Acupressure, as well as acupuncture, can work very well on sinusitis.
I highly recommend the chapter on sinus and hay fever problems
in "Acupressure's Potent Points" by Michael Reed Gach.
Some general points for sinusitis are Bladder 7, Bladder 10, Governor Vessel
20, and GV 26. The third eye point also can be helpful. (GV 24.5)
Bladder 2, Drilling Bamboo, can work very well for for sinus congestion in
the forehead and for frontal headaches. It's "in the indentation of the
inner eye socket where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of the
eyebrows." (p. 202) If this point needs to be worked, there may be a
drilling-like sensation when it's pressed.
Large Intestine 20 (Welcoming Perfume) and Stomach 3 (Facial Beauty) can
open up the maxillary sinuses (those in the cheeks).
In addition, Large Intestine 4 can be very useful in treating sinusitis.
This one is forbidden for pregnant women. It's "in the webbing between the
thumb and index finger, at the highest spot of the muscle when you bring the
thumb and index finger close together." (p.203)
It's also important to ask why a person has sinus problems. If there is an
infection, acupoints for regulating the immune system also will be
important. Some of these include Kidney 27, Bladder 23 and 47, Stomach 36,
Conception Vessel 6, Conception Vessel 17, Kidney 3 (should not be
stimulated strongly after the 3rd months of pregnancy), Liver 3, Large
Intestine 11, and Triple Heater 5 and then Large Intestine 4 (should not be
used during pregnancy). (pp. 117 - 123) BTW, treating constipation (which
both LI 4 and LI11 do) can play a role in helping people fight off
Are the sinus problems coming from allergies and sensitivities? Gach
recommends LI4 (not for pregnant women), Lv 3, TH 5, LI 11, B10, K 27, CV 6,
and St 36. (pp. 25 - 29) There is a lot of overlap between the points which
are good for strengthening the immune system and those which are
specifically recommended for allergies.
In addition there are various TCM herbal, Western herbal, and other
strategies for helping allergy problems. Echinacea has value both for
fighting infections and treating many allergies. Echinacea often is called
an immune system booster. This is incorrect. It actually is an immune
system regulator which will boost immune system activity when that is needed
(as in the case of infection) and tone it down when that is needed (as in
the case of allergies). It strengthens the immune system to work properly.
(The chapter in the Gach book more accurately would be called "Potent Points
for Regulating the Immune System" instead of "Boosting the Immune System".)
Fennel seeds often get used in both TCM and Western herbalism for treating
allergies. Allergies can have different TCM profiles. There are more
strategies for dealing with allergies, but I won't go into them in this
Sometimes a person has chronic sinus problems because of structural
problems. There may be nasal polyps (small growths) obstructing the nasal
passages, or the nasal passages may be unusually small and even twisted like
a corkscrew. There are some TCM and other treatments which can be effective
in some cases of nasal polyps, or the person may require surgery. I don't
know of anything besides seeing an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist for
surgery for unusually small and/or twisted nasal passages.
Spinal misalignment can trigger head and sinus congestion. There is an
adjustment to the neck that chiropractors and DOs can give which can open up
nasal passages. This adjustment can work on sinus congestion due to
allergies or infections. I used to know a DO at a local hospital who was
very much in demand by staff as well as patients during allergy season. The
adjustments he gave opened up their heads instantly without the side effects
like drowsiness or agitation of conventional medications.
For those leery of having their bones popped - especially in the neck -
there are exercises which sometimes are effective, though they may take a
long time to work. They're usually of more value in cases of chronic
Another consideration is possible Dampness problems. Sometimes the sinus
problems have a Root of Dampness and Spleen problems. In these cases
Dampness engendering foods like dairy, citrus, and perhaps wheat may need to
be eliminated from the diet. In addition, the person may need herbs to
strengthen the Spleen. (Note the mention of acupoint Stomach 36 for
strengthening the immune system and for allergies. This point can be very
helping for strengthening the Spleen as well as the Stomach. It also can
In doing acupressure it is important to pay attention to any areas which are
sore or numb, tingle, or feel unusually hot or cold. It sometimes happens
that acupoints that need to be worked will be sore or have other odd
sensations like cold, heat, numbness, etc. In some cases these points may
be located some distance from the problem area - like the use of LI 4 in the
webbing between the thumb and index finger to help sinuses to open up.
Sometimes these distant points will be listed in the general guides - like
the list of possible acupoints I've listed in this post. But sometimes
they're only listed in more detailed literature, and sometimes not even in
the more detailed literature. What is important is what works for the
individual. From time to time you will run across situations like this.
There is nothing in any literature you can find that indicates that a
certain point would be helpful for a certain condition. Yet, the point is
sore or has some other unusually sensation connected with it, and when the
point is worked, the problem starts to ease. As long as there are no
contraindications for working the point (like pregnancy, Yin Deficiency,
etc.), cautiously try working it to see if there is an improvement.