Sinus Massage- A way to drain sinuses with massage
Are your sinuses congested? Plugged up? Severe pressure in your cheeks or forehead? Does it hurt to bend over? Do your teeth hurt? These can all be signs of congested sinuses. Sinus congestion occurs when the sinus passageways become plugged up with mucus. This can occur from viruses, bacteria, allergens, and fungus/yeast. A buildup occurs and then the mucus build up causes inflammation which leads to pain, pressure, and other symptoms. Wouldn’t it be nice to drain sinus pressure? Well you can help drain sinuses with massage.
Sinus Massage- The Theory
Sinus massage can be utilized to help promote sinus drainage. Theory is to massage the mucus toward our natural openings to help faciltate drainage. The sinuses are open cavities and when mucus builds up symptoms occur. Massage with pressure across the sinuses toward the openings and then more drainage occurs and then the mucus cannot sit, causing symptoms. Drain sinuses with massage. Push the mucus out of the sinuses.
Drain Sinus Pressure- How to Massage it Out
To perform sinus massage:
1. Start at the top of the head- frontal sinuses. Press down as tolerated and push down toward the nasal bridge.use both hands going from the top and then start moving down each side of forehead going from outside towards the center of forehead and down towards nose. See image below.
2. Maxillary sinuses. Start at outside and push towards upper part of nose- this is where meeting takes place between sinus cavity and nasal cavity. If really congested turn your head to one side to use gravity as well and perform the massage on one side at a time. The sinus cavity goes down a little into cheeks so tilting the head can help with gravitational pooling.
3. Aid sinus massage. Increase your results from sinus massage by applying a warm pack to the sinus cavities prior to performing it. The warmth and moisture can help facilitate drainage. Or for best results stand in the shower with it running on the sinus cavities and then perform sinus massage. The combination of heat, moist air, and shower massage really can help break up the mucus. During my worse sinus infections I did this 2-3 times a day.
Blow your nose very gently after performing massage. Blowing really hard can sometimes put too much pressure and push mucus further into sinus cavities.
Other Treatments for Sinus Congestion
There are many other treatments that can be utilized for sinus congestion. Here are some favorites
1. Water. Push fluids. This is recommended so often. Well, when more water is consumed the mucus is more fluid. When less water is consumed or we become dehydrated the mucus becomes thick and doesn’t drain as well. Ever notice how congested one might feel in the morning, but then as the day goes on it starts to clear. For illness I prefer warm water, add lemon if you dislike plain water. Honey if you have a cough as well. Tea is also beneficial due to antioxidants and coffee can be as well.
If not well hydrated the mucus is thicker making sinus massage less effective. When well hydrated the mucus is easier to push through the passage and use gravity. I try to drink a gallon of fluid a day (80-90 ounces water+tea/black coffee) when I have sinus pressure. But always ask your health care provider and definitely do not consume that much if on a fluid restriction. Also, spread it out through the day, keep the kidneys happy, hydrated, and not overloaded.
2. Nasal saline spray/rinse. In a sense this is similar to washing hands. Washing out the sinus passageway so microorganisms are cleared. Saline (salt solution or sodium) also helps to kill some microorganisms and create an environment where organisms cannot grow and replicate. Pointer- always disinfect rinse bottle/kit or whatever using. Wash hands before and after.
3. Intra-nasal steroids. Intranasal steroids work topically on the nasal passage to decrease the swelling and inflammation. This can help relieve nasal drainage, pressure, and congestion. Daily use is not recommended, but during an episode of congestion, cold symptoms, or allergies this can be really helpful for symptom relief. Fluticasone is a popular one and available over the counter (OTC).
4. Guaifenesin. Guaifenesin is an expectorant. This can help mucus move through the sinus passageways. Also helps promote getting mucus out of the lungs if you have a cough. Often relieves much of the pressure when mucus moves out. This is also OTC.
5. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS). NSAIDS are anti-inflammatory medications so they can help to decrease the inflammation in the sinuses, so helps with the pain and pressure symptoms. OTC medications in this group include Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Aspirin, and Naproxen (Aleve). It is important not to mix these. Herbal options that have similar effects include turmeric, ginger, and ginseng these can be found as supplements, but also bought in whole foods at grocery stores (Ginger and ginseng root) or in the spice section and used to flavor your cooking. Ginger tea is nice with sinus congestion- fluid boost and anti-inflammatory effect.
6. Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. This may sound odd, but sugar and artificial sweeteners have been linked to increased inflammation. Sugar also provides energy for bacteria to grow along with creating a pleasant environment for othe microorganism overgrowth. Artificial sweeteners contribute to inflammation and the body doesn’t really know how to process them. When ill with cold, flu, or infection symptoms don’t add the extras. Utilize spices such as cinnamon, ginger, oregano, or whatever your favorite is to add some flavor. If you really need sweet reccomendation is real honey or real maple syrup.
7. Eat vegetables. Vegetables are full of nutrients that help promote our body to work well. in general we should eat 5 servings of fruits/vegetables every day, but when ill it is super important to get these nutrients and give our immune systems some aid. Nourish our bodies.
8. Eat lean protein and healthy fat. Similar to eating our vegetables, consuming lean protein and healthy fat help nourish our bodies so they can work better and heal better.
***It is beneficial to talk with your health care provider or pharmacist before trying OTC medications and do not use if you have an allergy or take a medication that is contradicted with them. It is important to stay informed on your health.
If you perform all of the above treatments for 2 weeks and you are not improving, you may need antibiotics, steroids, or a different treatment. Most sinus congestion is caused by viruses and allergies which antibiotics do not help. Much sinus congestion caused by bacteria can be relieved with the above measures and a person with a healthy immune system can overcome the bacterial infection without antibiotics as well. If concerned or have questions, contact your health care provider.
Sinus Massager- You too, Can Do
Honestly, sinus congestion is awful. It can make our days awful. Sinus congestion can affect our eyes, ears, head, throat, and whole body. The build up of mucus that can accumulate can be diminished. Sinus Massage is simple, helpful, and FREE! Wow!
Why not drain sinus pressure? A simple act that only takes a couple minutes and helps take away pressure and pain. Perform sinus massage and help aid your body in the healing process. Be a sinus massager.
Along with so many other options to help with sinus congestion I hope this article was informative and can help you in your fight against sinus congestion. Drain sinus pressure, be a sinus massager! Find some relief!