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Treating Sinusitis with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chronic sinus problems can be a very difficult condition to deal with and treat.  For many people the symptoms of facial pain, nasal discharge, fatigue, chronic infections and chronic use of antibiotics can be an ongoing health concern.

Sinusitis refers to an inflammation of the the sinuses due to a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. These symptoms usually follow a common cold. Rhinitis is usually less severe and involves irritation or inflammation of nasal tissue.

Whereas Western Medicine offers antibiotics and possibly anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a number of different therapies to help people overcome acute and chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis.

In TCM, acupuncture and herbs are used to help people deal with acute and chronic sinus problems. But, since each person and each condition are different, it is not a “one size fits all” approach.

In general, we use acupuncture points to help "drain dampness" from the head.  In this case, dampness refers to the accumulation of unwanted "stuff" in the head - whether it is mucus or inflammation.  Points on the head and face can be very effective for relieving facial pain and opening up the sinuses, and other points on the body, such as Stomach 36 (Zusanli, a point on the shin), can help stimulate the immune system to respond appropriately to the condition.  

Chinese herbal medicine can be another effective means for dealing with not only the symptoms, but addressing the underlying cause of chronic sinusitis.  Herbs such as chrysanthemum flower and magnolia flower bud (see picture to the left) can be combined with other herbs to address the overall pattern of disharmony. Astragalus can also be effective for building the immune system overall.

In general, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine work quickly to resolve symptoms seen with sinusitis (eg, facial pain, congestion, eye and ear irritation) with some patients reporting immediate relief during an acupuncture treatment.  If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, give us a call today so we can help you feel better quickly!

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