Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Heal Your Sinuses

Mental Healing Power

Heal Sinusitis With Your Mind

Part of every illness or ailment is rooted in the mind, and sinusitis is no exception. Do you consider yourself an overachiever? A perfectionist? Do you often refrain from telling people what's really on your mind? If so, you fit the sinusitis sufferer profile painted by Robert Ivker, a Denver-based doctor of osteopathy and author of "Sinus Survival" (Tarcher/Putnam, 2000). "In my experience, repressed anger is the No. 1 contributing factor to chronic sinusitis," Ivker says. "Actually, it's the trigger for acute sinusitis — for sinus infections. The archetype is generally a high achiever, very often a first child, unforgiving, perfectionist."

The Emotional Basis of Sinusitis

"From an emotional point of view, sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma are fourth emotional or chakra issues and have to do with unexpressed or unresolved emotions," says Mona Lisa Schulz, a neuropsychiatrist in Yarmouth, Maine, and a lifelong medical intuitive.

In her book "Awakening Intuition"(Harmony, 1999), Schulz discusses how psychological issues affect the seven chakras, the fourth being related to the capacity to feel and express all emotions fully and form balanced, reciprocal relationships. (Chakras, or emotional energy centers, are more typically an Eastern way of viewing the body and its interconnectedness with the mind.)

The scientific validation for mind-body medicine has come about only in the last quarter century, so the idea that physical health can be influenced by thoughts, emotions, and beliefs is just starting to catch on in the Western part of the world. But many practitioners of psychoneuroimmunology (the medical term for mind-body medicine) relate case studies just short of amazing, particularly in the treatment of chronic illnesses like sinusitis, arthritis and back pain — prevalent conditions for which Western medicine has no cure.

Dr. Ivker believes that guided imagery, affirmations and meditation are some of the most powerful tools in his holistic Sinus Survival program. "The social and spiritual and emotional aspects have a more powerful impact on either weakening or strengthening your immune system [than strictly physical modalities]."