Acupuncture for Sinusitis

by Mark Whalen

With the change in the air, it’s that time of year again, when calls come into the clinic asking if Acupuncture can help with Sinusitis and all its manifestations: sinus pain, sinus congestion, sinus headaches and sinus infections.

Whether you suffer from chronic sinusitis, acute sinusitis, allergic sinusitis, or infectious sinusitis, acupuncture can help.

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinus cavities (Sinu = sinuses  + itis = inflammation).

The Sinuses are air filled cavities that function to warm and humidified inhaled air, increase the resonance of the voice, act as a buffer for trauma and they lower the weight of the skull.

Inflammation of the sinus cavities can be caused by allergies, chemical irritants or over use of over the counter nasal sprays, or the common cold.  Viruses or bacteria may cause sinus infections.


Sinusitis Symptoms

Sinusitis symptoms will vary by individual and can vary in intensity from day to day.

Common symptoms include:

  • nasal congestion
  • sinus headaches
  • sinus pressure
  • sinus pain
  • difficulty breathing through the nose
  • thick or watery mucous that may yellow or green in color.

Secondary to the main symptoms may be a decrease in energy levels and difficulty sleeping.

Treatment of Sinusitis

Treatment of acute sinusitis involves over the counter decongestants (Sudafed type meds) and the use of vaporizers to inhale steam.  Decongestants will relieve congestion, but they can also dry you out too much, which could lead to more pain.

Chronic sinusitis is treated through more frequent use of vaporizers/humidifiers, and neti pots with saline rinses.  In cases of bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.  It’s important to treat sinus infections as they can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

If he cause of your chronic sinusitis is allergies, you may be given oral steroids or antihistamines.

Many of the current treatment methods mainly offer symptomatic relief.

Why Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can treat all forms of sinusitis: acute, chronic, allergic, or infectious. Acupuncture treats the current congestion while strengthening your immune system to help make you less reactive in the future.

Acupuncture treatments can be so effective that you may notice your congestion lessening during your treatment.   Acupuncture has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects on the body, which means it helps to reduce the inflammation in the sinus cavities and decrease pain levels.  Acupuncture also helps with the movement of fluids in the body, and can assist in the breakdown of congested mucous.

Chinese herbal medicine is an excellent addition to your treatment regimen for sinus congestion and infections.   There are many Chinese herbs with anti-bacterial or anti-viral properties, allowing for the treatment of both causes of infection (bacteria or virus).  If needed, an individualized formula will be made for your specific needs.

Don’t wait for your recurring sinus congestion to turn into a sinus infection.  If you’re prone to sinus congestion, sinus infections, sinus pain or allergies, don’t wait.

If you’re tired of medications and treatment that only provide temporary relief, call today for your free consultation.


*This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical conditions and should not be considered medical advice.  Please contact your health care provider if you have concerns regarding sinus infections.   

Mark Whalen is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist and the founder of Five Points Acupuncture & Wellness in Reading, MA.

Mark Whalen – who has written posts on .


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Five Points Acupuncture & Wellness
20 Pondmeadow Dr #107, Reading, MA 01867
Phone: (781) 944-3000


Serving Reading, North Reading, Wakefield, Burlington and the surrounding Middlesex County, MA areas.

Zip Codes: 01730, 01810, 01867, 01880, 01821, 01803, 01864, 01876,
01887, 01915, 01923, 01940, 01949, 01960