This month I’ve seen a lot of people struggle with sinus infections and nasal congestion from the common cold. Here are some self-care regimens that you can perform at home to ease the pain and pressure in the head, as well as difficulty breathing associated with sinusitis and the cold. It’s especially useful to do this self-care right before bed. You’ll find you’ll sleep better. And when you sleep better, your body heals faster!
1. Steam Bath / Steam Tent
Heat a large pot of water to boiling and remove from the stove. Transfer the boiling water to a large bowl. Place the bowl on a pot holder on a table and pull up a chair and sit. While the steam is coming off the water, hold your face 8-10 inches over the bowl. Drape a large bath towel over your head and the bowl to make a steam tent. The towel traps the steam in. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply through your nose. Continue to breathe deeply for 5 minutes. While you are inhaling the steam, if it becomes too intense, lift the towel a little bit to allow more fresh air in. When you are ready, resume the deep breathing. If you feel too uncomfortable at any point, discontinue the treatment. Now this is the slightly unpleasant part- your nose will start to drain. This is good! You can go ahead and blow or spit all of that mucous into the bowl and wipe your face with the towel. It’s best to do this treatment for 10 to 15 minutes.
To enhance your treatment, add 3 drops of one of the following: Peppermint oil, Eucalyptus oil, Tea Tree oil, Lavender oil, or White Flower liniment (which we sell in the clinic). Drop the oil or liniment over the top of the water. Take care not to use more than 3-4 drops, as these aromatic oils are very strong. If too much is used, it can cause a burning sensation in your eyes.
This remedy for nasal congestion helps in several ways:
- The steam helps to open the sinuses by reducing swelling of the tissues
- The essential oils have natural elements that help to open and drain the sinus cavities
- Essential oils have natural antibacterial/antiviral properties, so they also help to treat & prevent sinus infection (as well as getting rid of the root problem that caused the congestion in the first place)
2. Sinus Massage
The dots illustrated on the pictures below are acupuncture points that we use to relieve symptoms associated with sinusitis and nasal congestion. These points can be very tender. Gently stimulate each point using pressure from the tips of your fingers. You can also massage in small circles. Stimulate the points for about 5 minutes.