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Can we talk about congestion in the body?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have a lot of congestion in my body. All over. Nearly all the time. For those who know about this stuff, it is mostly clear on an everyday basis. When there are extremes (such as sinus infection or cold or whatever), it is usually white. Very rarely is any discharge yellow or green...in that order, though.


What is congestion a sign of? How do I encourage my body to release the congestion? And stop producing excess amounts? More importantly, what are some ways to address the big picture and get to the root of the issue/problem?


In Ayurveda, I am tri-dosha, which means all three doshas are fairly equal (unusual). In order, mine are Vata-Kapha-Pitta, but the variances are minor. Congestion is said to be an imbalance in Kapha (too much Kapha). There are certain protocols for this, but as far as I can tell, it is generally accepted as congestion will always be a challenge for Kaphas. I accepted this for several years while my Ayurveda practitioner and I worked on my Vata imbalances first (mostly) and my digestive fire (Pitta) and Kapha imbalances in subtle ways. Now that my Vata imbalances are resolved and my digestive system is functioning MUCH better, I'm ready to work on the Kapha imbalances in a more focused way. Unfortunately, my practitioner has gotten quite popular and she works part-time (single mother), so appointments are hard to get and several months out. I've done two cleanses under her guidance and it is amazing how much "stuff" I have cleared out! Abyhangas are sort of like a oil massage, but much more intense and less "relaxing". Those really get my lymphatic system moving, but I cannot get them very often (due to cost and availability).


I have some other practitioners I've used for other services over the years, too, although I am skipping most for now in the interest of time. Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is amazing and helped clear out soooo much "gunk" during my last cleanse (Fall 2010). I had a series of 5 MLDs within a few weeks. Never had any before or since, but my dad gave me a gc to that place for Christmas. I can get one MLD, but I want to time it well. One treatment isn't particularly effective in isolation....at least not for me. This practitioner was trained in Ayurveda, but works more with Traditional Chinese Medicine and other alternative practices. She also said congestion is part of being Kapha and you learn to live with it. She's Kapha-dominant and spoke from both her professional training and her personal experiences.


I'm ready to figure it out now. I've been living with it for my whole life, peacefully for a few years now. I've accepted it, embraced it, and magically now I am ready to eradicate it. I typically carry a lot of water weight all the time, but I didn't even recognize it as such until recently. All the stuff I did from the cleanse last Fall has stuck with me and I have lost 16 pounds since the Monday before Halloween....without trying. For comparison, during my first cleanse (Spring 2010), I lost 20 pounds, but gained it all back pretty quickly (3-4 weeks). I was soooo sick for a month after that cleanse. I heard my experience (first cleanse) is pretty common, considering where I started.


I have quite a few tools (cell salts, flower essences, carrier oils, essential oils, herbal extracts, garden herbs, etc) in my tool box now, so I'd love to delve into this from a multi-dimensional aspect. I practice yoga, qigong, and walk daily. Please, any tips, suggestions, links, and discussion on this topic would be greatly appreciated!



post #2 of 15

I don't have any experience with Ayurveda , but your post is very timely for me because my husband has always had problems with small cysts around his lymph area behind his ear. There was also a time he had to go to the doctor for one under his armpit..also a lymph cyst. I think massage would probably help move the toxins out as you mention. I have heard that eatling lots garlic is excellent for removing congestion and onions too. 


I think your walking is really good. I used to think that walking was for the older crowd. I started walking because my kids started doing p.e at the park a few times a week and I thought well I might as well get moving too. The people there are regular power walkers..so they pretty much kick my butt. It doesn't matter how fast you walk just as long as you use as much movement as possible.



I went to do a quick search and came across a site that mentions lymph massage for the breast. This particular woman was trying to reach people who have had cancer, but can be used as part of normal healthy breast care. http://www.greenhealing.org/tv.html. I think this would be good for all women. Maybe a good preventative for those lumps that turn out to be nothing , but still scare the heck out of us. 

post #3 of 15
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post



What is congestion a sign of? How do I encourage my body to release the congestion? And stop producing excess amounts? More importantly, what are some ways to address the big picture and get to the root of the issue/problem?


From my perspective congestion is the way in which your body is looking to protect itself.  It's a response to stress.  Mucus is a way in which the body can trap things it considers a threat. 


Basically, there is an underlying irritation and the congestion is the response.  How you address it will depend on which direction you want to go.  As you have seen lymphatic drainage can help clear it, but often it just comes back.  TCM has it's own way of looking at it, homeopathy has it's ways, acupuncture looks at it differently still.  Dietarily there are options...natural remedies...you name it.


Exercise will be important to reduce stagnation.  In terms of flowers, bush iris is very specifically meant to help with mucus and congestion and I'd likely use boab as well...maybe green essence and peach flower tea tree too.


