Monday, June 18, 2007

How to perform a proper Farmer Blow

You've probably seen someone do it, or heard of someone that's tried it. Maybe even tried it yourself. Sometimes it's unavoidable. But there's a right way and wrong way. Dr Cameron Peterson tells us how.

Air Hanky
How to perform a proper Farmer Blow
By Cameron Peterson M.D

Definition: Strategically clearing the nasal passage without the use of tissues, sleeves or other wiping equipment.

The following steps, with practice, will take only seconds, can be done in stride, and will result in maximum airflow through the nasal passage, enhancing your running efficiency. An effective farmer blow will make you look like a pro, while a blow gone bad will make a mess of your face, clothes and reputation.

Ensure the area is clear of runners, hikers, pets and law-enforcement officials. A five-foot diameter is recommended. Take a deep breath.

In stride, as your right hand comes forward, place your index finger firmly against your right nostril, completely occluding the nasal passage. Simultaneously rotate your torso to the left, and lean over slightly, clearing the left shoulder from any nasal shrapnel. Close your mouth tightly, and raise the back of your tongue against the back of your hard palate to prevent air escaping. Failing to do so will cause a decrease in pressure behind the mucous in the nasal passage, which may result in the disastrous half-farmer blow. With maximum effort, rapidly and forcefully exhale out your left nostril. This will clear the majority of obstruction whether it is thick, thin or any viscosity between.

A small post-blow wipe may be necessary, but with proper technique, the amount of dribbling discharge will be minimal. For clearance of the right nasal passage, repeat the above steps replacing lefts for rights and vice versa. You'll know if you screw up.

Cameron Peterson M.D. is an intern at the University of Utah and manages, a new website where runners can post their times to some non-technical summits throughout the U.S.

This article appeared in Trail Runner magazine, issue #35 (SEPTEMBER 2005).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw this post awhile ago on the trail runner magazine website and had to laugh to myself. I personally don't do this and would hate to be the receiver of an improper farmer blow ;-).