Relentless sinus pain from allergies, a cold or sinus infection? Check this out!
It was a wrenchingly cold day today-the air clawed and bit through my down coat, it slinked through door frames and and down the chimney. My dogs curled into their beds and refused to go outside. I finally peeled them out of their cozy nest and walked them a bit through the single-degree arctic blast. The relentless pain of a searing sinus headache pushed me from the inside while the cold seared me from the outside. A small head cold that began last week had bloomed into a nasty cold, which by the weekend seemed to abate. But, it was biding its time and waited to push it’s way out a few days later, sinuses so swollen I could feel my cheekbones vibrate when I talked. I slathered myself with essential oils, inhaled eucalyptus-scented steam, downed gallons of chicken soup with lashings of oregano and lemon. I did gentle yoga, which mercifully released my headache. Although my headache was gone, the internal sinus pressure continued to expand and my mood fouled. Sour minded and wincing against the sunlight, I somehow made the commute to teach yoga and back home again, biting and snapping at my husband as soon as I dropped my defenses at our cottage door.
Enter serendipity, a kind friend on Facebook posted a video of self-massage to drain pressure from the sinuses via the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels through which lymph fluid drains. One of the roles of lymph is as part of our immune system, in which lymph helps distribute infection-fighting white blood cells through our body. Lymph gets pumped when we move our skeletal and smooth muscles; which explains why yoga helped me feel better. I moved my body in a slow and gentle manner, which helped the lymph to drain from my head. But is wasn’t enough, so I tried the techniques in the video my friend posted.
At first, I felt nothing. Until five minutes later, then ten, then fifteen, when I noticed the pressure down by fifty percent. Another internet search and I found this amazing video by Heather Wibbles, Licensed Massage Therapist from Kentucky. God Bless Heather and her clear instruction. Within one minute of following her technique, fluid began to drain from my sinuses, pouring down the back of my throat. It’s twenty minutes later and I’m still draining, the pressure is abating with each passing moment.
But don’t believe me-try it for yourself. Moms and dads, try this on your kiddos when they’ve got a cold. Before bed tonight I’ll combine this technique with some jojoba oil and a pain killing blend of essential oil (Panaway from Young Living). Western medicine protocols are remarkably inadequate when it comes to sinus infections; there is growing evidence that the use of antibiotics in sinus infection is not only inadequate, it possibly contributes to the trend of antibiotic resistance
I believe that it is in our power to constantly move our bodies towards health, try some gentle self massage to help your lymph system drain effectively. As for me, I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep! And thank you, Heather!
p.s. Check out this YouTube video for a quick visual explanation of the drainage of the lymphatic system, this is the video that got me started! Great stuff by Dr. Mark Lynch, all gratitude!