January/February 2012 Newsbrief → Articles

Is Passing Water Through
Your Nose Dangerous?

By Noor

A story recently made its rounds through the various news agencies (it was also in the last Snippets by Maitreya email) about how two people in Louisiana died from using tap water to clean their noses (aka irrigating the sinuses, passing water through the nose, etc.). They were killed by an organism called Naegleria fowleri, which can apparently attack and destroy the brain if given access to it (such as being sucked in through the nose). The article made it sound like a very dangerous problem, and the conclusion was that you should always use sterilized water (boiled or distilled) to clean your nose in order to avoid this risk.

This worried us at the Mission, as Maitreya recommends to clean your nose and sinuses often (see "Cooling of the Body" in Essays 3 of THOTH) and it was never Revealed to Him that the water had to be sterilized. It also did not seem to match up with the fact that yogis in India and elsewhere had been using this technique for thousands of years, plus it is part of the Muslim ritual cleansing before prayer (vozo or wudu), etc., but none of these ancient schools of wisdom had ever mentioned such a danger. Still, we thought we should research it to see if there was truly a risk here and what the proper reaction and method should be.

From this research, two main points have emerged that have put our minds at rest about the issue:

First, it seems that this Naegleria fowleri organism is in fact extremely common, but for some reason only affects a very small portion of the human population. From information that a friend of mine who is currently in medical school was kind enough to send me:

The organism has been isolated from nasal passages and throats of healthy individuals, and seroprevalence studies have shown that many individuals from endemic areas for PAM have positive antibody titers ... The reason that disease occurs in only a small proportion of exposed individuals is unclear.

The concentration of the ameba in warm water can be greater than one cell for every 25 mL of water. Consequently, it is obvious that millions of people have been exposed to this pathogen. Despite this apparent high level of exposure, only 33 cases have been reported in the United States during 19962007. ... Children often can carry the ameba as normal biota, or microbes, present in the body, especially during the summer months.

(The sources for these quotes were emailed to me so I cannot link them - if you would like them, please contact me.)

Therefore, it seems that most or all of us are exposed to this organism on a regular basis, but it causes no ill effect to the vast majority. This greatly reduces the danger and worry, and it seems reasonable that if you keep your body healthy, your immune system strong, etc., it is very unlikely that it could harm you.

The second point comes from Wikipedia:
N. fowleri has been found to encyst [become dormant] at temperatures below 10C [50F]. ... grows fastest at around 42C [107.6F]...
Therefore, if cool water is used to clean the nose (below 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit), even if this organism is present in the water, it should be inactive and harmless. On the other hand, if hot water is used, the organism will be active and growing quickly, making it more likely to become a danger.

This goes very well with Maitreya's teachings, as Maitreya has always taught that cool water should be used for cleaning the nose, half-bath, etc. This is also what was taught by the ancient yogis and Ayurveda. It seems to be a recent practice, perhaps mostly in the West, to use hot water for these activities, which may explain why such a problem was never brought to light until now. Therefore we again see there are many good reasons, both seen and unseen, for God's Laws and the way He Reveals how to do things.

So our conclusion is that this organism and these recent deaths have been poorly researched and overhyped by the media, and indeed the cleaning of the nose is a safe and very beneficial practice, as long as it is done in God's Way: Using cool water only, and in harmony with the rest of the teachings and recommendations which will create a strong and healthy body and immune system that can fight off any such problems.

God Knows Best!


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