Thursday, June 2, 2011
When I was little I would keep my family awake with my hacking. I have spent many nights walking around because the instant I laid down my closed off nose would suffocate me. I should have bought stock in Chapstick due to how much I needed it to offset my mouth-breathing. I have become resistant to just about every over-the-counter drug (although I had a good few years where Claritin gave me short-lived relief). I own a netty pot. I have a closet full of natural remedies (none of which work on me). I can often be found doing handstands at 4am because it will give me an instant of relief while the congestion rearranges itself. More than once I have had to pull over to the side of the road while driving because my nose was completely blocked and the drainage was choking me - so I would panic and have to chug water to get one airway open. And I get reprimanded in yoga a LOT for mouth-breathing - even though at those times I have no alternative.
I was in the store a few weeks ago waiting in the register line. The lady in front of me had the telltale red nose and 6 different kinds of decongestants in her cart. When she saw me looking she gave a sad smile and said "I love spring but hate the allergies it brings with it." It made me realize - I wasn't stuffy. Michigan has been fluctuating between 70 and 30 and then up to 90 degrees and I wasn't congested! Somewhere along the line, after 34 years, my sinuses stopped their attack and slowly receded. Thinking back, I believe the last time I had had sinus issues was back in Feb, and it was now almost June. This was by far the longest I had ever gone without the miserable feeling of sinus pressure and the inability to take deep breaths.
This got me thinking - what had I changed? That's when I realized the answer: my diet. I had cut out all dairy. Although I went vegan for compassionate reasons, it was actually helping me in a very tangible way as well. Bonus! Doctors had told my mom when I was a child to lessen my dairy when I had congestion problems, but I had never cut it out completely before. My dairyless lifestyle had just begun 6 months ago. My mucus-less lifestyle began just 1 month after that.
Since I have realized this the past few weeks, I have had constant gratitude for the deep breaths I am able to take. I am no longer tempted by ice cream because I just have to think about that horrible feeling of suffocation and the pressure making me feel like my head is going to explode. I am so in awe of how this yoga journey led me to fixing an issue I had assumed I would be living with the rest of my life.
I cannot express how immensely this will change my life. My quality of life. I know many of you think my changing to a vegan diet was extreme and unnecessary, but the benefits just keep coming. I know now, this is a lifestyle I will sustain for the rest of my life. And anyone else who has similar issues, I hope you give it a try. Drinking Almond Milk is so much better than hacking up a lung on a regular basis :)