Most people think that a shower is to clean your body, but it's actually the best time and place to clean inside your head.
We do need to hydrate our outsides. Our skin dries out too much. It shuts down our epithelial sensory nerves. But it's really important that we clean and hydrate our mucous membranes too. Removing mucous is the absolute best way to deal with our oropharyngeal infections.
How I take a shower
Get in, soak head and warm up.
Put conditioner on scalp. I don't use shampoo, I use an aloe conditioner that removes the excess oil from my hair while not stripping the skin of moisture. I leave it on during this process to sooth my scalp. Whatever you use, it should be mild.
Preliminary swab of mouth. Wet the swab and get the snot off your lips and teeth and tongue. Wipe the roof of the mouth.
(You can rinse the swab off in the water and use it again and again.)
Then take the saline and rinse the nostrils and sinuses. Tip and shake your head around. Blow out snot. Do it again.
If you do this right, you will taste saltwater drain into your throat when it's clear.
Now wash the body. The aloe conditioner works nice as a body wash, but I usually use castille soap just because I like to use bar soap, not liquid. Whatever you use, it should be gentle, and don't scrub your skin... the whole point of this exercise is to hydrate and repair your epithelium...
While you are washing the movement and mist should loosen more mucous from the nose and throat.
Now it's time to do the real swabbing.
Do another quick pass around the mouth and teeth.
Then concentrate on the areas of predictable pathology. The salivary glands and throat...
The large salivary gland ducts empty into the mouth in two places: from the cheek near the upper molars, and under the tongue. It's important to keep the openings clean, we tend to make more calcium in our saliva and it clogs things up.
The top ones are easy to wipe, just rub the swab on the outside of the upper teeth, clean out that “corner” along the cheek and gums, and continue behind the molars.
The lower ones will make you gag- that's a really good thing though, that motion is the best way to clear any goop stuck in your throat crevices.
I take the swab and place it under the front of my tongue and push it back inside the teeth under one side all the way back to the throat and then pull it out. The first part cleans the duct openings and triggers the gag reflex, the last part catches the goop that is deposited in the throat from the reflex.
Then I repeat on the other side, etc.
By this time, any gunk that may have been down in your lungs will be trying to get out...
Bend over, cough and then swab out the back of your throat while your mouth is pointed down.
Coughing and hacking and spitting are not enough to clear mucous from the lungs- mucous is filamentous and anchors itself where it starts- it will just hang on and slide back down. You have to catch the end of the snot and pull it out like a booger. Luckily, the spongy stuff seems to grab it like velcro, you just have to touch it to the slime. (Sorry for being gross, that's just the most accurate way to describe it...)
Stand up and rinse out your mouth. (and probably gag and cry and blow out more snot.)
Now your head should be soaked, so rinse your hair and body and you're done.
Use saline on a q-tip to remove any debris left in the nostrils.
Moisturize skin- I currently use a 1:1:1 mixture of aloe gel, olive oil and water on my skin after a shower. I like it a lot. I heal much better. Don't seem to sunburn easily anymore. I also use Gold Bond Diabetics skin cream on really dry spots too. It holds in the moisture real well.
Check for wounds. Treat cuts and scrapes with lidocaine cream. It seems to accelerate healing.
Brush teeth. Most of your mouth should already be clean. Just brush the tooth surfaces, and coat your mouth with olive oil afterwards.
Most commercial beauty/bathing products are terrible for your skin. They contain chemicals that are cheap and easy to produce, not actually beneficial for health.
I mention a few things, but I have no illusions they will work for everyone. Do some experiments, figure out what works for you.
Avoid sulfates and antibacterial ingredients, they just dry you out.
Mouth Swabs- I tried a number of them, I like these the best.
I use two kinds of saline- Simply Saline comes in a spray can, it shoots a stream of water. It's good for washing sinuses.
I also use a regular spray mist bottle with NeilMed solution. It sprays the nostrils better.
Saline should not contain benzalkonium chloride. It shuts down the immune response. I find the ones with baking soda in them to be quite soothing.
Get 100% aloe gel from the health food store, the sunburn gel at the
drugstore is adulterated with water, anesthetic and thickeners.
My problem with bathing seems to be getting in the shower in the first place.
I have found that if I make myself a hot steamy washcloth and clean my face and hands, it is much easier to get motivated. It breaks the magic spell of dehydration or something.
I believe I have found a way to drain the parotid gland.
I put an "end tuft toothbrush" in my shower to do this with the rest of the routine. The spongy swabs do not seem to be strong enough for this procedure.
The parotid salivary gland is located behind your molars and in front of your ear.
The duct runs down along your upper jaw and drains out of the cheek outside the upper molars.
I have found that you need to trigger it on the inside of the teeth though.
I take the back of the little toothbrush and push against the jaw above
the rear molar. I can't describe it exactly, but it's up there where
the tooth roots are. It seems more obvious when it is inflamed, but I usually have to try a couple different places.
There's a spot up there that if you push and HOLD for a couple seconds
it will activate the draining sequence. It's sort of like a
windshield washer unit- If you push and hold it, a second or so later
it will pump a few times and then drain into your mouth. Then you want
to use the swab. Ha.