Content of the material
- Where are the sinuses located?
- Outlook / Prognosis
- How long do sinus headaches last?
- Massage Therapy and Pressure Points
- A) Face Reflexology
- B) Neck Reflexology
- Diagnosis and Tests
- How are sinus headaches diagnosed?
- What is acupressure, and how does it work?
- Best Headache Relief Pressure Points
- 1. Union Valley Pressure Point
- 2. The Third Eye Pressure Point
- 3. Bright Light Pressure Points
- 4. Welcome Fragrance Pressure Points
- 5. Neck Pressure Points
- 6. Feet Pressure Points
- Tips and Tricks for Sinus Pressure Relief
Where are the sinuses located?
The hollow spaces or cavities in the bones around the nose are known as sinuses. The sinuses are responsible for the production of mucus or fluid. The production of mucus is important to keep the nose moist and get rid of dust, allergens, and germs.
There are mainly four pair of sinuses that are connected to the nose-
- Inside the cheekbones on each side of the nose, also known as Maxillary sinuses
- Frontal sinuses are present about the eyes near the forehead
- Located between the eyes and the bridge of the nose, these sinuses are known as Ethmoid sinuses.
- Medically known as Sphenoid sinuses, these are present behind the eyes and around the upper nasal bone.
Outlook / Prognosis
How long do sinus headaches last?
Viruses cause most sinus infections. A viral sinus infection typically resolves on its own. Similar to how the common cold clears up by itself, your sinus headache should feel better within about a week. If it doesn’t go away, see your healthcare provider. You may have a bacterial or fungal sinus infection that requires medication.
Massage Therapy and Pressure Points
Massage therapy has been around, like Eastern medical practices, for a very long time (centuries) and can be used for headaches, back pain, stress, muscle strain or just to keep the body relaxed and feeling good.
Massage primarily focuses on relaxing muscles with pressure and actively triggering pressure points.
Pressure points are located all over the body and lie along lines or channels of energy that help to regulate the flow of energy through the body.
These are the same points used by acupuncturists and massage therapists.
When we have overused a muscle, often times we can work that muscle and find a spot that’s extra sore and if we gently apply pressure to it the spot tends to slowly ease.
These are similar to the pressure points being mentioned here.
Reflexology uses only points on the feet or hands that channel upwards to various parts of the body and, again, uses pressure.
What can you do with these points? Relieve the pain in your head with your own fingers! There are seven different pressure points commonly related to the head and headaches which will help you to relax as well.
A) Face Reflexology
1. Third-eye Pressure Point is located between your eyebrows. This commonly works well for tension headaches or those caused by eyestrain. Apply pressure with your index finger and gently massage for 60 seconds.
2. Facial Beauty Pressure Point can be used for sinus pressure and pain. These pressure points are next to each of your nostrils. Apply pressure on both points for 60 seconds.
3. Drilling Bamboo Pressure Points are found just below the start of your eyebrows at the bridge of your nose. You commonly see people who squeeze there when they have eyestrain and they are correct in the location as a relief point.
It also works for sinus pressure. For this point, you want to hold pressure for about 10 seconds then repeat 5-10 times.
4. Union Valley Pressure Point is located on the hand at the point between your thumb and index finger where it’s webbed. When pressure is applied correctly it can ease tension throughout the body.
Pinch the webbing using the fingers of your other hand for about 10 seconds followed by massaging small circles in one direction for 10 seconds then reverse directions for another 10 seconds. Switch hands and repeat again.
B) Neck Reflexology
1. Gates of Consciousness Pressure Point – is found on the back of your neck. When the right amount of pressure is applied it helps your neck relax which helps ease tension headaches in turn.
For this point place 2 fingers-index and middle fingers of each hand in the hollow space between the two neck muscles at the base of your skull. Apply firm, upward pressure equally for 10-15 seconds then let go. Repeat until you can feel the neck muscles start to relax.
2. Wind Mansion Pressure Point – is at the hollow spot under the base of your skull. This point is also used for tension headaches caused by tension and stiffness in the neck. Use your thumb to locate the hollow spot then apply pressure and maintain it for 60 seconds.
3. Shoulder Well Pressure Point – is located halfway between the neck and shoulder joint. If you place the palm of the opposite hand on your shoulder with the baby finger just at the top of the arm you should feel a small dip under your index finger.
This is the point you want. Apply firm, circular pressure to this point for at least 60 seconds. Then switch to the other side and repeat the entire process all over again.
Diagnosis and Tests
How are sinus headaches diagnosed?
Most of the time when people diagnose themselves with a sinus headache, it’s really a migraine. So, it’s important to see your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or ongoing, you may also need imaging tests. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test can rule out serious brain conditions. Multiple imaging tests can reveal sinus blockages and include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan.
- Nasal endoscopy (a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera that views inside your nose and sinus).
What is acupressure, and how does it work?
Acupressure has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and it’s based on similar principles as acupuncture (but without the needles), starting with meridians. Meridians are natural pathways in the body that allow energy, or qi, to circulate—but when that qi becomes blocked, pain and sickness can ensue.
