With the cooler weather comes sinusitis flare ups of both the acute and chronic kind. The good news is acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are effective at providing sinusitis relief. They are especially useful on the occasions where symptoms persist after antibiotics. Whether your sinus issues are new or long-term, there are treatments to help.
Sinusitis – The Basics
Sinusitis is the inflammation of your nasal cavities leading to a build-up of mucous. This occurs because of either a viral or bacterial infection, allergies, nasal polyps or other nasal defects. Acute sinusitis is typically treated with antibiotics and can clear up within a few days. But this is not always the case and chronic sinusitis can occur.
For more information on sinusitis watch this video.
The most typical symptoms of sinusitis are：
Nasal congestion/blocked nose
Runny nose/nasal dripping in throat
Facial pain or pressure
Loss of smell and taste
Sinusitis and TCM
In TCM sinusitis is a build-up of phlegm in the body. Acute sinusitis is caused by ‘wind’ pathogens (usually Hot Wind or Cold Wind), which also causes colds and flus, thus why these conditions often overlap or get confused for each other. They allow for phlegm to produce and get stuck as the body is too weak to fight back.
Chronic sinusitis occurs when acute sinus infections are not completely healed and phlegm remains in the body. This can happen for many reasons, but one is that antibiotics often target the inflammation but not the phlegm associated with sinusitis. The fluid congeals leading to the aches and pains of chronic sinusitis.
Combined with a weak immune system, chronic sinusitis can last indefinitely as the body is too stressed and fatigued to fight the infections. This is also why some people do not respond well to antibiotic treatments for sinusitis.
How Acupuncture and TCM Help
Short Term Support
TCM and acupuncture can provide relief for acute and chronic sinusitis. Together these treatments can help open nasal passages for easier breathing and relief from other symptoms such as headaches, swelling and pain.
TCM and acupuncture also help drain the phlegm stuck in the sinus areas. This non-invasive process will make healing time quicker and decrease chances of recurrences in the future.
Long Term Support
Both TCM and acupuncture treatments can assist with sinusitis in longer terms. By supporting qi function and boosting the immune system we allow the body to increase its defences against infections. Another benefit is that acupuncture can reduce stress which can help increase energy, mood and sleep.
It is best to start treatment as soon as the first signs of sinusitis begin.
Example Case of Acupuncture and TCM for Chronic Sinusitis
This time of year we get an influx of patients with sinus issues. We recently treated a woman with chronic sinusitis who had been on 8 weeks of antibiotics with no relief. She had all the symptoms of sinusitis, including pain in her sinuses, jaw and ears, to the point she was also taking a lot of painkillers to cope. She had been to her GP, specialists and a dentist but no luck.
After a month of weekly treatments combined with Chinese herbal medicine this woman was no longer experiencing symptoms of sinusitis or taking any painkillers. To read more of her story click here.
At Home Exercise to Help Sinusitis
At AcuNatural Health we recommend the Alternate Nostril Breathing technique to help relieve pressure and pain caused by sinusitis.
Sinusitis involves both inflammation and a build-up of phlegm in the face. If acute sinusitis isn’t treated completely it can lead to chronic sinusitis. Acupuncture and TCM is an effective option for getting relief from acute or chronic sinusitis and reducing chances of flare ups. Once symptoms start it is best to seek treatment immediately to prevent your condition from becoming more serious and long-lasting.