How Humming Helps Sinus and Allergy
| Murray Grossan, MD.
About the author: Dr. Grossan is an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon with the Tower Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the founder of the Web based Grossan Sinus & Health Institute (http://www.grossaninstitute.com). He is author of Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems Permanently.
In your nose you have tiny cilia, which are like oars. In health they beat in harmony, in synchrony. When a bacteria or dust particle enters the nose nasal cilia propel the particle to the back of the nose; there it is swallowed and disposed of by the stomach acid. Then the bacteria don’t remain in place long enough to multiply and cause disease
Sinus symptoms are caused by lazy nasal cilia. In postnasal drip, the cilia move slowly. This allows the mucus to thicken and grow bacteria. Hence the gloppy feel and the odor, and the constant hawking. If the cilia move too slowly, then bacteria remain in place and multiply and you get a sinus infection. This is why it is so important to get the bacteria out of the nose and sinuses. You get sinus pain when bacteria multiply within the sinus cavity and cause pressure.
Why do cilia slow down? Are you stuck behind a diesel bus? Smog in the air? Do you work where odors and dusts harm the cilia? For example, persons exposed to chromium dusts get many of these symptoms.
Allergy followed by Sinus Infection
Allergies contribute too, but in a roundabout fashion. Initially, in allergy, the cilia speed up. Here the nose drips and there is excessive sneezing-which blows out the pollen. But, after several weeks of symptoms, the cilia are exhausted and then bacteria remain in place and multiply.
If you think of the movements of the nasal cilia like the movement of the guitar strings, that is what you need to do to restore nasal cilia- strum the guitar.
Humming is Healthy
Hum! When you hum you set up a vibration in the air. That vibration does several things. It vibrates the mucus layer and breaks up the thick bonds so that the mucus is thinner and more liquid. The thinner liquid allows for better cilia movement. This is why drinking lots of lemon/ lime helps. This in itself allows better movement of the cilia.
Humming also vibrates the cilia. Know how your fingers tingle when you touch a piano at a certain note or chord? Recall how soldiers marching across a wooden bridge in perfect step can set up a vibration that causes a bridge to vibrate too? That is the kind of action you can get from humming.
However, you need to get the right tone. Usually the lower into base you go, the better. If you put your fingers on your cheek, that can tell you when you reach the right pitch by the vibration sense. The more you feel the vibration, the greater the benefit to your cilia movement. This is why the yoga masters do “ooooommmm.”
Indra Devi, the Yoga Master, demonstrated to me an effective method of getting proper cilia movement. They alternately sniff saline in and out the nose in a rhythm that is ideal for activating the nasal cilia. This explains why she and her followers were sinus free.
The pulsatile irrigator is a mechanical way to follow the Indra Devi method. This device gently sends a stream through the nose and sinuses at a pulse rate to stimulate nasal cilia. At the same time the pulse rate also removes the stale mucus and massages the nasal tissue in order to bring better circulation to the area. This massage brings in natural healing elements
If you are stuck behind a diesel bus and inhale the fumes, your cilia will be slowed. Here nasal saline pulsation at the correct speed will restore the correct cilia rhythm. Just as you need to pluck the guitar string gently to get the correct tone, a pulsating irrigator such as the NeilMed Sinugator or Hydro Pulse™ Nasal/Sinus Irrigator is designed to deliver the correct pressure. The correct pressure is needed so that you don’t force material into your ears, as you might do where the pressure in unregulated.
Sinus Surgery that Fails
No matter what the sinus pathology, it is always best to restore cilia movement before performing sinus surgery. Normal cilia movement drains the sinuses, therefore restoring cilia should correct the sinus pathology. . This is why in my five- person surgery group we always try pulsatile saline irrigation to restore cilia function before recommending surgery.
We have learned that even after the best sinus surgery, it takes time for the good cilia harmony to return. You need to restore that cilia movement as soon as possible after any nasal /sinus surgery. That way, you avoid the need for antibiotics after sinus surgery.
Additional aids for sinus problems include tea, lemon and honey, and good sleep. Green tea is best- with or without caffeine. The goal for pulsatile saline irrigation, humming, tea, etc is to reduce the need for antibiotics. Antibiotic abuse has resulted in bacteria developing resistance to those drugs. Therefore, clearing the sinus infection without drugs is very important. When you understand the rhythm of the nasal cilia you have a means of avoiding the need for antibiotics.
How is the weather?
Unfortunately we have had a wet spring and the allergists are predicting an increased amount of pollen this year. Let’s avoid a sinus infection and sinus pain.
Since these methods work, why not try them, hmmmm?
Source: Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems- Permanently C 2010