Using physical pressure to stimulate certain points along these energy pathways (there are 365 classical acupoints, but others do exist), you can help restore balance and allow your body to heal.
“Chinese medicine operates on the theory that the medication you need is already in your body," says Malcolm B. Taw, MD, director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine in Westlake Village, Calif., and an associate clinical professor in the UCLA Department of Medicine. “By stimulating these points, different neurotransmitters, hormones, and endorphins—all of which have a therapeutic effect, especially for pain—are released.”
The benefits of acupressure are numerous and include reducing pain, relieving stress, and preventing or treating headaches. While most of the research focuses on acupuncture, Dr. Taw says that data from acupuncture studies can be extrapolated to acupressure since theories between the two practices are so similar.
He points to one from the scientific journal Human Brain Mapping, in which researchers found that acupuncture done on a specific point (Large Intestine 4, located in the fleshy space between the thumb and forefinger) regulates activity of the limbic system, which is involved with pain sensations and the mind-body connection.
With headaches in particular, acupressure is both preventive and therapeutic for existing pain, so Dr. Taw recommends starting acupressure when you feel a headache or migraine coming on. You can also prevent flare-ups of headaches in general by doing acupressure regularly, even daily if you’d like.
Best Headache Relief Pressure Points
Here are some of the best pressure points for headache relief (2).
1. Union Valley Pressure Point
As strange as it may sound, there are headache pressure points on the hands, feet, and other areas far away from the head. One of these spots is right on the web between your index finger and your thumb. By pinching this fleshy area with your other hand’s thumb and index finger, you can relieve headache pain. You can press and massage the area for a couple minutes at a time. This pressure point can also help with toothaches, arthritis, and neck pain.
However, pregnant women should never use this pressure point. It’s believed that this pressure point can cause contractions in pregnant women, so it’s best to focus on other areas if you’re carrying a child.
2. The Third Eye Pressure Point
Right between your eyebrows, above the bridge of your nose, is one of the best pressure points for relieving headaches. Not only is this pressure point great for headaches, but it can also help clear sinuses, as well as tension around the eyes, face, or head. With one finger, press into this spot and apply pressure. Hold your finger there for several minutes before releasing. Doing this a few times each week can help relieve headache pain.
There are also pressure points for headaches over your right eye and left eye, slightly to the side of the Third Eye pressure point. Just move your finger over about a half-inch in either direction to stimulate these pressure points.
3. Bright Light Pressure Points
Another couple of pressure points that are effective for relieving headache pain and sinus congestion are the Bright Light pressure points. These are located just beneath the tip of your eyebrows. There is one of these pressure points for each eye, just above the eye and below the eyebrow tip, in the fleshy area surrounding your eye. Both pressure points can be stimulated using one hand. Apply pressure for one minute, and then release. This will help relieve tension.
4. Welcome Fragrance Pressure Points
There are pressure points for headaches on the right side and left side of your face. Like the other pressure points on your face or head, these are particularly effective for eliminating headache pain and congestion. These pressure points are directly beside your nostrils, beneath your cheekbones and aligning with your pupils. Apply pressure to these two points for one minute each. This can be repeated whenever you have headaches or several times throughout the week.
5. Neck Pressure Points
Heaven’s Pillar pressure points
If tense muscles in your neck are contributing to your headaches, then it follows that neck pressure points should be effective for reducing headache pain. In fact, there are two which can be particularly effective. These two points are located right at the midpoint between your ear and spine, about halfway down your neck. You should be hitting the areas where the muscles meet. Apply pressure to each of these spots for a couple of minutes, which will help ease headaches, along with sore or tense necks.
If you move a little lower, you will reach the Heaven’s Pillar pressure points, which are located roughly a half-inch below the base of your skull. To stimulate these points, tilt your head back and massage the area with a circular motion.
6. Feet Pressure Points
If you’re trying to relieve yourself of headache pain, you probably wouldn’t think that your feet would be much help. However, there are pressure points in your feet that can help with relieving tension and easing pain. On each foot, between your big toe and second toe and roughly half an inch lower than the top of your foot, there is a pressure point. Massage this pressure point and apply pressure for up to five minutes at a time.
Also worth mentioning: if you move between your fourth and fifth toes, and then move another half-inch up, there is another pressure point you can stimulate.
Tips and Tricks for Sinus Pressure Relief
- Breathing exercises come handy in regulating sinusitis. Ensure you do pranayama every day for about 10 to 15 minutes. It helps to postpone and minimize the risk of sinus for a longer time.
- Performing respiratory exercises each day turns out to be extremely beneficial to get long-term relief from the sinus infection. Also, these respiratory exercises have the potential to resolve several underlying health conditions from within.
- Pranayama and yoga are highly recommended to maintain a clean throat and nose always.
- If you are prone to allergy from temperature and dust, make sure you keep yourself away from these, since these can lead to sinus infections and several other health conditions related to the nose.
- Make sure you cover the mouth as well as your nasal area while dusting and cleaning your home.
- Breathe fresh air and circumvent exposure to pollution, dust, and other sinus-causing entities.