the disease lasts for four to twelve weeks. Last but not the least; chronic sinusitis is one where the condition lasts for more than twelve weeks. Rhinitis is a condition where the nasal passages are inflamed and it is usually accompanied with nasal discharge.
How can reflexology help?
Although the feet are located at the opposite end of the body, that’s precisely why they’re so important to address.
The reflexes to the sinuses are located on the toes. Some maps show them on the tips of the toes and other maps point to the “neck” of the toes. Either way, a Reflexologist will pay careful attention to this area and “detail” it thoroughly. (It goes without saying that if there is a illness, you will see a doctor first.)
When I first observe a client’s feet, if I see a callous that looks like a thin ridge along the vertical plane on one or more of the smaller toe pads, I will ask my client if they are susceptible to seasonal colds or allergies or experience occasional or regular sinus congestion. I’ve noted that almost 80% of the clients who have this callous ridge will answer yes to the question.
You’ll note that I don’t tell them that they have a problem (diagnosis) but I ask the question and then say that their answer confirms my curiosity based on reflexology. That’s a big difference.
Some reflexologists would say that Hand Reflexology offers an even better location to access the powerful sinus reflexes. This makes sense too because the fingers, where the reflexes are located, offer even more surface area to apply our reflexology techniques.
Earlier I mentioned Face Reflexology as an addition to any protocol that involves the sinuses. Sinus reflexes on the face are not as prominent as on the hand or feet however, the additional benefits of including the face in any comprehensive protocol are the immediate effects of; the deepest relaxation, the support to circulation and maybe the best – fluid drainage. It just makes sense.
In addition, for problems of the sinuses, you can follow these holistic health care tips:
1. Most people who have sinus problems usually suffer from acidity. Thus, some follow an alkaline diet when treating sinus related problems.
2. The consuming of fried foods and foods that are rich in starch should be lowered as well as citrus fruits, rice, sugar, white flour, meat and spices.
3. It’s probably not a good idea to use perfumes when you have sinus problems. However, essential oils – especially eucalyptus and tea tree oils can be used, usually via inhalation.
4. Get plenty of sleep and rest.
5. Some claim that perhaps the best natural remedies for sinus problems are onions and garlic and that by making sure that you eat garlic and onion regularly, you can prevent the sinus problems from taking place.
6. Use a mild saline solution to irrigate the nose. One tool for facilitating this, the “Neti Pot”, is becoming more commonly used.
7. Drink green tea.
One of the best remedies for minor sinus irritations, the ones that come from inhaling allergens, etc., was taught to me by one of my students. She claimed that by coating the rim of the nostrils with
pure, organic sesame oil (not toasted, just natural) is used as a remedy in oriental medicine. It makes sense for the same reason “Vick’s” (which is a eucalyptus in a petroleum jelly based medication) is widely used.
They both do the same thing – offering a “slick” film to capture the irritants before they go too deeply as well as lubricating the nasal passages (which can become raw and inflamed by irritants). Do NOT use lotion for the nose unless it’s specific to that purpose.
In a few short weeks it’ll be summer and, for some, that will offer its own relief. For others, there will be new health issues and other reflexes to focus on.
Whatever the season, enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.
© Wendy I. Coad
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