Sunday was a very pleasant spring day in New York, and I decided to do some spring cleaning around the yard. Well, guess what? By around noon, my allergies kicked in full force. I went to grab the nasal spray but my wife had a better idea, "Why don't you have a spa day at home?"
To me, that means watching baseball on TV with a beer (light) and some snacks (healthy, of course). But my wife was thinking something else. She wanted to give me a true spa day. She promised it would help my sinuses and improve my symptoms. At this point, I was so miserable with my congestion that I agreed.
First, she turned the bathroom into a steam room and had me take a very pleasant hot bath with some natural salts. Boy, talk about relaxing. While I was de-stressing, she was preparing a very healthy brunch: vegetable and egg white omelets with an all-natural spread of cilantro, garlic, brazil nuts, lemon juice, and a dash of flax seed oil. After this delicious brunch, she made sure that I was drinking enough water. Then, I got a footbath with oatmeal and a pedicure.
By this time I was wondering what all this pampering was going to cost me. All kidding aside — we were spending very good quality time together and I was feeling much better. Next, she wanted to concentrate on the main problem, which was my congested sinuses. She wanted to do a sinus cleanse. I never had heard of it and certainly, as a "know it all doctor," I was a little suspicious. What she had in mind was a technique that has been used for centuries. Several studies have confirmed that you can get rid of some allergy symptoms with a saline rinse that removes tree pollen, dust, and mold from your nasal passages. According to experts, this technique removes the cause of the problem rather than treating the allergy symptoms with antihistamines.
Believe or not, she was already completely equipped to do this! She had purchased a sinus-cleansing kit (there are several brands available at your neighborhood pharmacy or health food store), containing a plastic pot designed to allow you to gently place against your nostril, rinsing your inner nasal sinus with lukewarm water, and a natural salt solution. As the water enters your nose, you tilt your head to the side and the water comes out the other nostril. You repeat this operation on the other side as well.
Whoa! It sounds a little complicated, but once I got the hang of it, I felt instant relief. One thing is for sure — you've got to read the instructions!
The final treatment in my spa day was a facial. Here, I was totally lost, but whatever she put on my face felt good. No wonder ladies love facials! By now it was suppertime and we had roasted Cornish hens with steamed vegetables and, of course, more water.
When we sat down to relax and watch my favorite show, "The Sopranos," she applied some very aromatic Eucalyptus-based essential oils around my face. Let's just say it was definitely an aromatherapy treatment.
What can say? I am very lucky to have such a caring wife. But I also learned that a home spa treatment once in while is quite beneficial for your health, not only improving your immune system through stress reduction, but also removing those nasty toxins that can make our everyday lives hell. If you are interested in a home spa day there are many ready-made home spa kits available on the web. I'll be checking them out, because next weekend, it's my wife's turn.
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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.