Our sinuses are comprised of a connected system of hollow cavities within the skull. Most sinus areas are quite small, with the exception of the maxillary sinuses in the cheekbones. Here is some additional information that you may find helpful reading through the article:
– Sinuses are pairs – one on each side of our head, in close proximity to the nose.
– Maxillary sinuses are the largest and are located in the cheekbones.
– Ethmoid sinuses are located between the eyes.
– Sphenoid sinuses are located within bones behind the nose.
– Sinuses are normally empty except for a thin layer of mucus.
– Lining the sinuses are a thin, soft, pink tissue called mucosa.
Interestingly, those that study the anatomy are uncertain as to why it is that we have sinuses. There are, however, two predominant theories: (1) they aid in the humidification of breathing, and (2) they aid in voice enhancement.
Aside from a number of sinus conditions that cause congestion, such as sinusitis, congestion of the sinuses is a prevalent, but acute, condition. Sinus congestion is defined as: “the blockage of the nasal passages usually due to membranes lining the nose becoming swollen from inflamed blood vessels.” Other terms used are: nasal blockage, blocked nose, stuffy nose, plugged nose and nasal obstruction.
Nearly everyone has experienced sinus congestion at one point, and nearly everyone can agree on this: it is painful, annoying and uncomfortable. The condition can interfere with speech, hearing and sleep. In severe (rare) cases, sinus congestion requires surgery to correct. Children in particular are susceptible to complications that may require removal of the adenoids and tonsils, and may manifest into problems later in life.
The most common causes of nasal congestion are allergies, cold, flu, and sinus infection. These conditions are ones that are most often able to be corrected through alternative home remedies, such as the one that we will discuss below.
Here’s How To Clean Out Your Sinuses Immediately
The technique that we lay out here is simple, quick and effective. Ready to begin? Here are three quick steps to help alleviate sinus congestion:
(For the most effective results, it is recommended to sit comfortably.)
- Sit down and position the head and body at a 45-degree angle. Turn your head sideways and massage the sternocleidomastoid muscle in a downwards direction 5 times. This muscle is located immediately beneath both ears, and runs down the neck perpendicular to the collarbone. Repeat this technique on the other side of the neck. The overlapping purpose of this exercise is to relax the neck, in order to make the remaining steps more effective.
- Using the index fingers, locate the hard and boney part of the nose, which runs about halfway down the length of the nose. Now, move the fingers down until you locate the soft part of the nose where this bone ends. The area between the soft, fleshy part of the nose and the bone is where we’ll focus this technique. Using a circular motion, massage this area with pressure that is firm, but comfortable, for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. After this is completed, massage the muscles down the side of the nose towards the cheekbones – this will help to relax this area of the face.
- Once again using the index fingers, locate the upper orbit bone. This bone is found in the area above each eye. Now, we’re going to locate the super orbital notch – a slight indentation located above the center of the eyeball. Using a circular motion, massage this notch with pressure that is comfortably firm for about 20 to 30 seconds.
- Finally, with both hands, locate the center of the forehead. Using a circular motion with comfortably firm pressure, slowly massage outwards until reaching the temples.
A final note:
You should experience some degree of relief from this practice. The degree of this relief, in a general sense, depends upon three factors: (1) effective execution of the steps above, (2) severity of nasal congestion being experienced, and (3) personal (involuntary) receptiveness of the above techniques.
You may discover that this practice may need to be repeated and slightly altered to personal preference in order to experience the best results. After repeating this exercise two to three times, a noticeable improvement should be the outcome.
As a bonus, here are some ways to help prevent nasal congestion:
- Don’t smoke: Cigarette smoke and nicotine can irritate the sinuses and exacerbate any sinus condition.
- Eat healthy: Design and maintain a well-balanced diet. As with myriad health conditions, consuming and digesting foods high in nutritional value can be the “x-factor.” A healthy diet promotes a healthy immune system – an important defense mechanism that may prevent health complications.
- Get active: It isn’t necessary to become a gym rat, but physical activity is essential to achieve an optimized immune system. Aim for a minimum of 30-minutes of physical activity, three times per week.
- Hydrate: Water’s health-promoting properties are almost too numerous to count. Dehydration causes an assortment of health conditions, while proper hydration – a minimum of 5, 12-ounce glasses of water daily – can prevent and alleviate a number of issues.
Practicing a healthy lifestyle and committing to health-promoting activities can go a long way to reducing nasal congestion; not to mention a number of other health complications.