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Mother's Wisdom- The Nose Knows

Posted by Dr Hana Health Maven

Do you remember how good it felt, having your mother take care of you when you were sick? She’d let you stay home from school, and make you drink lots of juice, soup, and tea.   And she’d constantly remind you to cover your mouth and wash your hands so everyone else in the family wouldn’t get sick too.   It turns out that our mother’s wisdom is still the best treatment for the flu and the common cold. Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and wash your hands often.   However, we have now improved on Mother’s counsel by adding one piece of ancient                                             wisdom:   Wash the nose!   Sound strange?   Actually, this is a very old technique, and it is only common sense.The nose is the body’s air filter and it is responsible for protecting the lungs from dust, pollen, pollutants, and viral particles. Viral particles enter the body through the nose, the mouth, and the eyes - in that order.   So while Mother’s advice to wash your hands and protect your mouth is important, washing the nose is truly essential to maintaining good health. The nose actually filters the air we breathe by capturing debris and particles in tiny hairs that line the inside of the nose. Washing keeps the body’s filter clean and in good working order. Washing also removes trapped particles, preventing invasion of the mucus membranes, thereby preventing allergies and respiratory infections.As with many new skills, using the proper equipment and learning the best technique makes all the difference. There are many nose-washing devices available on the market, from the ancient ceramic ‘Neti pot’ to high-powered irrigation machines. The best washing solutions contain salt and a buffering agent - both for comfort and effectiveness.   A hypertonic mixture (saltier than the body’s own membranes) has been shown to work best, acting as a natural decongestant and having antibacterial qualities.Look for a nose washing system with the following qualities:  A bottle easy to hold with wet hands, unbreakable in the shower and simple to clean. The bottle should allow for good control of pressure and flow.   During   travel, it is important to have a nose wash system that is easy and convenient to use, for example after air travel. The solution should be labeled ‘hypertonic’ if you may have been exposed to germs or ‘isotonic’ or milder if just cleaning is what you are after. When the solution is   ‘buffered’, this adds comfort and can soothe.   Some systems are designed for optimal head position, thus getting the best result for your efforts. Choose a system that gives you clear instructions and support so you can learn the proper technique. The learning takes just a bit of time, but once you get it you’ll actually enjoy the sensation of a clean nose. For many of us it has become a morning habit right along with brushing our teeth.With modern nose washing systems now readily available, we have in fact improved on our mother’s wisdom. I’m certain she would agree that keeping your nose clean is an essential part of staying healthy through the cold and flu season.   After all, mother always knew best!Be Well,Dr Hana
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