How to give yourself a sinus massage
Do you suffer from chronic sinusitis?
If like me you suffer from chronic sinusitis you will understand how the constant pain, fatigue and headaches can interrupt your normal day to day life.
I have found that giving myself regular sinus massages is a really quick and effective way to relieve the pain, reduce my headaches and help me get on with my day.
Even better, it's a medication free alternative to helping you reduce the pain and congestion associated with sinusitis.
What is chronic sinusitis?
The sinuses are air filled spaces within the the bones and structures of your face. These spaces are lined with cells that produce mucous. This mucous helps prevent your nose from drying out as well as helping to trap any bacteria or harmful bodies that you breathe in. Normally the mucous helps these drain back out through your nose but as we all know sometimes this system goes wrong and we get blocked sinuses. This can be caused by a number of things, such as,
Bacteria which can cause damage to the lining of the nose, as well as inflammation, which blocks the natural drainage channels.
Allergies (dust, pollen, pets) which also cause inflammation and block the drainage channels
Nasal polyps which can cause a blockage of the channels
This creates the ideal environment for mucous to build up and increase the pressure in these cavities within your face. The increased pressure leads to localized pain around the face, headaches and a feeling of a stuffed nose.
How can massage help?
Giving yourself a sinus massage will help break up the congested mucous within your sinus cavities. It does this by creating both pressure and warmth which act to loosen the mucous trapped in the sinus areas.
The massage also stimulates the natural drainage mechanism, as well as increasing circulation within your sinuses, so that the loosened mucous will find it easier to drain away.
This reduces the congestion and pressure within your sinuses which will lead to a headache and pain free day!
Sinus pressure points
There are four pressure points on the face which relate to the four main sinus cavities in your face. When you give yourself a sinus massage it is in these areas that you focus your massage.
FRONTAL SINUSES - These are situated above your eyebrows. Their pressure area is the spot between the brows and extends to approximately the middle of the eyebrow.
ETHMOID SINUSES - These are located between the eyes and above the nose. Their pressure area for massage is on each side of the bridge of the nose. If you wear glasses you will find the area where the glasses rest on the side of your nose.
MAXILLARY SINUSES - These are in the front part of your cheekbones.
SPHENOID SINUSES - These are found between the upper part of your nose and behind your eyes. Their pressure point for massage is on either side of your head above and slightly forward of your ears as well as behind the earlobes.
How to massage?
You can easily give yourself a massage by using your thumb or index fingers and rubbing in small circles on each of the pressure areas described above. I normally do this 10 times in each area. For example-
FRONTAL SINUSES - Massage small circles with your index finger in the spot between your eyebrows and slowly move outwards towards the temples. Do this ten times.
ETHMOID SINUSES - With your index fingers apply pressure on each side of the bridge of the nose and make small circular movements upwards towards the top of the nose. Do this ten times.
MAXILLARY SINUSES - Press downwards on the cheek, with your index fingers, just outside the nostrils. Make small circular movements whilst moving along the cheek bone towards the ears. Do this ten times.
SPHENOID SINUSES - Place your index fingers behind the earlobes and rub up and down on each side. Do this ten times.
Obviously this is a guide and through practice you will discover which areas you feel you need to focus on as well as how long you need to massage.
When massaging you will often find areas which are sore. These sore areas are often places which are more congested and need a little attention. However, it is important to remember that if you begin to feel too much pain or discomfort that you do not apply too much pressure. It is about finding the right balance and a method which works for you.
Other things that can help
Make sure that you drink plenty of water as this will help reduce the congestion by ensuring that the mucous in your nose is made as liquid as possible to slide through those drainage channels. It may seem a small thing to worry about when you are in so much pain but every little helps.
I find that giving myself a steam inhalation before as well as after the massage also helps loosen the congestion. I usually use the age old method of a head under a blanket and over a bowl of hot water. Salt added to the water is also a good addition to help loosen the congestion as the salt has natural anti - bacterial properties.
Make sure you are in regular contact with your doctor as they will recommend additional treatments that you may need and investigate the causes of your problems. Natural treatments, such as massage, are only ever an addition to good quality medical intervention.