Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article
Although nasal allergies are called allergic rhinitis in Western medicine, in the field of Chinese medicine, they are termed "nasal diseases". Whenever the weather changes, especially during the transition between winter and spring, outbreaks occur. Many allergy sufferers worldwide struggle with the temperature fluctuations associated with seasonal transitions, often experiencing symptoms such as sinus congestion, itching in the nose and eyes, frequent sneezing, and clear nasal discharge.
Nasal allergies often flare up with seasonal changes, and when they do, they tend to come in bursts, with conditions recurring. The severity can be determined based on the symptoms presented. Severe cases will have constant nasal congestion and itchiness. When it's severe, sneezing can occur six or seven times in a row, especially severe in the early morning after waking up. Some patients also experience itchy eyes, watery eyes, headaches, and even facial swelling.
There are often clear triggers for these flare-ups, including dust from bed linens in the morning or entering air-conditioned spaces. Fatigue and emotional stress can also exacerbate the condition. Western doctors often observe that the nasal mucosa of patients is purplish-blue, and tests of secretions reveal elevated eosinophils. Some patients allergic to pollen (hay fever) are also categorized under nasal allergies. Unchecked this can lead to sinus infection.
Causes of Sinus Issues from Chinese Medicine Perspective
Chinese medicine associates nasal allergies primarily with weak lung qi, spleen dampness, and other physical constitutions. Chinese medicine practitioners ibelieve that the nose is the orifice of the lungs, implying nasal conditions are somewhat related to the lungs. Therefore, treatments for nasal allergies mainly aim to invigorate and channel the lung's qi.
In the theory of the five elements in Chinese medicine, there's a mutual generating relationship between the lungs and the spleen. This relationship is epitomized in the treatment approach "nourishing the earth (spleen) to generate metal (lungs)". Hence, treatments for nasal allergies in Chinese medicine often focus on both the lung and spleen organs simultaneously. Older patients, or those who exhibit symptoms like breathlessness and fear of cold, display signs of kidney yang qi deficiency. This is because, in Chinese medicine, it's believed that the "lungs govern qi, and kidneys receive qi". For smooth breathing, the normal functioning of the lungs, spleen, and kidneys is crucial.
How to clear sinuses with pressure points?
To clear sinuses with pressure points, there are acupressure techniques that you can try at home to manage your nasal allergies. Acupressure involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and release sinus pressure. Here are a few sinus acupressure points to consider:
Pressure Point for Runny Nose: Fragrance Acupressure Point (迎香 - Yíng Xiāng)
One of the key acupoints for treating nasal conditions is the Ying Xiang point, also known as Welcome Fragrance. This acupressure point is located on both sides of the nose, at the bottom of the nostrils, in the groove of the cheek that appears when you smile. By applying pressure to this point, you can experience a range of benefits including:
- Alleviating swollen and painful lips
- Relieving nasal congestion and runny nose
- Improving reduced sense of smell
- Treating runny nose
- Enhancing immune function of the nasal mucosa
The Ying Xiang acupoint is also connected to the Stomach meridian, which is responsible for qi and blood production. By stimulating this point, you can replenish your qi, stimulate your appetite, and boost your immune system to prevent colds. So the next time you're dealing with a stuffy nose, give the Ying Xiang acupoint a try. Your sinuses will thank you!
Pressure Point for Congestion: Seal Hall Acupressure Point (印堂 - Yìn Táng)
Another powerful acupressure point for sinus relief is the Yìn Táng point, also known as the Hall of Impression or Seal Hall. This point is located in the middle of the inside ends of both eyebrows. To stimulate this point, simply use the pads of your index finger and middle finger to rub for 1 to 3 minutes.
By targeting Yìn Táng, you can experience relief from various nasal conditions, including nasal congestion, headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, runny nose, and wheezing caused by chronic rhinitis or nasal polyps. So the next time you're dealing with a stubborn stuffy nose, give the Yìn Táng a gentle rub and feel the congestion melt away.
Sinus Pressure Points on Hands
On the hands are also several trigger points for sinus relief that can be targeted.
Broken Sequence Acupressure Point (列缺 - Lie Que)
Lieque is a point on the body that can help with problems like coughs, toothaches, long-term chest colds, weakness on one side of the body, arm pain and numbness, neck pain, and nose issues. Massaging this point can also help when you have joint pain or when old pains come back as the seasons change
To find Lieque, Extend your arm out in front of you with the palm facing upwards. Look for the transverse crease of the wrist. This is the line where your hand meets your forearm. From this wrist crease, measure 1.5 inches up your forearm. You can use a ruler or estimate using your fingers. On this part of your forearm, you'll notice two tendons that become prominent when you move your thumb. These are the tendons of the short extensor muscle and the long abductor muscle of the thumb. Between these two tendons, there's a small depression or groove. This is especially noticeable when you move or flex your thumb.
Once you've found this groove, use the tip of your thumb to press on this spot. Gradually increase the pressure as you massage. It's said that this point is beneficial for various ailments when pressed and massaged for around 2 minutes.
Reflexology Points on Foot for Sinus Relief
Below are some foot reflexology points for sinus relief.
Bubbling Spring Acupressure Point (湧泉 - Yong Quan)
Pressing the Yongquan point can help reduce an itchy nose, lessen sneezing, clear up a runny nose especially in the morning and evening, warm up cold hands and feet, and ease pain in the lower back and knees.
Sit down comfortably and place your foot in front of you. Strongly curl or flex your toes towards the sole of your foot. This action will create a noticeable depression in the center of the foot's sole. On the sole of your foot, find the area between the 2nd and 3rd toes. Specifically, you're looking for the base of these toes, where they connect to the foot. From the base of the 2nd and 3rd toes, imagine a straight line extending towards the heel of your foot.In your mind, or if it helps, with a non-permanent marker, divide this line into three equal parts.
Locate the Yongquan Point: The Yongquan acupoint is found at the first division, or one-third of the distance from the base of the toes towards the heel. This is where the depression is most noticeable when you curl your toes.
Dietary Suggestions for Sinus Inflammation
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, persistent sinus inflammation can be seen as a sign of accumulated dampness in the body. This is often caused by an overtaxed digestive system or the consumption of foods that the body struggles to break down properly. To help alleviate sinus inflammation from a TCM perspective, it is recommended to:
- Eliminate dairy, greasy foods, and refined sugar from your diet
- Limit your intake of raw vegetables and opt for cooked vegetables instead
By making these dietary adjustments, you can help reduce the accumulation of dampness in the body and promote better sinus health. Remember, TCM takes a holistic approach to wellness, so taking care of your digestive system plays a crucial role in reducing sinus inflammation.
How to Massage Sinus Pressure Points?
To massage the sinus pressure points, choose a tranquil space where you can be at ease before delving into acupressure. Ground yourself with a few deep breaths to achieve a peaceful state of mind. It's crucial to use sanitized hands, particularly if there are any cuts or open sores, to avoid potential infections. For optimal results from this holistic approach, regularity in your acupressure sessions is vital. Use firm pressure, 7/10, in circular motion to massage the sinus pressure points. Read more tips on how to do acupressure.
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