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Sinusitis and Acupuncture


Posted by Joe Downer |  | Posted in Acupuncture, Allergies, ENT, Sinusitis.

When the sinuses (the cavities in the bones around the eyes, forehead and cheeks) become inflamed, mucus drainage is slowed down and pressure builds up, with a good chance of infection taking hold and making the condition worse.  Facial pain and/or migraines that result can make life miserable and often can be debilitating.  

Frequently resulting from an initial respiratory infection, acute sinusitis can last several weeks.  Chronic sinusitis will last for months, often as a result of an allergic response to airborne allergens such as dust and mold, hay fever, certain foods, and chemical fumes (including household cleaners and new carpeting).

Conventional Treatment of Sinusitis

The most common treatment program in Western medicine is a short term approach centering on the immune system in order to effect some immediate relief from symptoms, which sometimes include fever, sore throat and cough.

  • Antibiotics usually are the frontline treatment when there is a bacterial infection.
  • Pain relievers, decongestants, and mucolytics to relieve pressure and pain.
  • Nasal irrigation with a Neti-pot or rinse kit (nasal bidet) to clear out allergens.

Acupuncture Treatment of Sinusitis

The acupuncture approach to treating sinusitis addresses both the immediate discomfort and the root cause of the body’s extreme reaction to bacteria, virus, or allergic challenge.

The over-reaction of the immune system is the main problem.  But this necessarily will involve several organs, including the lungs, adrenal glands, nervous system, and blood circulation to the sinus cavities.  Acupuncture for sinusitis addresses all of these systems.

Clinical Studies of Acupuncture for Sinusitis

An early study published in Allergy Magazine, September, 2004, found that seasonal allergies responded positively to acupuncture plus Chinese herbs.

More recently, in 2010, a study of 85 patients at the An Hua, Qinhuangdao Port Hospital, Hebei, China, with chronic rhinitis (nasal congestion with post-nasal drip) found that 30 or fewer acupuncture treatments resulted in 61 persons obtaining total relief, 21 with marked improvement, and only 3 showing no effect.  A two-year follow-up showed that total recovery was intact in these recovered patients.



An Hua, Qinhuangdao Port Hospital, Hebei, China. “Treatment of 85 Cases with Chronic Rhinitis by Acupuncture.” J. Acupunct. Tuina. Sci. 2010, 8 (5): 318.


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