Tag Archives: massage

Beating Sinus Congestion or Infection Naturally

Last weekend, I realized I had a sinus infection.  It caught me off guard because I had only had a bit of sinus congestion in the mornings – no cold or anything.  Saturday, it started off with this heavy pressure behind my eyes and ended with painful cheek bones, slight dizziness, and fatigue.

Because of my tendency toward Leaky Gut Syndrome, I avoid antibiotics as much as possible.  So I immediately turned to my arsenal of natural remedies.  Here is my list of simple things I incorporate into my day to bring relief and speed recovery by supporting my immune system anytime I have sinus congestion or infection:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a great way to support our immune systems.  I choose sodium ascorbate over ascorbic acid since the latter is made from black mold, although some people prefer a whole food vitamin C.

I also like powder so I can have the option of putting it in capsules or mixing it with a drink.  Usually, I take about 1/2 teaspoon (which is about 4.5 grams sodium ascorbate) in grape juice twice daily.  I know that some people can take more, and they dose according to whatever amount causes loose stools then back down from that.  A friend was prescribed sodium ascorbate when she had whooping cough while pregnant, and she had great success with taking 16 grams daily!

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

In my vitamin C drink, I add 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar twice daily.  ACV is anti-bacterial, helps balance pH levels, and breaks up mucus.  It can also cause pretty significant yeast die-off symptoms in some, so I am sure to push lots of water and also take molybdenum and s. Boulardii to help ease the die-off symptoms.

Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2

I also take 10,000-20,000 IU Vitamin D3 plus 1 gram K2 per day.  I split this between 5 drops Thorne Vitamin D3 with K2 (because if you take D3, you need K2, too) and 15,000 IU Healthy Origins Vitamin D3.  By the way, if I hadn’t been slacking on taking my D, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten sick in the first place last weekend!  Optimal D levels are crucial to immunity and gut health.

Essential Oils

I start diffusing essential oils.  Well, even more than usual. 😉  Head Ease (a blend of Basil, Chamomile, Frankincense, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sweet Marjoram and Wintergreen) helps ease sinus pressure and soothe irritated nasal passages and respiratory tract.  Four Thieves and Lemon to help support my immune system and detox my lymphatic system.  If I have congestion, I use peppermint and massage (see below).

Sinus Rinse

I begin using a sinus rinse mixture in my Neti Pot at least a few times a day.  This helps pull out mucus and prevent infection.  If my sinuses are dry, which was the case this weekend, it moisturizes.  The mixture I use contains Xylitol, which has been shown to help relieve sinusitis faster than saline alone.

Sinus Rinse Mixture Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spring water
  • 6 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t unrefined gray sea salt
  • 1 t Xylitol
  • 4 drops colloidal silver

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to water in a sterile container.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Mix in Neti pot with 3 tablespoons hot water; adjust temperature as needed.  Be careful not to burn your sinuses!
  4. Use as needed.

Pain Relief

If I have pain in my sinuses or if I need help loosening up congestion, a warm rice pack (a cotton tube filled with rice – a cotton sock also works great) applied to those areas gives me relief.

I also use White Willow Bark for pain relief since I avoid NSAIDs as much as possible due to leaky gut syndrome.

Sinus massage gives me a lot of relief, too.  If I have a lot of drainage, I do Lymphatic Massage, too.

Cough

If I have a cough, lemon and raw honey usually do the trick (helps with a sore throat, too).    Slippery Elm tablets help, too.

Let Food be Thy Medicine

Along with apple cider vinegar, I am sure to eat more garlic and beef stock.  Read here about the benefits of stock.  I try to keep a container in the freezer for just such occasions.  If you’re not keen on garlic breath, garlic comes in handy gel capsules, too.

Fluids

Be sure to keep flushing the toxins out with plenty of water and broth.

My husband and I swear by a good Hot Toddy (tea, whiskey, clove, lemon, raw honey).  The medicinal qualities behind each of the ingredients gives cold viruses a big punch – and it’s relaxing, too.  If you’re a teetotaler, just skip the whiskey.

Rest

Rest is one of the primary things we can do for illness.  I try to clear my schedule, take it easy physically and mentally, and get extra sleep.

My husband always gets Kimchi Stew to help clear his congestion, but it’s too spicy for me.

What helps you get through a cold?

Have you read my disclaimer

Kiddie Constipation

Pint-sized constipation is not a pint-sized problem.  Nothing in my years of parenting have given me more anxiety than seeing my kid in agony from severe constipation.

Here is the course of action that gave us hope and, more importantly, relief.

(These tips are geared toward kids, but they’re great for adults, too.)