Clearly you are looking to seek balance, or from my perspective looking to raise the threshold for stress.  Reduce your susceptibility to irritation.  There is a foundation here from an energetic perspective that will likely appear on other levels too for confirmation.  Anyway-that's my thoughts...jumbled as they are.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you ikesmom! I didn't want my thread to be super long, but, yes, I have found massage to be incredibly helpful when it is regular. Right now I am in the midst of a six month membership where I get one massage a month and would receive a nice discount if I booked any additional massages. I have stuck to the one, due to finances and scheduling, and the benefits have been amazing! I also worked in a holistic health office while I was pregnant and received two massages a month as my benefits package. My pregnancy was sooooo easy and that does not run in my family. Breast massage just came up on the bra-free support thread and I've been doing it for years, but not as regularly as I could/should and never with oils, which would probably add quite a few benefits. (I did find my castor oil and moved it to join my other carrier oils. That's as far as that has gotten. LOL) I walk several times a day and sometimes I jog or sprint short distances. Most days are 2-3 miles total. I will be checking out your links. Thanks! love.gif


Panserbjorne - Whoa! Your very first paragraph resonates strong and clear with me. Very! I don't actually KNOW what is going on exactly, but I can surmise quite a bit based on my childhood (abusive family) and my health progression (the more I've come to terms with everything, the less sick I've been...when I was resisting etc., I was sick all.the.time). Intellectually, I started the healing process very young (under 20), but emotionally and deeper.... I don't know. It was slow, subtle, gradual and clearly I am not "done". (I see it more as a process/journey...not really a project with beginning and ending dates.) As far back as I can recall, I have always had a lower threshold for stress or pain or illness than anyone I know. I was protecting myself in the only way I could as a child. In fact, I received love and positive attention (relatively speaking) and special care when I was sick as a child. How do I turn off that pattern now that it no longer serves me?


BTW, my breathwork facilitator (transformational breathing coach? I don't know what to call him) said something similar to what you are saying, PB. He always talks about the mind-body connection and how illnesses manifest from "stuffed" or unexpressed emotions. I practice breathwork every morning and every night (depth of practice depends on time available, but I do it twice daily) along with meditation. I had professional sessions (workshops and private) 2+ years ago and have been doing it on my own ever since. I went to a workshop recently as a "refresher" and had a private session even more recently to release the asthma/flu/lingering respiratory congestion. I discovered it is all connected to the sacrum (for me), which surprised me on some levels, but not really. Feeling safe is a deep issue for me. Ironically(???), my life is the most stable and safe it has ever been and it has been this way for about a decade now. What I find most interesting is I am much more of a risk-taker in personality and certain areas of my life (finances, trying new things, meeting new people, and so on), but when it comes to deep core issues I always choose safety and security.


Anyway, I'd like to start with cell salts and nutrition on the physical front. At this point in time, I feel compelled to move away from relying solely on professional health practitioners to give me information (which I often research and delve into on my own later) and towards solving things on my own with some guidance. It feels like a subtle, but important shift for me. Any suggestions, tips, advice?

post #5 of 15
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
 How do I turn off that pattern now that it no longer serves me?


well, you can deal with repetitive patterns on an energetic level (flowers are great here...walnut, chestnut bud etc.) but I would also suggest looking at it differently.  The response is still serving you, and it always will.  I'd never look to turn off the way we interface with the world, or see it as an inconvenience.  It is, however, a signal.  What I'd be looking to do is create a situation in which you don't need to respond quite as much.  So the way you respond is okay (IMO) it's just that you may be over-responding...does that make sense?


Semantics, but I always try to see what's right with the situation.  If you can reduce the stress/assault/toxins whatever it is that is inducing a response the response will diminish...but it's likely to always be YOUR response to stress.  We all have them and it's what makes us unique.  It's also how we can learn to read our bodies and allow them to speak to us.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Absolutely! I get what you are saying.


I am trying to figure out what is causing the congestion for me. I don't really know where to even start with pinpointing it. Toxins have come up in many conversations with health practitioners, but nothing specific. Which toxins? What course of action to resolve the excess toxins? Well... one source was my amalgams (mercury) and I replaced those nearly six years ago now. Obviously not the complete picture, but could perhaps still be part of the picture??? I vaguely recall having a test run through a computer and toxins came up then, too. Also, I am very environmentally sensitive... I reduced pretty much anything I could pinpoint (cleaning chemicals, eucalyptus trees in the fall, offensive smells, etc) years ago. Every step has been helpful, but I'm at a loss now. What next?


I always thought it was stress causing all my health problems and I actively cut most stressors right out of my life over a period of time (many years ago). My life is so low-stress now it just doesn't make sense. My threshold would have to be EXTREMELY low for stress to be the main cause. Certainly possible, but geez.... It actually seems as if my threshold for stress has gotten a bit higher as I've become healthier, so this is still a mystery to me. Maybe I'm thinking of the word stress in too narrow a way?


Assaults? What do you mean?


What other things can I investigate? Any resources for me to check out for more information and what to pay attention to in order to solve the riddle? Googling "congestion" got me nowhere. LOL


Thanks for helping me solve this....

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've been talking to people and puzzling this out for days. It keeps coming back to toxins.


I don't know where to start with this, though. Does anyone have any suggestions, please? Links?


I've read about the pink pee test as one way to test for a leaky gut. I love beets. I've eaten canned beets all my life until a couple years ago when I started growing them. I love them roasted from our garden or CSA and then chilled in salads. I've never had pink pee in my life.


