(NaturalNews) As temperatures begin to drop in November, the numbers of colds and flus spike. As many as one billion people worldwide report colds and 95 million people come down with the flu in the United States during the worst seasons. These bugs cause people to miss work and lower the immune system, making them more susceptible to worse viruses. Although blowing your nose seems like the best way to get rid of nasty germs, it actually interferes with the body's ability to fight germs.
Why blowing your nose blows chances of a quick recovery
When the nose starts running, it seems only natural to blow it. Unfortunately, blowing the nose leads to clogged sinuses with mucus full of germs. Research shows that when someone blows their nose, it reverses mucus flow, leading mucus back into the sinuses where is slows drainage.
A study conducted at the University of Virginia used CT scans on people while coughing, sneezing and blowing their nose. They discovered that people who sneeze or cough experience little to no pressure in their nasal cavities. However, people who blew their nose caused pressure that propelled mucus backwards into their sinuses every time. The lead researcher said that the mucus traveling back into the sinuses could result in further infection.
Instead of nose blowing, people should wipe their noses. Wiping up mucus that runs out the nose does not cause the mucus to go back into the sinuses. People likely recover from the flu more quickly if they avoid blowing their nose and allow their bodies to flush germs out naturally.
Saline nasal rinse
A natural way to get mucus and germs out of the sinuses is to use a saline rinse. A saline rinse is simply salt water that flows through the nasal cavities to wash mucus and germs out. It does not inhibit the body's ability to flush out germs, it simply aids the process.
A neti pot is the easiest way to rinse the nostrils. Use half a teaspoon of sea salt per cup of warm water. People may also add half a teaspoon of Betadine, an antiseptic also useful for rinsing sore throats and cleaning minor wounds.
Hydrogen peroxide nasal spray
To get their noses extra clean, people can also use a hydrogen peroxide nasal spray after rinsing with saline. Combine two parts distilled water to one part hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and shake the bottle to mix it up. Spray the right nostril and tilt the head to the right, then repeat on the left side.
Next, spray both nostrils, pinch the nose and tilt the head forward so the solution gets to the upper sinus cavities. Look straight ahead again and allow the solution to drain out of the nose, wiping up what comes out and not blowing the nose.
Stimulate the immune system with a walk outdoors
Another way to avoid getting sick or shorten a cold is to boost the immune system with a short walk. Warming up the body and then exposing it to cold, such as outside on a walk, stimulates the immune system, better allowing the body to fight off germs.
Resuming normal activities as soon as possible after getting sick is usually beneficial for recovery. It is useful to rest when symptoms are severe, but as soon as people get their symptoms under control, it is best that they resume their usual activities. Sources for this article include:
About the author: Sarka-Jonae Miller is a published novelist and MARSocial Author of the Year runner-up. She's also a former personal trainer and massage therapist. SJ's published work includes the #3 bestseller "Between Boyfriends" and the just released sequel"Between the Sheets". The chick lit series was recently featured in the San Diego Reader, the largest alternative newsweekly in the United States.