Acupuncture and Sinuses

Are you dealing with painful sinus headaches, facial pain from inflamed sinuses, chronic sinus infections and/or sinusitis?

We all have experienced problems with our sinuses and it can be a painful issue. Some people live their lives with chronic pain, congestion and dripping phlegm. How can sinuses powerfully impact a person’s quality of life?

The sinuses are air cavities located between, above (forehead region), below (cheekbone region) and behind the eyes. Sinuses are important for voice resonance (some people with chronic sinus infections will notice their voice changes with the onset of an episode), filtering and adding moisture to the air before it enters the lungs.

When one or more of the paired sinuses become inflamed — it results in sinusitis or in simple terms inflammation of the sinuses. The most common symptom is pressure/pain in the temples, checks and eyes caused by localized inflammation and the accumulation of fluids in the sinus tissue which restrict blood and air flow.

A common cause of sinus inflammation is allergies. Untreated allergies result in an increase in nasal secretions (phlegm) and swell the sinus cavities, thus inhibiting drainage and decreasing the opening for air to pass through.

Sinus infections can follow as bacteria enter the sinus passages and become trapped in the mucus and inflamed passages.

Some individuals develop cysts and polyps in the sinus cavities, which trap bacteria producing chronic sinus infections.

There are three broad types of sinus presentation:

Phlegmy Type: Production of lots of phlegm (can vary in color)

Common symptoms:

  • Profuse runny nose
  • Throbbing head
  • Foggy thoughts
  • Fatigue
  • Facial areas very sensitive to touch
  • Puffiness below the eyes

Feeling of dry sinuses, especially during the winter months

Common symptoms:

  • A feeling the nose is dry can be accompanied by dry mouth, throat.
  • Usual areas of facial pain mentioned above.
  • Never feeling quenched by drinking fluids.

Chronic stuffiness with no phlegm production:

Common symptoms:

  • Lack of free flow of air in the sinuses. Not being able to breathe – feeling “stuffy.”
  • Usual areas of facial pain mentioned above.
  • Can have dry hair, dry skin or nails.

How can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture is effective at decreasing inflammation and allowing the sinus cavity to drain. Research has found acupuncture to release natural feel good hormones, which diminish facial pain and headaches. The immune system can be regulated with acupuncture to assist the body in fighting infections and rebuilding strength.

During the intake process your full health history will be reviewed. Important areas for review:

  • Digestion: Frequently people with sinus problems have digestive issues, like acid reflux, mucus production with the consumption of milk, abdominal cramping and bloating.

Sleep: Most people with sinus issues are not rested in the morning and wake with their head “feeling like a brick”.

Mental functioning: Inflammation and phlegm can leave people feeling like their thoughts are stuck in fog and/or difficultly organizing thoughts.

How can Chinese herbs help?

Chinese herbs have the wonderful capacity to treat the whole client’s presentation, not just congestion and runny nose. An example would be a client who has a runny nose during the day, but wakes feeling like the phlegm is dry and sharp. Decongestants, as a standalone treatment, couldn’t treat the whole issue. Chinese herbs were able to address the layers of symptoms that pharmaceutical drugs couldn’t. An added benefit, research has shown herbs to have antibacterial, antihistamine and drying affects. In fact some Chinese herbs have been found to exhibited antibacterial activity against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

Call (914) 572-5137 today or click here to schedule an appointment & learn more about how we can help your sinuses.