I like to re-post this piece each Winter because I know that a lot of people experience sinus issues at this time of year (yes it is Winter here in Australia).
This information comes largely from an old Yoga Journal (January 2003 edition) which reminds us that this is a time of year where we need to be vigilant in our self-care routine as our tolerance levels can be low and germ levels high.
“Yogis have traditionally chanted the mantra “Om” to help with focusing the mind. However, this simple and most primal of chants may serve an important side benefit, particularly during winter months: The sound vibrations may help keep your sinuses healthy.”
The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden discovered that humming can help ventilate and open the sinuses. In their testing they found that humming increased nitric oxide levels fifteen fold, compared to quiet exhalations without sound. People with healthy sinuses have high nitric oxide levels which indicates that more air is able to flow between the sinuses and the nose.
Humming was defined as exhaling with sound while the mouth was closed and chanting ‘Om’ produces the same effect. Chanting and humming both create sound vibrations, which encourage air to move back and forth between your sinus membranes and nasal passages. This air movement opens the tiny ducts, or ostia, that connect your nose to your sinuses, allowing your sinuses to drain properly.
Daily humming or chanting may prevent sinusitis infection from taking hold.
“It is logical that daily periods of humming would be beneficial .. the sinuses are effectively ventilated by humming.”
In addition to daily chanting, if sinus issues are a problem at this time of the year .. consider the purchase of a humidifier which helps lubricate the nasal/sinuses by producing warm moist air; or using a yogi neti pot (get some guidance first).
*Details for this entry taken from Yoga Journal January/February 2003 "Sinusitis Survival" by Alisa Bauman