For many years I have suffered weather related issues with my body. Mainly my sinuses. I’ve searched high and low for answers and there doesn’t seem to be much out there on the subject.
Every approaching low or high pressure system triggers pressure in my sinuses and I have now learned that I can indeed forecast the weather with my head. My cheeks under my eyes are pressurized, my ears feel the pressure and often times my teeth hurt. Upper and lower teeth. I asked my dentist about this once and she says there are nerves that run along the jaw. When sinus pressure is present, it affects the upper teeth because of the pressure on that upper nerve. Which in turn can affect the lower nerve. From experience I can say that the pain in my teeth is not unlike the feeling of needing a root canal.
Some people only feel the barometric pressure changes when flying, or diving. Some of us feel every day weather changes. Whether it’s in our bones, our joints, sinuses or in headaches.
Sinus pressure can be caused by a few things. Namely allergies and the weather. Allergens cause the body to produce histamines. These are the body’s natural defense system and they ward off the bacteria and things causing our allergies. They are what causes inflammation. (for instance when your skin is sunburned, the redness is the histamine)
Then there are the weather fronts. In a perfect world we’d all just automatically adjust to the changing pressure. But that’s not the case. When the pressure in your sinuses is different than the pressure in the air around us, it causes discomfort and pain until it equalizes itself. Which can take a while. For me it can take days. And when there are several systems lining up and coming one after the other, it could take weeks.
The good news is there are treatments out there that can alleviate the pressure. The most thought of way is antihistamines. But there are a lot of natural remedies that are also effective! Natural remedies give no side effects and they also do not lower your immune system.
You’ve heard me talk here about facial teas and steams. This is the first quick line of action against sinus pressure. Place a few drops of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Thyme, rosemary, tea tree or Spearmint Essential Oil into a bowl of boiled water. Sit with your head over the bowl – a towel draped over your head to catch the scent. Breathe in the beautiful aroma and it will help to alleviate pressure/swelling in your sinus cavities.
*Note: You can also use dried herbs!
Use a vaporizer or run your shower getting the bathroom hot and steamy. Then sit in the room and read a book or listen to a meditation tape or CD. *If the water is too hot, do not get in or under the water. Simply sitting in the room with the steam is enough! (You CAN use essential oils in the vaporizer!)
***If you are stuck at work…don’t fret! You can fill a mug with hot steaming water and drop in essential oils or herbs and just hold your face in front of the cup! You can also use soups, coffee, tea or hot chocolate and at least sip something while you are getting your steam!
Watch your weather forecasts. When you see the big ‘L’ or the big ‘H’ pressure systems or fronts coming in…be prepared. If you know it may be coming you’ll be more likely to handle the pain and pressure. Herbal teas can give your immune system a boost. Try a cup or two or three a day of ginger and mint or chamomile, echinacea, calendula and lemon or any tea that suits you.
Facial massage. Yes, you can feel better by massaging your head and scalp! There are five points on your head to concentrate on:
The cavity located at the corner of the nostrils.
The cavity just below the corners of the eyes (near the nose)
The cheek bones
The earlobes and the area or cavity behind the earlobes below the ears.
Gently press and hold these points for 15-30 seconds. Now lightly massage in a circular motion from down to up. Do this several times a day for as long as you are feeling pressure. Doing this gets that blood flowing in those areas. Works great for congestion as well.
If you are congested along with the pressure, these natural remedies will help relieve congestion:
Apple cider vinegar is great for sinus infections and congestion. Many people often take it as a preventative measure. For instance many times a sinus infection will appear at the end of a cold or the flu. When you are sick with one of these, drink an 1/8 c of apple cider vinegar in a 16 ounce bottle of water. This vinegar helps the body to thin the mucus making it easier for your body to expel and recover.
Use a Neti-Pot or rinse your nasal passages with warm water and salt. (Make it yourself: 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water. add a pinch of baking soda if you choose. Pour the mixture in small amounts into a small bathroom cup. Tilt your head back, blocking off one nostril. Sniff in the water mixture with your open nostril. Gently blow your nose and repeat on the other side.)
Drink lots of liquid! Whether it’s tea or water or soup…whether it’s hot or cold…this will help break up the mucus. Herbal teas are wonderful to drink because not only are you getting the liquid, but you are getting the immune booster.
And last but not least, when you blow your nose, blow one nostril at a time. This will help to stop your ears from popping.
Mucus/phlegm and the color system.
Yellow: A sign that your immune system is starting or ending the fight against the sinus infection.
Green means your infection is all full throttle. You should visit a doctor.
Brown or Orange means the infection could be worse than you thought. You should be seen by a doctor right away.
Colds or sinus infections generally last 10 days to 2+ weeks. If you are treating yourself and are not feeling relief you should see a doctor.