With the winter months coming slowly to an end and temperatures changing from mild(ish) to cold on an almost daily basis, it’s almost impossible to avoid catching a cold or becoming stuffy at the moment.
One major symptom that’s well-known for being difficult to deal with is sinus pressure, or chronic sinusitis. This is generally caused by the lining of your sinuses becoming swollen, an infection, or growths in your sinus called nasal polyps.
The traditional Chinese medicine technique of acupressure - which is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture - helps find specific points on your body to balance your life energy, or qi. If you imagine your body as a fully-wired house, but the wires carry energy instead of electricity, acupressure can help unblock or rebalance the qi flowing through you.
Acupressure is also an amazing way of finding sinus pressure points to help you ease the congestion in your face and soothe the stuffiness and headaches that come with it.
Although there are many medicines and nasal sprays available that can help with sinusitis, they sometimes cause unnecessary side-effects. Natural remedies like Trikatu are known to prevent nasal problems and support a healthy respiratory system. But if you’re looking to use an alternative method, you can always try and find the pressure points that will relieve you.
How to clear your sinuses using pressure points
This is the technique that may help you to improve your blood flow, relax your muscles and help mucus drain from your sinuses.
Here are the recommended steps for beginners in acupressure:
- Use a mirror to find your facial pressure points
- Once you’ve located your pressure point, close your eyes, relax your body and breathe deeply
- Press your pressure point firmly with your finger or with a thin, blunt object like the rubber end of a pencil
- Move your finger in circles, or up and down for three to five minutes, remember to use deep and firm pressure
- Remember that some points may be more sensitive than others, this is normal. Just adjust the pressure so that it’s less painful for you, but still strong enough to help
- Repeat throughout the day for as many days as you need
In acupressure each sinus pressure point is given a code name so that the professionals can find them easily. Acupuncturists use the measurement term ‘cun’ - “body’s inch” - which is roughly the distance between the two joints of your middle finger, to help find specific points on your face and body.
LI19 - This point refers to the point halfway between the bottom of your nostril and your lip. Rubbing it can help you ease jaw disorders, facial muscle paralysis and nasal swelling.
LI20 - The large intestine 20 point can be found around 0.5 cun to the side of the groove of your nostril on both sides of your nose. This pressure point can be rubbed to help with nasal and facial swelling.
ST3 - Find this in the mirror by moving your finger horizontally from the base of your nose outwards until it’s level with your pupil when your eyes are facing forward. Rubbing this for a few minutes can help with sinus and dental pain.
BL2 - Slide your fingers into the groove between your eyebrows and your nose. You’ll be able to feel the firmness of the brow bone and help relieve the pressure around your eyes.
GV24.5 - Better known as the Yintang or third eye point because of its location in the middle of your eyebrows. Rub the area just above where your forehead connects to your nose and press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth. This helps drain mucus from your nose and relieves headache pain.
SI18 - Place your finger on the outside of your eye and move it down until you feel the bottom part of your cheekbone, level with the outer edge of your nose. This pressure point is for relieving swollen sinuses and helps with your runny nose.
GV23 - For general headaches, find this pressure point on the top of your forehead. It’s around 1 cun behind your hairline.
LI4 - Found on the back of your hand, simply rub the muscle between your thumb and index finger to help soothe headaches and facial pain which come with swollen sinuses. It can also help with relaxing tense muscles and encourages healthy bowel movements.
ST40 - This one is a little more difficult to find but is definitely worth it. Sit on a chair and wrap your fingers around the middle of your shin, then use your thumb to press into your shin bone. Slide it two inches off the bone into your muscle and press it in to relieve sinus pain.
GB20 - The wind pool pressure points are on the back of your head. Place both your thumbs in the groove of your neck where it meets your head, press into this point to help relieve headaches and watery eyes. Rubbing this point can sometimes also help with migraines.
Liv3 - Sit down to find this pressure point which helps relieve headaches and pain around your eyes. Place your finger between your big toe and index toe, before sliding it up around 1 cun up your foot to find the point. You can press both feet at the same time if needed. This is generally seen as one of the biggest stress-relieving pressure points on your body.
LU9 - This pressure point can help you with throat symptoms that come from congestion as it’s linked to your lungs. Hold your hand upwards, place your finger into the crease where your hand and press the point directly below your thumb. Switch hands, and repeat.
- LU5 - Hold your arm outwards and stretch with your palms facing up and find a crease on the thumb side of your inner elbow. Press on the area where your forearm dips to help with a runny nose and nasal pain.