Anti-Inflammatory Diet

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Humming Nitric Oxide

Access to sinus-infecting bacteria is minimized by poor blood circulation in congested sinus spaces. Dilation of the blood vessels in the sinuses is dependent on nitric oxide present in exhaled air. Humming can break up the static air spaces, replenish nitric oxide and enhance the immune defenses in the sinuses.

Antibiotics must come in contact with bacteria to be effective and that intimate contact is difficult in sinus infections. Congestion of the nasal sinuses yields a thick mucus layer that can separate infecting bacteria from antibiotics or defensive molecules and cells present in adjacent blood vessels. Congestion also increases the distance from the respired gases of the air spaces of the sinuses to the blood vessels of the surrounding tissues. Nitric oxide present in the respired air from the lungs usually provides signals to keep the sinus blood vessels dilated. Blocking the source of nitric oxide causes constriction and reduced blood flow. The result is that congestion isolates the sinuses from the circulation and immune system. This is why antibiotics are relatively ineffective for sinus infections.

Humming vibrates air and can even shake up the sinuses. Persistent humming can provide enough nitric oxide to the sinuses to dilate the blood vessels and reestablish effective circulation. Humming alone is usually as effective as antibiotics in treating sinus infections and will also augment the use of antibiotics.

It is not surprising that traditional practices to augment health include breathing exercises that will enhance circulation in the upper and lower respiratory tract. These practices also include the prominent use of humming, aummm.

6 comments:

Bonnie said...

Sleep Apnea: I think humming might benefit those with sleep apnea. I have had trouble breathing through my nose at night. I have a candida infection that showed up on CT. I go through a pattern where my eyes,nose and mouth get very dry and it shuts down my nose. This is especially bothersome at night whenever I lay down. I tried humming a few minutes and got a real buzz of energy flow into my hands and suddenly I warmed up and have more energy. I use to love to chant and meditate. I left it off somewhere when I got Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia. I will see how it influences my healing. Thank you so much for your website.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Bonnie,
That is a terrific observation and a great use for humming. May the nitric oxide be up your nose.

Thanks for the comment.

Connor said...

I have suffered chronic congestion for years, and I suspect sinusitis. I was very excited to read this post, dig a little digging, and stumbled across this:

"During quiet exhalation, mean (SD) output of nasal nitric oxide was similar in control patients and patients with sinusitis (189 [27] nL/min vs 162 [22] nL/min, respectively). Mean output of nasal nitric oxide increased 7-fold during humming (to 1285 [189] nL/min) in control patients but remained completely unchanged in the patients with sinusitis (169 [21] nL/min)."

From http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/289/3/302

Wouldn't this indicate humming is an effective prophylaxis against sinusitis, but an ineffective treatment, or am I missing something?

In the meantime, I'll be hopefully humming my way through pubmed. I really enjoy your blog, though its addictive character is keeping me away from my OChem homework!

Connor said...

bump

Bonnie said...

Is there a circadian rythym that affects the sinuses? Every day I have a sore throat, sinus pain and pain in a upper front tooth that was absessed. I have chronic fatigue syndrome. This seems to happen when my gastrocolic relflex happens. I have also developed gastroparesis and abdominal pain with symptoms of pseudo obstruction. I have been on valtrex because I broke out in herpes simplex 1 after a root canal. I have been on antibiotics and diflucan. I think think what ever is in my sinus is also in my gut. Each physican seems to listen only to their part of the body. It also has a migraine like pattern when it gets bad including head pain, abdominal pain and down my leg usually the left but then it flips to the right. I have been humming and it is improving . It still is worse when I lie flat. Any thoughts appreciated. I haven't been to an ENT yet. Thanks Bonnie

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