About Me

My goal as a Licensed Massage Therapist is to provide you with more than just relaxation and stress relief. I focus on helping relieve pain and muscle tightness by working to align your body back to its natural posture and help increase the body's full range of movement through various forms of soft tissue massage, deep tissue massage and energy work. I also am deeply committed to fully understanding your individual needs so we can work together toward a positive outcome. My clients often comment that they’ve never had a massage therapist spend so much time talking and asking questions prior to a massage, that its refreshing to know that I really do care and want to know exactly how they are feeling or how they actually injured themselves. No two people are alike, which is why no two massages I give are the same. I customize my work to create the best possible results for each of my clients.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Does Wasabi actually clear your sinuses?

Recently I had a cold that of course started with the wonderful inability to breathe.  My sinuses felt as if they had grown to twice the size as normal and mouth breathing had become the only option to fill my lungs with life giving air.  Normally I would have done my usual. 

  • Double my usual intake of water to make sure that my sinuses stayed moist but to also make sure my body had enough hydration to fight the cold.
  • Drink hot herbal teas to help add some immune boosting herbs and used the cup under my nose to steam my nasal passages
  • Used the tried and true method of chicken noodle soup
  • Bathed my sinuses with the use of a Neti Pot and warm saline solution
  • And finally a good helping of Wasabi with some sushi!!!
Well, sadly this time around I had to do something different.  I had to cut out the enjoyment of some Wasabi and sushi while I was sick to help release my nasal passages due to a study that was done a few years ago that showed that while spicy food did clear the sinus passages, the clearing did not last for long and the rebound effect was actually worse than the original relief!  During a study done at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California, the use of wasabi as a decongestant is actually not a good choice.  

“During the current study, Cameron and his colleagues from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California asked 22 people to dissolve a lentil-sized amount of wasabi on their tongues multiple times at one-minute intervals, and then report whether the spice affected their sinuses. The researchers also used a device to objectively measure participants' nasal congestion before and after tasting wasabi."

What they were able to find was that in the use of wasabi in the sinuses did clear mucus for the increase of airflow, but the swelling caused by increased blood flow after, actually decreased the nasal passageways.  With the decrease of passageway space in the sinues the normal congestion when returned would be worse than prior.

This rebound effect is something that I actually have experienced and had made me begin to wonder within just the last few years which is why when I became stuffed up this time around and thought about all the wonderful food I was going to eat I instead decided to do a little research.  Now the good news here is that I was unable to find other studies on other spicy options like the many forms of chilies or horseradish or even standard mustards, but I will continue looking and hopefully I will be able to find some better news for so many of us who prefer to use a more natural approach to illness.  Hopefully this is strictly a wasabi based issue!

Stay tuned, cause I am not done searching, I love me some spicy food when I am sick!

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