Sinusitis simply means inflammation of the sinuses. Chronic sinusitis, sinusitis that recurs frequently, affects an estimated 32 million people in the United States. Americans spend millions of dollars each year for medications that promise relief from their sinus symptoms. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health)
Sinusitis has its own localized pain signals, depending upon the particular sinus affected. Headache upon awakening in the morning is characteristic of sinus involvement. Pain when the forehead over the frontal sinuses is touched may indicate inflammation of the frontal sinuses. Infection in the maxillary sinuses can cause the upper jaw and teeth to ache and the cheeks to become tender to the touch. Since the ethmoid sinuses are near the tear ducts in the corner of the eyes, inflammation of these cavities often causes swelling of the eyelids and tissues around the eyes and pain between the eyes. Ethmoid inflammation also can cause tenderness when the sides of the nose are touched, a loss of smell, and a stuffy nose. Although the sphenoid sinuses are less frequently affected, infection in this area can cause earaches, neck pain, and deep aching at the top of the head.
Other symptoms of sinusitis can include fever, weakness, tiredness, a cough that may be more severe at night, and runny nose or nasal congestion. In addition, drainage of mucus from the sphenoids down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) can cause a sore throat and can irritate the membranes lining the larynx (upper windpipe).
Sinusitis can be caused by a variety of factors, such as virus, fungal infections, and medication side-effects. Chronic inflammation of the nasal passages (rhinitis) also can lead to sinusitis. Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is the most common cause of chronic sinusitis and is a frequent cause of acute sinusitis. Vasomotor rhinitis, caused by humidity, cold air, alcohol, perfumes, and other environmental conditions, also can result in a sinus infection.
Chronic sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses that continues for weeks, months, or even years. As noted above, allergies are the most common cause of chronic sinusitis. Inhalation of airborne allergens (foreign substances that provoke an allergic reaction), such as dust, mold, and pollen, often set off allergic reactions (allergic rhinitis) that, in turn, may contribute to sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis can be caused by structural abnormalities of the nose, such as a deviated septum (the bony partition separating the two nasal passages), or by small growths called nasal polyps, both of which can trap mucus in the sinuses.
Standard medical treatment for sinusitis may involve a variety of therapies intended to clear up the source of the inflammation and relieve the symptoms. Doctors generally recommend decongestants to reduce the congestion, antibiotics to control a bacterial infection, if present, and pain relievers to reduce the pain.
EDGAR CAYCE’S PERSPECTIVE
Edgar Cayce gave many readings for persons suffering from the full range of sinus problems including sinusitis. While acknowledging that environmental irritants and airborne allergens can serve as triggers leading to sinus inflammation, the Edgar Cayce readings take a more systemic approach to the basic causes and treatment of sinusitis.
Most often, Edgar Cayce traced the causes of sinusitis to systemic factors such as poor circulation, poor eliminations, and acid/alkaline imbalance.
(Q) Should any additional treatment be given for sinus condition?
(A) Not until these other activities have been carried on as indicated. This is not a local infection, - it is from the general condition in system, and naturally finds expression in the soft tissue or the mucous membranes through which the lymph circulation flows, from the irritations to which the body becomes allergic. (934-13)
Going even further back into the patterns of cause and effects, the Cayce readings often noted that pressures on spinal nerves were a primary factor in the manifestation of systemic pathology. For example, pressure on the nerve centers that regulate circulation to the facial sinuses can inhibit the circulation allowing toxins to remain and produce irritation:
(Q) Does sinus condition have anything to do with eyes becoming bloodshot?
(A) This, of course, is a contributory cause, but we find that the sinus condition is as much a disturbance from the spinal pressure as is the reflex in the eye disturbance. For, where both circulations are slowed through the impulse received from the ganglia in the upper dorsals and through the cervicals, these are paralleled in their reflexes. (2775-2)
Another common pattern of causation cited in the Cayce readings involves the organs of the hepatic system (i.e., liver, kidneys, gall bladder). Problems with the hepatic organs can results in poor systemic functioning and sinusitis:
(Q) Have I sinus?
(A) This is more the effect of the general stoppage, or the lack of the liver and the gall duct working properly. This may generally tend to lead to sinus, if there are not the better drainages set up. But if we will do these, we should make for better conditions and relieve these disturbances. (910-2)
The systemic aspects of sinusitis are sometimes linked to digestive problems. Most often, indigestion and other symptoms of poor assimilation are caused or exacerbated by the absorption of mucous into the gastrointestinal tract.
As we find, there continues to be some infectious forces, especially through the soft tissue of throat and nasal passages; some infection in the antrum. And the dripping or inflammation from same, with the secretions, tends to upset the stomach, also causing indigestion at times, producing weakness through the system. (2470-2)
Thus, treatment for sinusitis may address related problems in the gastrointestinal tract for a more complete healing.
