Massage Relieves Sinus Congestion: Truth Or Myth?

Stuffy Sinuses Are The Worst!

It’s Sunday night and you’re all but ready to hit the sheets, but before you do, something doesn’t quite feel right. Your throat feels a little itchy and yucky, so you head down to your medicine cabinet and pop a cap of some Nyquil cough syrup. “That should take care of it!” is what you think as you tuck yourself in for the night.

Morning comes by and you feel like you’ve been hit by a ten ton bus!

Your throat is throbbing, your nose running, and your sinuses congested! It’s 7 AM on a Monday now and you got that important meeting at 9 which you can’t afford to miss. So half asleep and half dead you waltz over to the bathroom to commence the repair process. It’s then when you realize how much it sucks to not be able to breathe properly!

What's Your "Sick Face" Look Like?
What’s Your “Sick Face” Look Like?


Colds Are Awful But…..

Colds are awful, but the stuffy sinuses that tend to linger on are much more annoying if you ask me. As a sufferer of nasal polyps, I can tell you my sinuses are stuffier than most people will ever have to deal with in a lifetime!

I’ve gone through a ton of medication and treatments, and 90% of them have all failed (and that too miserably!). Name it and I’ve tried it: oral steroid sprays, nasal rinses, laser surgery, extraction surgery, and the list goes on.

I’ve yet to find a permanent solution to my problem, but I have found massage to be somewhat relieving!

I’ve learned to live with the fact that stuffy sinuses are probably gonna be with me for life. At the same time I know I can proactively find temporary relief by doing certain things. Sinus massage is one such thing!


What Is Sinus Massage? How Does It Work & More Importantly Does It Relieve Sinus Congestion?

Before we even start to talk about whether massage can relieve your sinuses, what are sinuses anyways!? Most people are confused and think sinuses are only something people with allergies or colds have.

In layman terms, sinuses are simply systems of empty pockets located in the skull. News flash: we all have sinuses!

According to WebMD, sinuses are a connected system of hollow cavities in the skull (Source: WebMD). Typically these “hollow pockets” should only be filled with air, but when you have a sinus infection they become inflamed and blocked and as a result they start to fill with fluids. It’s these blockages that are responsible for making you feel so crappy. It’s these blockages that make you feel like:

You got hit by a semi truck!
Your head is a balloon!
Your face is about to explode!

So it’s these blockages we should be concerned about when attempting to massage our sinuses. It then follows, sinus massage is the process of massaging (typically by pressuring and stroking) the blocked cavities in an attempt to drain any excess fluids. By draining excess fluids, one feels somewhat relieved!

“Will sinus massage give me permanent relief me from my congestion?”

Here’s the kicker. I know some people will disagree with this, but based on my personal experience, no sinus massage will not give you permanent relief from congestion. It’ll for sure give you some temporary relief, and that definitely makes it worthwhile!

Temporary Relief Is Better Than No Relief!
Temporary Relief Is Better Than No Relief!

It’s important to understand that sinus congestion is usually caused by something. That is, there’s an underlying cause that’s resulting in the congestion. This could be the common cold, the flu, certain allergies etc. My point is you should be focused on the root cause more than anything!


“What Is The Most Effective Way Of Massaging My Sinuses?”

There’s quite a few variations you can find online and on YouTube, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll only share a few examples. Before we dive into these examples, I think it’s important for you to know what your sinuses look like before massaging them!

Here's What Your Sinuses Look Like
Here’s What Your Sinuses Look Like (Merritt Island Walk In Clinic By Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos CC BY 2.0)

Think of the image above as a road-map. When you think of it this way, it’s easier to gauge where the sinuses are located on your face. Pause for a moment and visualize these sinuses on your own face. If you need to, stand in front of a mirror and try to locate the sinuses on your face using your fingers!

Option #1—Get A Sinus Adjustment!

If you can afford to, sinus chiropractic adjustments are well worth it. What is a sinus adjustment? The video below shows a demonstration of one (Video Credit: Dr. Joseph Cipriano DC).

Simple, straightforward, and takes less than 10 minutes. If you’re seriously stuffed up, this sort of treatment could work wonders! The only downside is what you’ll end up spending for it. I’ve never done one before so I wouldn’t know, but I’d definitely be interested to try it out!

If you’ve done a sinus adjustment previously, please leave a comment and share your experience with the rest of us!

Option #2—Try Out This Self Massage Technique!

There’s many of these variations you can find on YouTube, but this one from Rachel Richards Massage is one of my favorites. Plus it also helps that she’s a licensed massage therapist, so she probably knows what she’s talking about. In any case, check out the video below! (Video Credit: Rachel Richards Massage)

Notice how she works the sinuses both by stroking and applying pressure? I think that makes it twice as effective as some of the other self massage techniques. I’ve used Rachel’s method previously and I can say I’ve felt a huge difference with how congested I felt before/after!

Option #3—Focus On Massaging Specific Points!

In addition to the demonstration technique shown by Rachel Richards above, this one from Amber Lynn is also incredibly effective if done correctly. Check out the video below! (Video Credit: Amber Lynn Vitale)

Did you give it a try? Hard to believe something so simple can be so effective right!? Well that’s the beauty of massage. It’s got healing powers you can’t begin to imagine, and best of all….it’s completely natural!


A Quick Note About The Recommendations & Advice In This Post

The advice/recommendations in this post is in no ways a substitute for medical opinion from a professional. If you suffer from sinus congestion, you should always seek the advice of a trained medical professional before commencing any massage/self-healing regimen.

Everything presented in this post is purely informational, and should be treated as such!


Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment!

The 3 techniques presented above are good starting points for massaging the sinus cavities. If you follow them properly, you will see a noticeable difference in how congested you feel. Sure they may not be permanent fixes, but they give you some much needed relief for when you it’s most needed!

That being said, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat! It’s up to you to experiment and find the most effective way. And with that, I would say your well on your way to being congestion free!

If you enjoyed reading this post, please consider sharing on the social platforms. Lastly, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. See you soon!

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

2 thoughts on “Massage Relieves Sinus Congestion: Truth Or Myth?

  1. Thanks for this article! Just a question…a few days ago I saw a video on FB showing how to massage your sinuses to drain them. I did this and my face has been stuffed up and in pain every since. Coincidence or is this normal when you first start to do them?

    1. Lori, that’s definitely odd. Sinus massage is supposed to make things better not worse. Have you been to a doctor? If not, I think it might be worthwhile if the issue is still present. If you have had it looked at by a doctor, what did he/she say? I am curious to know! Take care Lori.

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