The medical model
Many people suffer from sinusitis. I shall explain a few of the allopathic concepts and then show you some reflexology corrections. Sinus problems may be caused by allergies, by infections, mold and fungi. It is often made worse by eating dairy foods, and wheat. If your sinus problem stems from allergies, reflexology might be a first line of defense. It will strengthen your immune system. I think it is important to study both the allopathic and the complementary models in order to alleviate the discomfort.

Allergy shots and antihistamines have never been shown to control the problem when you have a combination of chronic stuffy noses, nasal polyps, and sinus infections that do not vary throughout the seasons, Doctors treat this condition with cortisones that suppress the nasal discharge, headaches, and stuffy nose a little bit. They never cure the sufferer and may even set the person up for a worsening of symptoms as the years pass.

Check with an allergist if your nose is stuffy during the pollen seasons in the spring and fall. You probably have an allergy and need allergy tests, so. Allergy injections may help control your symptoms. If your stuffy nose started after puberty and your nose is stuffy 12 months a year, you don't have allergies, and allergy injections will usually be ineffective.

Your nose is supposed to clean, heat and moisturize the air that you breathe. The inside of your nose is covered with a sticky mucous that traps dirt, pollen, mold and other pollutants and prevents them from reaching your lungs. Inside of each nostril are large ridges called turbinates that have large blood vessels in them. When the inner lining of one side of your nose fills up with pollutants, the blood vessels inside the turbinates enlarge and swell the turbinates so they stop air from entering that side of your nose and force you to breathe through the other side of your nose. Then small hairs called cilia in the lining of your nose sweep the mucous and filth toward your mouth where you swallow them and they pass from your body. Our nostrils know how to pace their work and always alternate breathing through one side and then the other. While it is abnormal for the turbinates on both sides to swell at the same time and cause a stuffy nose, it is quite normal for one nostril to be working while the other appears to be resting.

If you have thick yellow or green mucous, you probably have an infection. You may need a culture and doctors may prescribe antibiotics if the problem is bacterial. You can also check with your herbalist or homeopath, for natural ways to fight infection. If you are exposed to irritants such as hair spray or smoke, bug repellants, that may be a cause, and if your stuffiness is worse in the winter, breathing dry, cold air may be the reason. If no cause is found, your doctor usually diagnoses vasomotor rhinitis which means that he doesn't have the foggiest idea what's causing your stuffiness and the only relatively safe and effective treatment that he can offer today is daily use of a cortisone nasal spray.

Capsaicin, the chemical in peppers that causes your eyes and nose to run can block nerve impulses along certain types of nerve fibers. Although capsaicin nasal spray is highly effective in unblocking chronically running and stuffy noses, it seems more testing needs to be done before doctors can recommend it. That will not happen for a while since research is expensive, and since cayenne is cheap, and won’t bring in a great deal of money for the drug companies. It does not change the chemicals that are associated with allergy and swelling. Capsaicin unblocked stuffy noses by causing the nerves in the nose to shrink the turbinates. (Capsaicin ointment is, however, doctor recommended to ease the pain of shingles).

Many people have polyps in their nasal passages. They are like skin tags, and surgeons can remove them, but the polyps usually return within a few weeks. People with nasal polyps should never take aspirin as most will eventually develop shortness of breath, itching or increased nasal stuffiness when they do. Recent research shows that polyps may be caused by infection with mycoplasma bacteria or fungi and even chlamydia.

Alternative solutions
My first suggestion is to add some white clover honey to your herbal tea in the morning, as both a sweet treat and an allergy correction. Simply adding two tablespoons of white clover honey to your diet on a daily basis has been known to cure seasonal allergies. Honey is known to kill bacteria, fungi, and molds. Using honey is effective to kill the offenders, but it also has curative powers. It soothes and repairs the injured area, whether it is irritated, swollen, or damaged in any way. Much like a doctor giving you a shot of the measles or mumps so that your body can build up an immunity to the toxins, digesting honey allows your body's immune system to learn how to cope with various types of pollen in the easiest and most natural method possible.

Performing a basic sinus wash using a warm saline solution can do wonders. This works best when first getting up in the morning. Just as taking a hot shower can help to clean and loosen your sinuses, applying the warm saline solution directly into your sinus cavity can help even more. Salt reduces the swelling in the passages, and cleans out the sinus cavities. The warmth not only helps to break up and loosen congestion, it also helps to flush out the passageways, allowing one to breath easier. The saline solution helps to maintain your bodies natural pH, killing any foreign subjects (mold, mildew, fungus) that may be trying to take root within your sinus cavity. You can obtain a saline solution and squeeze bottle in any drug store. I do remember my grandmother snorting salt water up her nose. I tried it and it works, but it was very hard to initiate the process. Every fiber of my being believed I was going to drown! The drug store saline flush makes it easier and therefore more effective.

Eliminate all dairy from your diet during the “sinus season”. It will reduce the mucous in the system, especially in the nasal passages and throat. I have found that limiting wheat is also effective. If needed, I will use sprouted grain bread that is free of flour.

Author's Bio: 

Yvette Eastman loves to share her knowledge in her articles and in her classes. She is the author of many reflexology books dealing with meridians, chakras, animals and her newest “So You Think You Know Reflexology …?” which compiles 19 chapters written by extraordinary reflexologists describing their unusual methods. Yvette directs Touchpoint Institute of Reflexology. Her website is and she is available at