M3 PT - January 2020


MAINTAIN MOISTURE Humidifiers add moisture into the air, creating a more humid environment, and can be especially helpful if

Nasal congestion can have many different causes, including allergies, colds, or the flu, but the symptoms are often very similar: sinus pressure, headaches, and a stuffed-up nose. This is the result of membranes in your nasal passage becoming irritated and your body responding by producing mucus to try and flush out the irritants. Unfortunately, that response also causes nasal congestion. This is intensified by winter weather when dry air and heaters can further dry out your already irritated nasal passage. So, what is the best way to ease nasal congestion and sinus pressure? Try these at-home remedies that focus on moistening your nasal passage. FLUSH YOUR NASAL PASSAGE Use a saline nasal spray or a nasal irrigator, like a neti pot, to flush and moisturize your nasal passage. These devices flush out allergens and keep your nasal passage moist, easing congestion and preventing further buildup. When using a neti pot or other nasal irrigator, always use sterile, distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled.

you have a forced-air heating system. Try using a humidifier or vaporizer when you sleep. You may also find a warm compress helps ease congestion: Soak a washcloth in warm

water mixed with a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil (consult the oil distributor for the exact ratio), then place the washcloth over your nose and cheeks for several minutes. Drinking plenty of water and sleeping upright at night can also help ease further congestion. While over-the-counter decongestants can temporarily help ease congestion, they are not intended for long-term use and may further dry out the nasal passage. Adding and maintaining moisture is the best way to prevent or ease sinus congestion. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor.


KEEPING MINDS CALM Meditation has positive effects on those suffering from anxiety and depression. That’s what medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine concluded in 2014 after analyzing 47 separate studies on the subject. The author notes that the effects meditation has on these mental conditions can be modest but are surprisingly consistent. While the practice may not be enough for severe cases of anxiety or depression, being able to take your mind’s eye off the worries of the future can have a noticeable impact on your mood. KEEPING BODIES PAIN FREE Meditation has also proven to be an effective means of pain management. This was reported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the Department of Health

Meditation has existed in one form or another since at least 3,500 B.C., where it was depicted in wall art on the Indian subcontinent. Many faiths and cultures have used some form of this practice in the pursuit of mindfulness and inner peace. Today, science is backing up these long-standing traditions with research that suggests meditation can benefit us physically and psychologically. KEEPING MINDS SHARP In 2015, researchers right here at UCLA found that meditation is a “brain-protective” activity. That is to say, it can help reduce age-related cognitive decline. Scans of participants’ gray matter showed that those who regularly meditated retained more of their brain tissue. In other words, proper meditation can be a literal exercise for your mind.

and Human Services. Not only have those suffering from chronic pain reported moderate reductions in their discomfort, but brain scans have actually shown that, as the NCCIH reported, “similar brain areas are activated during both mindfulness meditation and pain-modulation techniques mediated by opioid receptors.”

These are all fantastic benefits to get from a practice that is easy for anyone to pick up and start. Plenty of classes and even apps are available for those who want to explore this exercise in mindfulness. As Raul mentions on the cover, meditation can help you keep the many plates in your life spinning!


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