Yoga for Relieving Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is a very common allergic reaction among children and adults that can result in disturbing consequences. Nearly 10%-30% adults and 40% children suffer from this problem. It is generally an impression of histamine secretion.
Histamine is a natural chemical that defends our body from allergens. So, when your body encounters any allergen like dust or pollen, the released histamine causes you to face inflammation of the mucous membranes, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and this reaction is termed as allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
The other reasons behind it are stress, bad food habits, sensitive respiratory system and change in weather. A family legacy may also be the reason.
There are a number of reactions of this condition and they may vary from person to person, but the common symptoms that you may face are,
- A stuffy nose.
- Itchy nose.
- Sore throat.
- Dark circles.
- Dry and itchy skin.
- Severity in asthma symptoms.
- Productivity and concentration issues.
- Ear infections.
Some of these like, cough, runny nose, itchy eyes are the instant reactions that you can face after you come in contact with the allergens. Other than that, headaches, fatigue, sleeplessness, and dark circles are the long-term reactions of this condition. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis has no relation to fever so, fever is not a symptom of this condition.
Types of allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is of two types. The seasonal allergy and the perennial allergy. The seasonal allergy occurs during the spring season and the recipient may face the consequences after coming into contact with tree pollen and grass pollen.
The perennial allergy mainly results from indoor allergens like dust mites, carpet dander, pet dander, cat saliva, and so on. This has no specific time so, can occur throughout the year.
Allergic rhinitis is not a life risking disease, but there are some factors that can exacerbate the chances of this allergic condition. Such as,
- Having asthma or eczema.
- Consuming chemicals.
- Cigarette smoking.
- Residing in a humid space.
- Air pollution.
- Wood smoke.
- VOC or volatile organic compound.
A long-term interaction with these components can cause you severities.
How can yoga cure allergic rhinitis?
Role of Pranayama (Breathing exercises)
The general remedy of allergic rhinitis is oral antihistamines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, INS, and allergen immunotherapy. But these are the instant relief giving methods which will never succeed to eradicate the condition properly. Also, a constant consumption of the prescribed medicines can lead to serious implications.
So, the most effective and affordable treatment of allergic rhinitis is practicing yoga. Surveys on the patients of this condition prove that the effectiveness of yoga is way more than any other treatment.
Regular practices of asanas, pranayama and meditation have shown an impressive improvement on the forced ventilation capacity of the recipients. Study also shows that yoga can be an excellent way of increasing the efficacy of the respiratory system.
Implementation of a 2-month yogic treatment on random patients of allergic rhinitis has shown that practicing pranayama from the baseline has increased their respiratory stamina, reduced stress levels, increased the calmness of the body, raised energy levels and expanded the lung muscles. Not only this, but these patients have been observed to have reduced attack levels. Their medication needs also decreased with the help of routine yoga practices.
So, we can conclude that a regular practice of yoga can,
- Improve your blood circulation.
- stimulate your lungs.
- Improve the nervous system.
- Improve concentration levels.
- Energize the entire body to battle fatigue.
- Improve the mental state.
- Help to cure stress and anxiety issues.
- Reduce insomnia or sleeplessness.
Role of Jalaneti
Jala Neti is a body purification system that enables you to clean your nostrils from congestion and mucus. The primary aim of this process is to clean the path of breathing and as you use water in this process, therefore, it is termed as Jalaneti.
Children are readily attacked by allergic rhinitis that reduces their activeness in school, creativity and productivity. The risk factor is that it can lead to asthma if not treated. For them, Nasal irrigation with saline water or Jala Neti can be an effective treatment that reduces the necessity for drug treatment. However, the process is equally effective for elders as well.
The process of Jala Neti is a bit difficult. You can take help from yoga experts as there is a risk of fatal infection in this process if not done correctly. We recommend you learn the technique of Jala Neti as it’s taught in our Yoga Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh.
However, in general, Jala Neti is performed in the following steps.
- Choose the right place for the procedure. Now stand and tilt your head at one side.
- Use a neti pot or bulb syringe and slowly pour the solution in the upper nostril.
- Now let the saline pour from the other nostril. Keep calm and make sure you do not breathe from your nose during this process. Use your mouth.
- The water may go down to your throat sometimes but that will not make the procedure successful. You have to get the water out from the other nostril only.
- Now repeat the process with the other nostril after the water is drained out completely.
Jalaneti helps to clear the nasal cavities and increases the capacity of your body to fight with nasal infections like allergic rhinitis and asthma. The process makes the practitioner breathe more freely and reduces their chances of getting coughs, sore throats, tonsillitis and runny nose.
So, Jalaneti is another effective way of treatment that one can use.
Role of the Asanas
After Pranayama and Jalaneti, you have different asanas for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. You can check the asanas and try them.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
This asana forms a triangle position when you pose it. It is a beginning level asana and you will face no such difficulty while performing it. Practice it every day early in the morning with an empty stomach. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds every time.
This asana impacts your chest and makes your breathing system strong. It works on your body to cure stress levels and also improves your mental and physical state.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
This asana is considered to be the queen of all asanas and it is an advanced level yoga position. You may face some difficulty while getting used to it. It is also called the shoulder stand because you put the entire weight of your body on your shoulders. Practice this asana every day on an empty stomach and hold the position to 30-60 seconds each time.
The primary and efficient benefit that it provides is that it reduces irritation and sleeplessness. Along with that it increases the blood flow and strengthens your lungs.
So, we suggest you concentrate on these asanas and avoid coming in contact with the responsible elements of this condition. Try to eat healthy, get a good sleep, drink the adequate amount of water and you are all set to fight allergic rhinitis.
Vrikshasana has many benefits, for example it helps to create a balance between mind and body. It also improves the spine. It regulates blood circulation, improves breathing and keeps the heart healthy.
Stand straight to perform this asana. Bring your hands in front of your chest and bring your palms together. Keep the palms in the same position and raise the hands upwards. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your foot on the interior of the left thigh. Hold yourself in this position as long as possible for better results.
Pavanamuktasana (Wind- Relieving Pose)
Pavanamuktasana is helpful in stimulating the nerves and improving blood circulation. It relieves digestive gasses from your stomach.
This asana is done with an empty stomach in the morning. Lie flat on your back and keep your hands beside your body. As you exhale, bring your knee towards your chest. Join your hands around your knees and as you exhale tighten your grip of your hands. Keep doing this for 50-60 seconds for better results.