A massage has many known health benefits including tending to sore muscles, improving lymphatics, and overall relaxation. One unintended effect of massage is nasal stuffiness. So how do we avoid this and what is responsible for this phenomenon. When our face is placed in a dependent position, such as face down the blood tends to pool here. Part of this is the dynamic nature of the nasal turbinates. The turbinates regulate our breathing by swelling and deswelling. When we lie down on one side, the turbinate on that side will swell, making breathing easier on the opposite nasal passageway. Similarily, when receiving a massage, since the face is down, both turbinates will swell creating potential for diffuclty breathing.
What are some solutions to "massage induced nasal obstruction"? Some natural oils such as peppermint, menthol, or eucalptus can act as a natural decongestant. Other conventional medical techniques, may be using a nasal spray either over the counter or prescription to help constrict the nasal turbinate. Be cautious using Afrin too much or if medically contraindicated as it isnot safe to use on a continual and daily basis.
Hopefully, this allows patients to enjoy their massages a little more.
Nasal hair is something we are supposed to have. Vibrassae, the medical term for nose hair, serves to help filter particles and air. However, overly long nasal hair is probably not high on our list of attractive. So what are you supposed to do prior to a rhinoplasty? Pluck, clip, or leave it alone.
The answer depends on the timing of the procedure. If you are having a procedure within a week, the best answer would be to do nothing, but if you must do something, trim your hairs don't pluck them. The reason for this is that manipulation of nasal hair can cause an ingrown hair or infection of the follicule termed a folliculitis. In some patients, this can lead to an abscess. Pulling nasal hairs is definitely more likely to cause a folliculitis than trimming hairs with either a scissors or a nasal hair trimming device.
The buzz word of the last year is “selfie”. Taking a photo of yourself can be a fun, spontaneous act, especially when you have a cell phone in your hand. However, an occasional question I hear from patients is that they like how they look in person and in some photographs, but they don’t like how they look in the selfie. Should I get surgery?
The answer is a definitive NO! A selfie is typically taken with a cell phone camera and the lens on most cameras is wide angle lens. This means the camera is intended to take photos of landscapes and less capable of taking accurate facial photographs. The further you stand from a wide angle lens, the less distortion or fish eye effect you will have, hence a more flattering photograph. With a selfie, unless you have an NBA basketball player’s arm span, you are probably going to create fish eye effect and facial distortion.
This phenomenon of lens distortion’s impact on the face was described by myself and coauthors in an article in Facial Plastic Surgery. We found that the wider the camera lens (which corresponds to a smaller lens number) the more facial distortion was evident. So in summary, there is nothing wrong with a selfie if you are having fun. However, if you are using it as a driving force to receive plastic surgery- change your lens and you may change your perspective.
The way we breathe is often an overlooked aspect of our lives. For those of us who can breathe normally, when we have a temporary loss of our nasal breathing either through a cold, trauma, or allergic rhinitis we respect the importance of nasal breath. For those of us who have never been able to breathe through our noses, we may not appreciate how breathing can impact us.
Yoga plays a particular relationship between the mind-body connection. Breathing is called swara and is the essence of breath. The relationship between breathing and the mind and body is strongly associated within Yoga.
The left nostril is called Ida and is associated with mental energy, while the right nostril is called Pingala and associated with physical energy. According to some yoga gurus, if the left nostril is dominant, we tend to be more emotional, feminine, and compassionate. If the right nostril is more dominant we tend to be more masculine, dynamic, and aggressive.
Although I don't personally prescribe to the personality changes which occur with nasal dominance, both by observations of patients and personality traits, I do believe there is a strong mind nasal connection. This relationship is gaining further traction in the medical community. My own anecdotal evidence of many patients after corrective nasal surgery suggests that patients who have improved breathing will often discuss have less stress and feeling less anxiousness. However, the body and mind are both complex and this, like many things in medicine, is definitely not an absolute.
Restoring balance to nasal breathing has many important physiologic benefits and perhaps some hidden benefits as well.