Studies done at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden shows that a humming sound leads to a dramatic increase of the airflow in the sinuses. Further the levels of nitric oxide (NO) increases 15- to 20-fold by humming compared with quiet exhalation. NO is known to be broadly antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. Impaired breathing leads to poor air circulation and lower pressure in the nose and sinuses, thus creating an environment beneficial for bacterial growth and inflammations.
Humming could then have a positive effect on sinusitis. By humming 60—120 times four times per day, chronic sinusitis symptoms were essentially eliminated in 4 days. Read more on how to unblock a stuffy nose.
Exercise — Humming
- Close your mouth and let the front part of the tongue rest in its natural place in the roof of the mouth, behind the front teeth.
- On exhalation say ”Hmmm…”, in other words push together your vocal cords and squeeze the air out through the nose so that a humming sound occur.
- You can feel the vibrations slightly in your jaw. The vibrations increases the air circulation and the production of NO in the nose and sinuses.
- In a chronically blocked nose or sinusitis repeat for 20-40 breaths (approx. 5-10 minutes) 2-4 times a day for a few days or until the problems are resolved.
To increase the effect you can, while humming, massage the area around your nose, temples and above your eyes (since we have sinuses there as well). If you have a sore throat, you can massage your throat and the root of your tongue. The massage stimulates the blood circulation in these areas. The throat massage also stimulates the vagus nerve which is directly coupled to our rest and digest system (the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system).
The exercise could also be done preventively, for example when you are about to get a cold, or just being in the mood to do it.