Sure, your sinuses are in your skull – but there's a lot you can physically do from outside to help them feel better.
- Sinus massage: If you're prone to sinus headaches, you've probably found yourself instinctively rubbing at your cheekbones, forehead and the bridge of your nose. To help relieve pressure, start from the middle of your forehead and work your way out toward your temples using small circles. Then, do the same around the bridge of your nose, where your glasses or sunglasses usually rest. Gently press your cheekbones with your fingertips, and rub behind your earlobes as well. If some part of your face, skull or scalp feels good to (gently) massage, go for it. Don't be surprised if any of these areas are tender – especially if you've had sinus trouble for a while – but if it's acutely painful, stop massaging and see a doctor.
- Full-body massage: This one can be a little tricky. If you're trying to soldier on through a monster headache, it's easy for your body to tense itself up in the process. Massage can be a great way to ease that soreness, release tension and just generally feel better – plus it's a chance for a pro to tackle the pressure points associated with your sinuses. But if your sinuses are stuffy, lying with your face in the face cradle can actually make it worse. Make sure your massage therapist knows you're having sinus trouble, and if you feel yourself stopping up, turn your head to the side or readjust so different parts of your face are bearing up your weight. Or, try a chair massage – you'll still be face down, but gravity will be doing your sinuses a favor.
- Exercise: If your head hurts and your nose is congested, exercise might be the last thing in the world you want to do. But getting your blood and lymph flowing (and getting your breathing rate up) can bring some sinus relief. If you feel too bad to hit the gym, try taking a walk or doing some stretching or yoga – but avoid head-down positions, since bending over when your sinuses hurt isn't very comfortable.
Sinus Congestion Tips
Here is some information to help you with sinus congestion.