Essential oils are often used to ease stress, boost mood, relieve pain from headaches and migraines, get a better night’s sleep, quell nausea, and even repel insects. Most essential oils have antiseptic properties, as well as treat fungal infections. They are concentrated extractions from plants. A process called distillation turns the “essence” of a plant into a liquefied form for many medicinal and recreational.

Also, did you know that certain blends help promote breathing and clear sinus congestion? Especially with this ‘smoke season’ we have been getting in our area, blends like this help tremendously!

Blends for sinus issues or general breathing easy in your home include peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, oregano, clary sage, frankincense, lavender, or rosemary oils.

Certain brands have pre-made blends such as ‘Breathe’ and work wonderfully in a diffuser or bath!

Also, sinus treatments from a Licensed Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist, or Reflexologist help tremendously, and ease sinus pressure and congestion.

The following are some tips on battling the smoke these days. You can also take these actions in your home to reduce your smoke exposure:

• Keep windows and doors closed.

• Use fans and air conditioning to stay cool. If you cannot stay cool, seek shelter elsewhere.

• Reduce the smoke that enters your home.

• If you have an HVAC system with a fresh air intake, set the system to recirculate mode, or close the outdoor intake damper.

• If you have a window air conditioner, close the outdoor air damper. If you cannot close the damper, do not use the window air conditioner. Make sure that the seal between the air conditioner and the window is as tight as possible.

• Use a portable air cleaner or high-efficiency filter to remove fine particles from the air.

• If you use a portable air cleaner, run it as often as possible on the highest fan speed.

• Avoid activities that create more fine particles indoors, including: smoking cigarettes, using gas, propane or wood-burning stoves and furnaces, spraying aerosol products, frying or broiling food, burning candles or incense, and vacuuming (unless you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter).

• Avoid strenuous activity during smoky times to reduce how much smoke you inhale.

• Have a supply of N95 respirators and learn how to use them.

Brittany Byma is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Wellness Coach. Brittany can be reached at 509-830-7326.

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