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Daily Cleanse

As stated previously, your brain requires glucose and oxygen, in order to convert them into electrical power. If you are deficient in either of these two basic requirements, the brain can not function at an optimal level. The raw material for glucose is, of course, the food you ingest, through your mouth. The raw material for the oxygen is provided by the air you breathe, which should arrive to your lungs, through the nose.

I am sure that everyone has, at some time in his or her life, had a sinus infection, clogged sinuses, a 'head cold', or influenza. Some of you have a chronic clogged sinus condition. And, I am very sure that you all have noticed that your thinking can get impaired, when you are suffering such a codition. Obviously, the easier it is to breathe; the more oxygen will reach your brain.

For this reason, and others, I recommend that you keep the nose and sinus cavities clean and clear. The yogic method of doing this is called neti, by which one uses a ceramic pot, with an elongated spout and filled with salt water, to put water up one nostril, into the sinus and then expelled and repeated in the other nostril. I do not like the traditional method and have evolved a safer, gentler method, as I'll explain.

First, why do this at all?

In the sinuses and mucus membranes, microscopic hairs are found, the so called cilia, that all vibrate in the same direction. Under a microscope they resemble a cornfield swaying in the wind. The cilia are coated with a layer of mucus that catch dust, bacteria, pollen and white blood corpuscles. Through their motion, the mucus membrane acts as a conveyer belt, transporting the mucus and caught particles through the nose, down the throat and further on to the stomach". Therefore, it is not only the mucus membranes in the nose that are stimulated by the use of neti, but also the rest of the air passage all the way down to the lungs, which is especially beneficial to smokers. Actually nose cleansing activates all the mucus membranes in the body, also in the stomach and in the eyes. The movement of the cilia hairs can be paralysed by virus and allergy provoking substances, and also when it dries out, the mucus becomes tough and crusty and looses its function. Cleansing with salt water keeps the mucus moist, the cilia hairs are stimulated and encrustations, dust as well as allergy provoking substances are removed.

The nasal cavity is connected to the sinuses with small orifices. When during a cold these channels are closed because of swollen mucus membranes, it can lead to sinusitis. By nose cleansing these channels are kept clear.

Regular use of neti can also prevent colds, as it changes the PH-value towards alkaline. When the mucus membrane is too acidic, that is to say when the PH-value is too low, the virus can survive and become attached to the mucus membrane and thus develop into an infection. Contrarily, if the PH-value is higher, the virus dies. Many people can even experience sinusitis-like symptoms when the orifices close for other reasons such as stress reactions, sensitivity to additives in processed food, or food allergies. With this background it is also clear why neti can consistently relieve ailments such as asthma since during asthma attacks the mucus membranes become swollen, and make breathing difficult when the air passage is obstructed by mucus.

So, what is Denis' safer and gentler method?

Forget about a neti pot. In my experience, it provides too much water, under too much pressure and you need to learn how to control it. Go to your local pharmacy and buy a 20ml plastic syringe. While you are there, buy a bottle of 0.9% saline solution. (In France, it is called serum physiogliqe.) The water from your household source is usually not pH neutral and is contaminated with chlorine and fluorine additives, which irritate and burn. The water from your pharmacy is intended for intravenous uses and is very clean and made to conform to the salt level and pH levels of your blood.

Draw up 20ml of this water into the syringe, insert the tip of the syringe into a nostri, exhale, relax and push the plunger of the syringe with your thumb. Be gentle with yourself, as you learn to do this. When you have put water into your sinus cavity, the natural reaction will be to expel it. Hold it for a second or two and then do what is natural. Repeat with the other nostril.

Some methods advise inserting the water in one nostril and out the other, by blocking the nostril, but I do not recommend this because it tends to send some of the dirty water into the eustachian tube. If one has problems with dry mucus membranes, which is often the case with dry air in offices and other places, one may add a drop of almond oil to the water, in the syringe.

Do this as often as you brush your teeth. If you try it for a month, you'll do it for life, because the benefits will be obvious to you. You may also see cosmetic changes in your facial appearance, if you happen to be one of those people with dark rings, or puffy bags under the eyes.

Any questions??