Can a Sinus Massage Help Drain Your Sinuses?

Published on: April 23, 2023
Sinus drainage massage

Sinus pain and pressure affects millions of people, especially during allergy season. Sinusitis can be acute or chronic with symptoms from mild to severe. Draining the sinuses can provide relief, but inflammation can make it difficult. Sinus massage may be one way to relieve sinus pain and pressure.

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus passages. The sinuses are spaces behind the nose and eyes that can become inflamed, usually due to allergies or colds, but blockages can also cause inflammation. When mucus cannot drain, it causes sinus pain, pressure and nasal congestion.

There are many medications that are used for relieving sinus congestion, but they can have side effects and may not be effective for everyone. Sinus drainage massage is a technique you can use to naturally drain your sinuses without any drugs or unwanted side effects.

How to Drain Sinuses

Sinusitis affects millions of people yearly, with over 30 million Americans with chronic sinusitis. To get relief from sinus pain, the mucus needs to be drained. While it does not stop the formation of mucus, performing sinus drainage massage can help keep it from collecting in the sinus passages.

There are four pairs of sinuses located from the brow down to the cheeks on the left and right side of the face. Sinus massage can be used to manipulate the tissues around the sinuses to help move mucus and allow it to drain. All it takes is your fingers and knowing how to drain sinuses.

Massage can be used to affect specific sinuses, or you can perform massage on all four pairs. The warmth of your fingers along with the pressure and movement can help to move the thick mucus in the sinuses to give you temporary relief. Sinus drainage massage only takes a few minutes.

Sinus Drainage Massage Techniques

There are three different areas and techniques that are commonly used to impact the four pairs of sinuses. You can focus on the areas where you feel pressure, but many people with sinusitis have pain in all their sinuses. Here is how to drain sinuses using sinus drainage massage techniques.

Frontal Sinus Massage
The top frontal sinuses are located right above each eye and these are often the sinuses that can cause a sinus headache when congested. Massaging these sinuses may give you sinus headache relief and help move the mucus downward. Start with the frontal sinuses for a full sinus massage.
Begin your sinus massage by rubbing your hands together to create heat. Place the tips of the index and middle fingers above the inner ends of your eyebrows. Applying mild pressure and begin circular massage, moving outward to the temples for about 30 seconds.
Another frontal sinus massage can be performed right under the eyebrow. Place your index finger in the small hollow right below the inner eyebrow – when you apply pressure you can feel the pressure in your sinuses. Press for 10-15 seconds, then pull your fingers outward to the end of your eyebrows.

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Sphenoid and Ethmoid Sinus Massage
The next two pairs of sinuses are on either side of the nose below the eyes. Massaging this area can impact both sets and help relieve nasal congestion from a cold, allergies, nasal polyps or other causes. Here is how to drain sinuses behind your nose with massage.
  • Use your index fingers to press on either side of your nasal bridge
  • Find the indent right between the nasal bone and corner of the eyes
  • Apply pressure and then slowly pull downward on either side of the nasal walls
  • Repeat the movement several times for about 30 seconds

The sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses are notorious for causing sinus and facial pressure. A sinus drainage massage can help loosen mucus and provide relief.

Maxillary Sinus Drainage Massage
The lowest sinuses are the maxillary sinuses located below the cheeks and above the upper teeth. These are the largest of the sinuses and if they are congested, they can cause referred tooth pain. To get relief from low facial and upper tooth pain, try this massage technique:
  • Place your index fingers or thumbs on either side of your nose under the cheekbones
  • Apply pressure and begin massaging in a circular motion
  • Continue the massage for 30 seconds

Since each massage only takes 30 seconds, it is beneficial to do all three in sequence, starting with the frontal sinuses and moving downward. You may notice post nasal drip increasing or an unpleasant taste in your mouth, but that is evidence of the mucus draining.
Frontal sinus drainage
Sinus massage is a non-invasive technique to provide temporary sinus pain and pressure relief. However, it will not cure chronic sinusitis, which may require treatment or surgery for long-term relief. Seek medical care if you have sinusitis symptoms that last longer than two weeks.

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