Sinus issues – both acute and chronic – are painful conditions that often respond well to integrative therapies. Different therapeutic modalities are like different languages that your body speaks – the key is to find the right language (or combination of languages) that your body will listen to. At Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, we offer many services that can benefit patients suffering from sinus infections or chronic sinus pain and inflammation, either as stand-alone therapies or in combination with one another. When it comes to holistic medicine, we find that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of single-use, sterile, solid needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to reduce pain and inflammation, overcome disease, and rebalance the body. Your acupuncturist will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your sinus issues from a Chinese Medicine perspective, and your treatments will be tailored to your unique presentation. Additional Chinese Medicine methods such as cupping and gua sha manual therapy may be included in acupuncture sessions, when appropriate. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and pain, balance hormones, boost immune function, assist your body in expelling a pathogen (i.e. bacteria or virus), and open the nasal passages.
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on manual therapy technique. The craniosacral system extends from the head (cranium) to the sacrum and includes the central nervous system. A craniosacral therapist can feel and rebalance the rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid flow, which covers your bones, joints, and sutures. Craniosacral Therapy seeks to reset the nervous system, which operates on high alert when you are in a state of pain. It also improves flow of lymph and fluid through the head, neck, and body, thereby reducing sinus pressure and pain. It can reduce tension and inflammation in the body’s membranes, as well as calm activated nerve fibers between the sutures of the skull and facial bones.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine works on the same principles as acupuncture – but the herbs work from the inside-out, whereas acupuncture works from the outside-in. Herbs are taken in a formula of 2-20 herbs working together to create balance in the body, reduce pain and inflammation, and boost your body’s natural resources. Formulas are customized to your individual sinus issues, and can be effective both in acute cases (focusing primarily on boosting immunity, reducing phlegm and sinus pain, and excelling the pathogen) and in chronic cases (focusing primarily on reducing inflammation and pain, and supporting the underlying body systems that are weakened or out of balance.) Herbs are prescribed in pills, teas, tinctures, powders, or raw herbs to decoct at home.
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness guide, who can help you to identify food triggers for your sinus issues. Health Coaching sessions focus on looking at all aspects of your lifestyle and how simple changes can reduce inflammation and congestion, such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleep habits, work stress, and relationships.
Reflexology is a therapeutic treatment in which pressure is applied to particular points and regions of the foot to affect change in the whole body. Reflex points on the feet correspond to different organs and body systems, and by stimulating these points the practitioner can create positive change in a particular system and bring the body back into balance. A trained reflexologist can help alleviate pressure or congestion in the sinuses through focused work on particular points on the feet.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a specialized gentle massage technique that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body, helping them into an area that can drain normally. With chronic sinus congestion or pressure, this type of massage can help reduce fluid build-up, lessen inflammation in the sinuses, and aid in restoring normal fluid drainage in the head and face. Note this is not appropriate for an acute sinus infection.