The detox pathways concept makes sense to me, but the details are rather daunting. Are there any simple ways to start narrowing down which pathways are blocked? Or a general starting point that helps most people start clearing pathways?


Thank you!

post #8 of 15

the pee test is really for HCl levels, not leaky gut.


I'll come back.  It's a complex issue and there are many ways to address it.  You can do it from a nutritional perspective, an energetic perspective, a structural perspective, through exercise etc.  It's best (IMHO) when all are combined.  Multidimensional beings and all. 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

I very much agree with you on the multi-dimensional aspect of humans and that approach fitting best! thumb.gif  It is just a little daunting of a prospect when all these concepts are new or seem so complex... I am definitely ready to learn and unravel the mysteries. smile.gif

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

My order of backordered cell salts arrived. Will taking all three Natrums help?

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Adding this from the cell salts thread for bluets... (thanks!)




I am not sure what I "did to my leg" recently. Sigh. I injured my right ankle as a young child (age 6) and was on crutches for weeks (no cast, though). I was playing "balance beam tag" with other children and the steel beam we were running across tipped over and we all fell off. The beam rolled on top of a few of us. One kid broke his ankle, I sprained mine, and someone else had something less severe while the rest were fine.


Then, as a young adult, I injured the same ankle again on a stairmaster. Didn't really DO anything, but OUCH!!!! I ended up in physical therapy for two rounds, which didn't really help much. What helped was taking a ballet class in college a year or two later. I was pain-free for years after that semester-long beginning ballet class.


At some point after having my DD, I injured it again doing nothing out of the ordinary. It has intermittently caused varying degrees of pain ever since. The pain travels around the whole leg. Plus, I have tweaked that knee randomly. Both of my hips slip around a bit in the sockets. The right more often than the left. Yoga always helps with that.


Chiropractors and massage therapists and other healers have said it stems from my sacrum and, consequently, the piriformis muscle and some tendons are out of whack. I had an awesome bodywork session a couple months ago where I was able to release whatever I had been holding so tightly in the sacral area. It was such a small, subtle physical release, but it had a seriously massive effect. I actually walked differently after that with zero pain or tweaks.


It was only recently that my right leg started aching again. Walking is okay and I do it often (2-3 miles a day in short chunks is very typical; last six weeks or so has been quite a bit more several times a week). I just slow my pace down if there is discomfort. The aching occurs when I am sitting or stretched out. Like now. I am in the recliner with my legs stretched out and I'm reclined a little less than 45 degrees. Our kitty is curled up asleep next to my right knee. My hips feel fine, but my right knee and ankle are ACHING.


I haven't done craniosacral work since I was pregnant or shortly thereafter. At least not where a therapist specifically said she was doing that. I worked in a holistic health practitioner's office as the office manager and had all sorts of exciting work (benefits package was one free session per month and a discount on subsequent services and I received free sessions when someone wanted to practice). I sometimes recall the words used to describe the work, but rarely do I recall the actual work. It was a very exciting time in my life with lots of changes.


More recently (last Oct/Nov), I had a series of manual lymph drainage sessions while do a Fall cleanse. That work partially unblocked something in my leg (and elsewhere in my body) and I learned the path the pain travels is similar to the flow of lymph.


All that to say, I wouldn't be surprised if my congestion issues (also very long-term) and my leg issues are of similar origin. Actually, nothing about the body surprises me anymore, but I am deeply fascinated by it all!


post #12 of 15

Following your thread. Especially interested in the stuff added from the Cell Salt thread. Thanks.

post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post

My order of backordered cell salts arrived. Will taking all three Natrums help?

hi there!  didn't see this earlier.  it could, but calc fluor is also amazing for lymphatic issues.  You can start out with the natrums and see where you go, but keep an eye open for calc fluor, silica and ferrum phos as well.  Remember, find that three legged stool.

post #14 of 15

sub'ing for now.  it will take me a bit to read and ponder.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

After I read through the biochemic handbook last night to help DD with her out-of-control behavior, I continued reading for me. I didn't have paper or pencil handy and I knew I was just spending some time until I felt sleepy enough to go to bed. (IOW, it wasn't meant to be an academic reading...LOL)


In my very casual reading in the section where it groups the major body systems, the cell salts I saw most often for issues I have or have had are nat mur, kali phos, and silica. I thought of starting a simple tally sheet to see if my general thoughts matched some "scientific data". LOL Then, I fell asleep on the sofa with the book open. DH was amused because I had been asking him to look up certain words (he was watching something on his computer) and then I was quiet for awhile. I woke up and went to bed by 8:35 pm. Very early for me, but I slept through the entire night. Must have been good for me! smile.gif


I might do that tally chart later today. I'd love for DD to do one for herself, too. If I do it with her around, she's likely to ask what I am doing and will likely follow suit. Just showing her mine after the fact will not have the same effect at all. By contrast, DH is more likely to do something AFTER I've done it and it has been "proven" helpful. He's very scientific minded (programmer career fits him perfectly).

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