Sinuses are a common problem for many people. They get stuffed up with mucus that can make breathing difficult and lead to headaches.
There are several pressure points on the body that you can stimulate to help relieve sinus pressure. In this article, I'll share with you the most effective ones to use acupressure on.
If you suffer from sinus problems, then you'll find these pressure point techniques very helpful.
What and Where are Your Sinuses?
Sinuses are four air-filled cavities in your skull. The sinuses act as filters, helping to keep out bacteria and other foreign particles. Sinuses make a thin mucus that helps protect against infection and drains out through the nasal cavity.
They are in the cheeks, eyes, forehead, and nasal bones.
- The frontal sinuses are the largest ones and are located behind the forehead.
- The maxillary sinuses are next, and they're above the cheekbones.
- The ethmoid sinuses which are between the nose and eye sockets.
- The sphenoidal sinuses are found behind the eyes.
When they become blocked or infected, sinus congestion and infections can occur. These infections often cause pain, fever, headache, fatigue, coughing, runny nose, and stuffy nose.
How to Do Acupressure for Your Sinus Problems
Acupressure can offer relief from sinus problems by stimulating certain pressure points on your body.
The process of applying firm pressure and gentle massage on the various pressure points is easy. Many of the acupressure points are easily accessible. For ones that aren't as easy to apply pressure to in a comfortable position, you should find someone else to assist.
Applying gentle pressure and massage a few times throughout the day can help relieve sinus issues.
Follow these steps for stimulating the pressure points below:
- Use your thumb or 1-2 fingers on each point. The index and middle fingers (2nd and 3rd fingers) are the most frequently used fingers. They offer the most leverage when applying pressure.
- Apply pressure for 5 seconds on the point. Take slow, deep breaths while pressing.
- Gently massage the point in a circular motion for 2 minutes.
- For each pressure point, repeat the pressure and massage cycle 5 times.
Where are the Sinus Pressure Points?
These are the optimal pressure points on your body for sinus pressure relief.
1. Governor Vessel 24.5 (GV 24.5) - Yintang or The Third Eye
The GV 24.5 pressure point is located in the middle of your two eyebrows. This is one of the most popular pressure points when it comes to sinus pressure and headaches.
Stimulating this acupoint will also offer relief for anxiety, stress, restlessness, and eyestrain.
2. Bladder 2 (B 2) - Cuanzhu or Bamboo Gathering
The B 2 pressure point is on the inner edge of the eyebrows by the center of the forehead.
Applying pressure here will provide sinus pressure relief, along with sinus congestion and headaches. You will also get relief from red, itchy, and watery eyes due to seasonal allergies.
3. Large Intestine 20 (LI 20) - Yingxiang or Welcome Fragrance
The LI 20 point is found on the side of your nostrils. It's located where the nostril meets the upper lip.
This pressure point offers relief for sinus pressure, sinusitis, nasal congestion, nasal polyps, and rhinitis.
4. Large Intestine 19 (LI 19) - Kou Heliao or Grain Bone Hole
The LI 19 pressure point is located right below the nostril on the upper lip.
Stimulating this point will give nasal congestion relief and open the nasal passages.
5. Stomach 3 (ST 3) - Juliao or Great Crevice
The ST 3 acupressure point is directly below the eye pupil and horizontally in line with the bottom of the nostril.
Applying pressure here will relieve sinus pain, eyelid twitching, facial paralysis, and lip and cheek swelling.
6. Small Intestine 18 (SI 18) - Quanliao or Cheekbone Crevice
The SI 18 pressure point can be found by drawing a line from the outside corner of your eye down to the hollow area of your cheekbone.
Stimulating the point here will help relieve sinus congestion and pain, along with toothaches.
7. Gallbladder 20 (GB 20) - Fengchi or Wind Pool
The GB 20 pressure point is located where the base of your skull and top of your neck meet.
Applying pressure here will help to reduce respiratory symptoms, headaches, and coughing. It will also help to relax the mind, reduce stress, relieve insomnia, and neck pain and stiffness.
Here's the easiest way to apply pressure to these pressure points by yourself:
- With your palms facing yourself, interlock the fingers and clasp your hands together to form a cup shape.
- Bring the cup shape over your head and rest your palms against the back of your head. Your thumbs will be free to apply pressure and massage the GB 20 points.
- When massaging, you can choose to massage up-and-down, instead of circular movements for these areas.
8. Lung 5 (LU 5) - Chize or Cubit Marsh
The LU 5 acupressure point is on the inside elbow crease and one finger width to the outside. Flex your elbow slightly when applying pressure.
Stimulation of the point will help to clear sinus congestion and relieve sinus pressure. That will also help to relieve sinus pain, sore throat, asthma, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
9. Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) - Hegu or Union Valley
The LI 4 pressure point is found on the groove between the thumb and index finger on the back of your hand.
Pressure on this point will help relieve sinus pain, headaches, anxiety, and neck pain relief. It's also a good point to stimulate before going to sleep.
10. Lung 9 (LU 9) - Taiyuan or Great Abyss
The LU 9 acupressure point is located on the inside of both wrists below the thumb.
Stimulating this point will offer relief from a sinus infection, cold, headache, coughing asthma, and wrist pain.
11. Liver 3 (LV 3) - Taichong or Great Surge
The LV 3 pressure point is commonly used and is located at the top of both feet. They're found two finger widths down in the gap between the big toe and the second toe.
This point can help relieve pain around the eye, headaches, nausea, abdominal distention, and weakness and leg pain.
When to See a Doctor
Acupressure can offer temporary relief for milder sinus and nasal symptoms, but more severe and longer-lasting conditions should be seen by a doctor.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, see your doctor:
- High fever, swelling, or other signs of an infection.
- Constant pain around the eyes, nose, or forehead.
- Stuffy nose and difficulty breathing.
- Sinus problems that last more than four weeks.
- A cough that lasts more than a couple of weeks.
If you have significant trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician right away or head to the emergency room.
Sinus Pressure Points FAQs
Does Sinus Pressure Point Stimulation Work?
There is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of acupressure for sinus symptoms. One review of four different studies showed inconclusive results when it came to acupressure relieving symptoms of nasal inflammation and stuffiness.
A small acupuncture study in 2009 found significant improvements in nasal congestion and symptoms compared to the placebo control group.
There are also many anecdotes about people who swear by the benefits of acupressure. But there have not been many large studies of acupressure's efficacy.
Can You Do Acupressure for Allergies?
Yes, acupressure therapy can offer relief from allergy symptoms. There are a number of pressure points for allergies on the face that will offer relief from itchy, watery eyes and sinus congestion. Acupressure can offer allergy relief, as well as help to prevent seasonal allergies.
Is Heat or Cold Better for Sinus Pressure?
Heat is better for sinus pressure and opening up the sinuses. You will often feel better after taking a hot shower due to the steam and increased humidity. Steam helps open up blocked sinuses and clear out mucus. You can also use a warm compress or heating pad to open up the sinuses, relieve sinus pain and pressure, and ease swelling.
Can You Use Acupressure for Kids?
Acupressure offers an easy way to help kids with their health issues without having them take drugs or going through traditional medicine. Acupressure is safe, noninvasive, and effective. It can be performed at almost any time, including while massaging, bathing, or nursing. When applying pressure on kids, be sure that you are gentle, and avoid pressing and massaging too hard.