by Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac. of the Birch Center
Sinus issues and infections are a problem for many people. As the nose becomes congested from cold weather, allergies, a cold or the flu, infection and inflammation often occurs. Acupuncture points, herbs, and lifestyle suggestions can keep the sinuses clear and infection-free.
Sinus issues may be acute or chronic, and are typically considered viral infections which last ten days. Many people suffering from chronic sinus infections go for months with headaches, teeth and jaw pain, low energy, and nasal congestion, among other symptoms.
Acupuncture often offers relief. Using a combination of local and distal points acupuncture can clear the sinuses and boost the immune system making it less likely for sinus infection to return. Points on the arms and legs such as Large Intestine 4 (hand), Large Intestine 11 (outside elbow crease), Lung 7 (wrist), and Stomach 36 (leg, below the knee) can open the meridians which run through the sinuses as well as boost the immune system. Local points on the face such as Large Intestine 20 (side of the nose), Stomach 2 (on the cheek bone under the eye), and GV 23 (start of the hairline) help to physically clear the sinuses.
Bi Yang Pian is an ancient Chinese herbal formula which is available at the Birch Center. It clears the sinuses and relieves headaches and other symptoms such as red itchy eyes, sore throat and sneezing which can be related to sinus issues. Bi Yan Pian contains herbs such as magnolia flower, forsythia flower and chrysanthemum flower which are said to clear heat from the sinuses and help clear infection.
Using a neti pot to clear the sinuses with salt water can also clear the sinuses, improve overall health and increase energy. Using one cup of body-temperature water and mixed with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sea salt, pour gently into one nostril and have it flow through the sinuses and out the other nostril. This can be done throughout the day until the sinuses are clear, and then repeated once or twice a day to keep healthy, especially if prone to sinus issues.
If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call the Birch Center at (412) 381-0116.
~ David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.
The Birch Center for Health
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