The therapeutic approach advocated in the Cayce readings on sinusitis takes into consideration both the local and systemic aspects of the condition. For local (symptomatic) relief, the readings recommend a variety of nasal sprays, inhalants and packs. A mixture of oil of eucalyptus, oil of turp, and tincture of benzoin (sometimes with additional ingredients) was frequently prescribed as an inhalant for the treatment of sinusitis. Glyco-Thymoline diluted with distilled water was suggested as a nasal spray in several readings for sinusitis. Glyco-Thymoline packs over the facial sinuses were also commonly recommended for symptomatic relief.
For the fundamental, systemic causes of sinusitis, the readings typically recommended manual therapy (spinal manipulations and massage), hydrotherapy (especially colonic irrigations and fume baths), a basic diet which emphasizes fruits and vegetables to help maintain a proper acid/alkaline balance, and a mild form of electrotherapy (Radial Appliance).
Here is a typical recommendation which emphasizes the systemic aspects of healing sinusitis via manual therapy to improve circulation and a diet based on proper acid/alkaline balance:
(Q) What should be done about the sinusitis?
(A) Do the treatments indicated and the massages that will follow with the osteopathic adjustments for the better circulation through all portions of body, and these will correct through the sinus; provided there is the attention given to the keeping of a correct balance in the acidity and alkalinity of the body. (4008-1)
Notably, the mental and spiritual aspects of healing are emphasized in the readings on sinusitis. Here is a brief excerpt which points out the role of psychological and spiritual factors in one particular case of sinusitis:
(Q) Sometimes, after a cold I suffer from sinusitis and sometimes (more frequently in fact) the cold results in bronchitis. Can you suggest a treatment for the bronchitis and a means of relieving the cough?
(A) All of these conditions are taken into consideration in that given. You see, these - as indicated - are a result, not a cause. Much more might be said here than is being given, but the entity must find most of it himself. For, here the sensory forces are the reflection of attitudes of an individual towards things about him. They become psychologically affected, as some might term; being the reflexes or the reactions people make to the environs about them. Here, the entity has closed itself often to cries - yes, it has also seen that which it might have helped. It didn't, and what's happening?
In another instance, the power of the mind to produce psychosomatic illness was noted:
(Q) Are my sinuses draining properly?
(A) If they had been we wouldn't have suggested to add something to the soft tissue! This we would do occasionally. This is not an irritation other than sympathetically, through the type or nature of conditions as described. Do not create for self the attitude that "Now I've got sinus trouble - Now I've got this trouble, that trouble or the other!" because you'll have it! and you'll become a hypochondriac, should these conditions continue! Know "I'm getting better." Know, "I will meet these conditions as they come about." Know, "I'm doing these in the proper way and manner, and it will come about!" (911-4)
Thus the mental and spiritual aspects of healing are important factors to be considered when dealing with sinusitis.
A TREATMENT APPROACH BASED ON THE EDGAR CAYCE READINGS
Because sinusitis can involve both local and systemic aspects, the Cayce approach utilizes a variety of diverse therapies to improve digestion, assimilation, elimination, relaxation, and circulation while encouraging a positive attitude and spiritual focus. Here are some general therapeutic guidelines for persons suffering from sinusitis:
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates ("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
- INTERNAL CLEANSING: Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight glasses of pure water daily, using castor oil packs, taking mild steam baths, and obtaining colonic irrigation to cleanse the bowel. Following the diet should also assist with internal cleansing. Mild laxatives may be taken (if needed).
- SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE: Osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is recommended to relieve any pressures on nerves that may be affecting circulation and other systemic processes, particularly eliminations. If osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is not available, the use of an electric vibrator along the spine may be helpful. Massage may also be helpful in improving circulation and eliminations.
- MEDICINE: Atomidine is a medicinal product containing 1% iodine trichloride. Small doses of Atomidine may be helpful in stimulating and purifying the glandular system, especially the thyroid.. CAUTION: ATOMIDINE CONTAINS IODINE AND SHOULD ONLY BE TAKEN UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A PHYSICIAN.
- ELECTROTHERAPY: Regular use of the Radial Appliance may be helpful in improving circulation.
- TREATMENT OF ACUTE SYMPTOMS: For treatment of acute sinusitis symptoms, an inhalant containing eucalyptus oil, turpentine oil, tincture of benzoin, and grain alcohol is recommended. Glyco-Thymoline used as a nasal spray and facial pack may also be helpful for the acute symptoms of sinusitis.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and spiritual aspects of healing are frequently discussed in the Cayce readings. Particularly, an attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important. A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained by focusing on a high purpose (spiritual ideal) for being healed.