Game Plan for Kiddie Constipation:

  1. Consistent Potty Time
  2. Exercise
  3. Water
  4. Magnesium
  5. Probiotics
  6. Fiber
  7. Coconut oil
  8. Chiropractor
  9. Massage + Oils
  10. Smoothies

Consistent Potty Time

Make sure your child is having consistent time on the toilet to help him create a routine.  Pick a time of day that works best and make it Toilet Time.  Get some music, books, whatever it takes, and sit ‘er down.

Also, discourage your child from holding it when he has to go.  Some kids just hate to take the time to stop life to go to the bathroom!

Exercise

Even though many kids are constantly moving, they need exercise.  Make sure your child is getting at least 15 minutes of daily exercise.  If they’re not in organized sports every day, or on days when they’re not, get them outside, running around or biking.  Do hop scotch, jump rope, make snow angels, stomp through crunchy leaves or puddles.  Go for a walk as a family.

Water

Increase water intake.  If Junior’s colon isn’t moist, all that dry poo isn’t going to be able to move.  In our family, we each have our own water bottles and try to drink half our body weight in ounces.  So, my 48 pound daughter tries to drink about 24 ounces of water daily.

Probiotics

Probiotics are ESSENTIAL for gut health.  Whether you choose a supplement or fermented food and drink, the health benefits of making probiotics a consistent part of your child’s diet will build a foundation for life.  If your child has had to take antibiotics, then they are even more crucial.

Magnesium

Yeah, you can ask your doctor to to run a Red Blood Cell Magnesium test on your kid, but our doctor and figure that most people have low magnesium.  Besides, if my kids get too much magnesium intake, we’ll figure it out pretty quickly when they’re trying not to poop their pants.

My kids take 1 heaping teaspoon of magnesium powder in a glass of water with a splash of orange juice, plus a few drops of Stevia, the contents of 1 probiotic capsule, and their daily dose of Vitamin D3 drops.  This cocktail has been really, really, really helpful for my kid with constipation issues.  In fact, she CRAVES it.

Fiber

Yeah, I know, there’s a big fat debate on fiber.  Do what works for you or your kid, but most people can use the extra veggies.  Our list includes raw veggies, nuts, raisins, prunes, and popcorn with lots of butter and real salt.

There’s also whole husk pysllium, which I hear helps make some amazing bread, although I haven’t tried it.  You can read about the health benefits to it here.

Also, introducing a ton of fiber at once may not be wise.  Start slow.

Coconut Oil: Lube Things Up

Coconut oil can help get things moving.  It also has numerous gut health benefits, so if your kid has gut health issues at the root of his or her constipation issues, it’s a win-win.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic adjustments were HUGE for my daughter.  It is uncanny how I can always tell if her spine is out of alignment because she stops going.  Within hours of an adjustment, she will have a bowel movement.

Abdominal Massage with Essential Oils

Abdominal massage was recommended to us by our chiropractor.  Despite my daughter’s extreme ticklishness at first, it came to be a source of deep comfort and help.  It did get things moving, although it took time and consistency to work.

How we do it:

  1. Using an essential oil blend of ginger, anise, fennel, peppermint, tarragon, lemongrass, patchouli, and juniper, mixed with a carrier oil (usually coconut), I have her lay on the couch or my bed with her abdomen exposed.
  2. Starting at the top left (her right) of her abdomen, just below her rib cage, I work gently using circular motions, moving in a circle toward the right, then down below her belly button.  I’m sure to use the “flat” of my fingertips, not pointy-style.  I go round and round in a large circle, using a smaller circular motions.
  3. When I get to “6 o’clock” just below her belly button, I make sure, as our chiropractor suggested, to work on the area downward a little bit, since that is where the colon goes down toward her rectum.  This is all on her abdomen, but it makes sense to work on that area.  (I’ve also heard you’re supposed to stop over the iliac crest since poop can get caught there.)
  4. Then I go back up toward the left then top.
  5. At first we only did about 5 minutes, but we worked up to about 15 minutes a session.  Mostly, we did this once a day before bedtime, but when things were really bad, we did it twice a day.

Smoothies

Ah, smoothies!  You can hide a myriad of things in smoothies!  Coconut oil, beets, blueberries, psyllium, magnesium, psyllium (mix it in just before) and more.  Some people like to make up baggies of ingredients, but I liked to make a whole batch, then freeze it in Dixie cups.

Please, please, please, stop and do your research before using things like Miralax.

Miralax, which is polyethylene glycol or PEG for short, did a number on my kid, causing irregular heart rate, fast heart rate, chest tightness, and anxiety.

WebMD and other sites note that PEG has been associated with irregular/abnormal heart rate including extra heart beats and premature ventricular contractions.  You can also read some excellent research here:

There is a Miralax Yahoo Group geared toward the discussion of issues and side effects related to the use of Miralax or other similar products.  In that group, I found a lot of other parents and individuals concerned about the side effects PEG caused in their children or themselves.  I also found comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone in my intuition, and I found information that gave me the knowledge to back it up.