The sinuses are air-filled spaces in the bones of the skull that can become congested after a cold, or from chronic inflammation. Sinus congestion can cause intense facial pain, headaches and difficulty breathing and can be difficult to resolve with conventional treatments. Acupuncture offers relief from sinus pain by increasing the circulation of energy around the face and help to drain excess mucous.
Treatment involves the insertion of acupuncture needles around the forehead, eyebrows and cheekbones to bring immediate relief from the pain of sinus congestion. Other points in the body are used to prevent the further production of mucous. In cases of chronic sinus congestion, herbal remedies can also be used to help break down phlegm and provide pain relief.
As well as acupuncture treatments, there are a few home remedies you can try to relieve sinus pain.
Inhaling essential oils can help to open up the nasal passages and provide relief from congestion. Use a bowl of hot water and a few drops of essential oil. Pop your face over the bowl, cover with a towel and steam for 5 to 10 minutes. You could also try a migraine roll-on from a chemist, a mix of essential oils with a roll on applicator. Apply to your temples, the pulse points on your wrist and the back of your neck.
Sinus washing with a Neti Pot
A neti pot is a small teapot-like device, to flush dust, dirt, pollen and bacteria-filled mucus from the sinuses. You must use a warm saline solution (¼ teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 cup of warmed boiled water) –plain tap water can contain organisms that can exacerbate the infection.
Fill your neti pot (available from health food stores) with warm saline solution. Over a sink, tilt your head to one side and place the spout of the neti pot in the upper nostril.
Gently pour the solution into the nostril. Keep your mouth open and breathe normally. The solution will flow out through the other nostril. Continue until the pot is empty.
Gently blow your nose. Repeat with the other nostril. Use the neti pot a few times a day in cases of severe pain and congestion.