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Acupuncture for Sinus Relief: Unveiling the Natural Path to Clear Breathing

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

sinus headache

Nasal congestion can be a bothersome and uncomfortable condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. When traditional remedies fail to provide adequate relief, many turn to alternative treatments like Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for sinus. This approach has gained popularity in recent years for its potential to alleviate various sinus problems, including sinus congestion, sinus pain, and sinus infections.

In this comprehensive guide, we dive into the world of acupuncture and herbal medicine for sinus relief, exploring its benefits, techniques, and frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision about this natural approach to clear breathing.

Sinusitis and Biomedicine:


sinus anatomy
sinus anatomy

1- Sinus Infection; produced by a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection.

Sinus infections (or sinusitis) are caused by inflammation in the sinuses, often due to a virus, bacteria, or fungus. Common symptoms include congestion, facial pressure or pain, headache, postnasal drip, and a reduced sense of smell or taste. To help alleviate sinus infection symptoms, it is important to stay hydrated, use a humidifier, avoid allergens, take over-the-counter pain relievers, use a neti pot or saline spray, and avoid medications that can worsen symptoms. In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend antibiotics or other medications.

2- Non-infectious sinus issues: allergic rhinitis, structural problems, air pollution, air pressure changes, and environmental factors. Allergies can cause inflammation of the sinus tissue, leading to blockage and congestion. Structural problems, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps, can also interfere with the normal airflow and mucus in the sinus cavities. Air pollution, air pressure changes, and environmental factors can also cause inflammation and irritation of the sinus tissue, leading to symptoms such as congestion, headaches, and sinus pain.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Nasal congestion, nasal passages get full of mucus.

  • Facial pain and pressure

  • Sinus Headaches

  • Ear pain

  • Nausea dizziness pain

  • Fatigue

  • Drainage of thick, yellow or greenish nasal discharge

  • Runny nose


  • Acute sinusitis: less than 4 weeks

  • Subacute sinusitis: from 4 to 12 weeks

  • Chronic sinusitis: 12 weeks or longer. (Chronic sinusitis may develop from an ineffective treatment)


sinusitis herbal treatment

  • Avoiding known triggers.

  • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, reducing sinus pressure. They can be nasal or oral.

  • Antibiotics to control sinus infections; amoxicillin, doxycycline, etc

  • Antihistamines to control immune function; Claritin, Zyrtec, Xyzal, etc

  • In some cases, undergoing surgery.

Sinusitis in Traditional Chinese Medicine:

acupuncture channels

First, we need to understand that the focus of Chinese Medicine is on strengthening the patient rather than on fighting diseases. Once the patient is on balance and their bodies are strong, the patient would able to overcome symptoms and diseases by themself.

If the patient is suffering nasal congestion, their sinus cavities are full of mucus or infected, feeling sinus pressure with sinus headaches, or suffering from allergic rhinitis, all of that is because the immune system is not working properly due to unbalanced of the patient with their environment, and need to improve their overall health.

Chinese Medicine Syndromes:

Let's see the most common ones and the most common acupuncture points to treat the syndromes

Wind Cold:

The patient would have acute sinusitis, with clear mocuses and sneezing.

Acupuncture treatment: Li 4, Li 20, Lu 7, Bl 2, Bl 11, Bl 13.

Wind Heat:

It would also be acute rhinitis, with itchy throaty, nasal symptoms with yellow mocuses, possible fever, sinus headaches, etc.

Acupuncture treatment: Li 4, Li 20, Lu 7, SJ 5, Li 11, Bl 2.

Lung Phlegm Cold:

This would be chronic sinusitis with white mucus, cough with lots of white phlegm

Acupuncture points to clear blockages: Li 4, Li 20, Lu 6, St 40, Bl 2, Bl 13.

Lung Phlegm Heat:

Chronic nasal congestion with yellow phlegm and other heat signs like flushed face, hotness, sinus headaches, thirst, etc.

Acupuncture session: Bi Tong, Li 4, Li 20, Lu 10, St 40, Gb 20, Bl 13.

Stomach Damp Fire:

Sticky-yellow phlegm, nasal symptoms, red cheeks, thirst, dry lips, loss of smell sense, frontal sinus headache, and the feeling of oppression on the chest and epigastrium area.

Acupuncture session: Ren 12, Bl 20, Ren 9, Bl 22, Sp 9, Li 11, Li 4, Bl2.

Lung and Spleen Qi Deficiency:

White and sticky nasal discharge without smell, nasal congestion, reduced sense of smell, low energy, low appetite, loose stools, polyps, and sinus headaches...

Acupuncture points: Lu 7, Li 4, Li 20, Bl2, Yintang, St 8, St 36, Ren 12, Bl 20, Bl 13, Sp6.

Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal Medicine

In addition, for receiving acupuncture, a well-trained and experienced Chinese Medicine Doctor will also prescribe an appropriate herbal medicine and will give nutritional advice, and the sinus problems will clear faster than with only acupuncture.

This is just a simple explanation of how Chinese Medicine treats sinus-related issues. We encourage you to visit a professional to get professional help treating your sinus problems, sinus headaches, or any other health issue.

Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture for Sinus

  1. Can acupuncture help with chronic sinusitis? Yes, acupuncture has shown promise in providing relief for chronic sinusitis. By addressing the underlying imbalances in the body and promoting healthy sinus function, acupuncture can help alleviate sinus problems and reduce the frequency of sinusitis flare-ups.

  2. Is acupuncture painful? Acupuncture is generally well-tolerated and causes minimal discomfort. The needles are extremely thin, and most people experience only a mild sensation during insertion. Once the needles are in place, you may feel slight tingling or heaviness, indicating the treatment is working.

  3. How many acupuncture sessions are needed for sinus relief? The number of acupuncture sessions can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the condition. Some people may experience significant improvement after just a few sessions, while others may require more frequent treatments over a longer period. Your acupuncturist will be able to determine the appropriate treatment plan for you.

  4. Are there any side effects of acupuncture? Acupuncture is safe when performed by a trained and licensed practitioner. Side effects are rare but may include slight bruising or soreness at the needle insertion sites. It is essential to choose a qualified acupuncturist to minimize any risks and ensure a positive experience.

  5. Can acupuncture be used alongside traditional medical treatments? Yes, acupuncture can be a complementary therapy alongside traditional medical treatments for sinus congestion. It is important to choose a trained and experienced acupuncturist and inform your healthcare provider about any alternative therapies you are considering to ensure they are compatible with your overall treatment plan.

  6. Are the effects of acupuncture on the sinus long-lasting? The effects of acupuncture for sinus relief can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience long-lasting relief, while others require periodic maintenance sessions to manage symptoms. It is advisable to work closely with your acupuncturist to determine the most effective treatment approach for your specific needs.


Acupuncture for sinus relief offers a natural and holistic approach to addressing the discomfort and congestion associated with sinus conditions. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, this ancient practice aims to restore balance and promote optimal sinus function. With its potential benefits, including drug-free relief, targeted treatment, and overall well-being, acupuncture has emerged as a popular choice for individuals seeking an alternative solution to sinus congestion.

If you're tired of struggling with sinus issues and seeking a natural path to clear breathing, acupuncture for sinus relief may be worth considering. Consult a licensed acupuncturist to discuss your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you find relief and enhance your overall quality of life.


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