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Chronic rhinosinusitis, commonly called chronic sinusitis, is a chronic infection of the sinuses that causes nasal congestion, sinus pain, and headaches. It can affect your energy, sleep, and work. Some research suggests that chronic sinusitis can even lead to depression and anxiety.(1)

The good news is that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help.  Chinese medicine can help to reduce dependency on sinus medication and can even help people avoid surgery. (2)

A comprehensive approach to chronic sinusitis

blog what goes into an acupuncture treatmentAcupuncture and Chinese medicine focus on targeting the underlying imbalance causing the sinus issues.  Health problems are often caused by imbalances in the body’s Qi, or energy. When there is a lack of energy or an impediment to the circulation of qi, toxins can develop and lead to sinus problems.

Acupuncture also helps to reduce inflammation and improves the function of the immune system.(3)

Acupuncture treatment is tailored to correct the specific imbalance causing your issues. To determine this imbalance, your headache symptoms, allergies, and overall wellbeing will be considered.

Acupuncture treatment for Chronic Sinusitis

Large Intestine 4 reduces sinus headaches.

Large Intestine 4 reduces sinus headaches.

When it comes to treating chronic sinusitis, it is important to include many of the modalities used in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I use acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbal remedies to help relieve the headaches, sinus pressure, and inflammation.

The acupuncture therapy targets acupuncture points on channels that help reduce pain and pressure in the sinuses. The selection of which acupuncture points to use is based upon the imbalances which are causing the condition. If there is too little qi, the body’s energy, then the acupuncture points focus on qi improving the qi such as with ST 36 and SP 9.

But if there is more heat, as is common with inflammation, acupuncture points that reduce heat, such as LI 11 or ST 44 should be selected.

Also, acupuncture points near the sinuses can help relieve pain.  These points can include LI 20, ST 4, Bi Tong, and Yin Tang.

Acupressure for Sinus Headaches

Acupressure on the neck, head, shoulders, and back helps to increase circulation, decrease pain, and drain the lymph. I will also instruct my patients on an acupressure routine for patients to perform on their own. Often, patients will begin to feel relief after a few acupuncture sessions.

An integrated approach

It is important to understand that acupuncture is not an either/or choice. The first goal to is help you feel better.

One study was examined an integrative treatment protocol which included the patient’s current therapies, in addition to acupuncture, acupressure, dietary modifications, lifestyle modifications, and self-acupressure. Most patients showed physical, social, and symptomatic improvements. (4)

If you have sinusitis it may be time to experienced the healing power of acupuncture in order to relieve symptoms, reduce dependence on medications, and help people avoid surgery.

And what’s great is that acupuncture is also very safe and relaxing therapy.  Most people fall asleep while in the office!



  1. Cox DR, Ashby S, DeConde AS, et al. Dyad of pain and depression in chronic rhinosinusitis. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2016;6(3):308-314.
  2. Yen HR, Sun MF, Lin CL, Sung FC, Wang CC, Liang KL. Adjunctive traditional Chinese medicine therapy for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis: a population-based study. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2015;5(3):240-246.
  3. Kim SK, Bae H. Acupuncture and immune modulation. Auton Neurosci. 2010;157(1-2):38-41.
  4. Suh JD, Wu AW, Taw MB, Nguyen C, Wang MB. Treatment of recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis with integrative East-west medicine: a pilot study. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Mar;138(3):294-300.
Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a New York Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.
Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

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