How To: Clear Your Stuffy Sinuses in Seconds Using Nothing but Pressure

Clear Your Stuffy Sinuses in Seconds Using Nothing but Pressure

When a stuffy nose hits, it feels like breathing clearly and easily may never come again. Allergies, colds, and even changes in weather can leave our sinuses blocked, with medicine seeming like the only option. But don't break out the medication just yet — relieving the pressure of a stuffy nose, a stuffy head, and stuffy ears can be as easy as touching a pressure point.

Inflammation & Irritation Cause Colds

Before you attempt to cure your stuffy nose and pressurized head, it's good to know what's causing you such discomfort.

Image by William Brawley/Flickr

According to WebMD, when our heads fill with fluid and blockages are created, affecting our breathing, hearing, and mental clarity, it all begins in the nose. When we feel stuffed up, it's likely that the membranes inside our nose are inflamed and irritated. In response to whatever it is that flooded our lymphatic system with fluid, our nasal passages start producing increased amounts of mucus as they try to flush out the source of irritation.

So, when you need to clear your sinuses, it's important to remember that they're already inflamed. This means it's crucial to keep them lubricated and moist rather than to eliminate the mucus and dry everything out. Your runny, snotty nose needs that moisture.

When we turn to nose-clearing cold and allergy remedies, we often look for pills that can make all that mucus disappear. Those same pills can dry out the sinuses and create more pain. Instead of going straight to the medicine bottle, you can first try to move the fluid out of the head using acupressure.

Method #1: Use Your Tongue & Press Between Eyebrows

Reddit user gymfork points out that by placing pressure on specific points of the body, we can stimulate the flow of fluid and get our noses breathing clearly — and one of the best locations for sinus problems is in our mouths.

Gymfork suggests pushing the tongue flat against the roof of the mouth, while simultaneously pushing a finger against the skin between the eyebrows. Hold pressure against these points for 20 seconds, and you'll begin to feel relief from your symptoms. Once you release your tongue and soften your finger, you'll start to feel movement towards the back of the throat as the pressure diminishes.

Image by Jaira Koh/Invisiverse

If that doesn't work for you, alternate between pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and pressing between your eyebrows. In acupressure, the point between your eyebrows is called the Yintang acupoint, right where the nasion is located, according to Dr. Joseph M. Helms, president of Helms Medical Institute and author of Acupuncture Energetics: A Clinical Approach for Physicians.

This "causes the vomer bone (which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth) to rock back and forth," therefore loosening congestion and causing drainage, according to Lisa DeStefano, D.O., author of Greenman's Principles of Manual Medicine.

Method #2: Apply Pressure Across Your Eyebrows

If you feel your stuffed sinuses climbing up into the higher reaches of your head, you might want to try a different pressure point to clear both the nose and the upper sinuses.

Massage therapist Amber Lynn Vitale explains that by moving across the eyebrows, you can encourage the movement of "stuck" fluid.

Place your fingers at the beginning of each eyebrow, close to the center where they don't meet, and lean forward, with your head resting on your fingers and your elbows on a flat surface. After a few seconds, when you feel the pressure shift, slide your fingers to the middle of each eyebrow.

Hold there until you once again feel a slight lightness, and then move your fingers to the end of each brow. Here, Vitale suggests either holding a steady pressure or running your fingertips in tiny circles to stimulate the flow of fluid away from the forehead. Once things get flowing, you'll feel the pressure in the center of your head disperse.

Method #3: Take a Second for a Mini-Massage

Massages do wonders for the rest of our bodies, so why not try a mini-massage when you feel a "knot" of sinus pressure building in your head? According to massage therapist Heather Wibbels, you can pull fluid from the head with a few quick rubs.

Use your fingertips to push firmly against the notch of your collarbone repeatedly to get the fluid moving downwards. According to Wibbels, you'll know the process is working when you feel a need to clear your throat — and your ears might also suddenly open up when the pressure releases.

If this is uncomfortable, Wibbels also suggests a different method. Crossing your hands, you can make a "V" shape and use the same pumping motion on the sides of your neck to get the lymph fluid to release. Both this action and the fingertip pulses create suction in the lymphatic system, which vacuums the fluid residing in your sinuses downward and away from the head.

Read the Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage to learn more about therapeutic massage.

Keep Your Sinuses Moving!

No matter what has your sinuses stuffed and blocked up, the easiest and quickest course of action isn't turning to your medicine cabinet. With a little pressure on the right points and even the use of your tongue, you can draw the problematic fluid from its source of blockage and clear all of your head's senses.

If allergies are bothering you, try rinsing with a neti pot, which not only pushes pressure into your sinuses but keeps them moist and removes any allergens like pollen or animal dander that has built up in there. Try this sinus rinse kit or try a ceramic or stainless steel neti pot. Just make sure you use bottled or boiled water when rinsing.

Want to learn more about acupressure? Check out Yumi's illustrated guide on relieving mental and physical stress using acupoints. For more in-depth information, check out Acupressure's Potent Points: A Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments.

For more cold relief, check out these home remedies for relieving common cold symptoms (and preventing them in the first place).

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Cover photo via Senior Airman Tristin English/Scott Air Force Base


Awesome remedies. I never know about it. thanks for sharing

Some useful tips here - some I've never heard before. To really deal with sinus issues you have to treat the root cause. In my case it was a sinus infection. Thankfully I bought a nasal spray online that has cinammon oil and manuka oil and it rid me of my infection within a week. It is powerful stuff and although I thought is smelled funny it is quite amazing. No more congestion, sinus pain or headaches Yeah!

My left ear has been clogged for 4 days now due to a viral infection and none of this helped. I'm really bummed. I have tried everything and no relief :(

I wish I would have learned this trick years ago. You take a baby nose asperater (not the skinny one, the one that will fit right on your nostril ) and place it into one nostril. Next you with a full depress of the aspirater and a swallow at the same time, you will feel your ear crackle or just pop. Don't do it too hard or it might hurt. Wala. Done.

This article had nothing to do with your ears...

your ears are connected with your sinuses why do you think there are ear nose throat specialists?

You might have a lot of earwax built up. That was my case.

How did you clear your ears mine been over a week can clear it

I had severe allergies and multiple ear and sinus infections before I found out that a tooth that had been root canaled was abcessed. I dealt with it for over 1.5 years. check your teeth.

Hi Zipporah Ross, I think I'm going through the same thing. Was your abscesses tooth on the top or bottom jaw?

Sadly, none of this helped. Thanks, anyway!

I have tried everything too nothing helps ..I am so miserable...any body have anything that will help PLEASE LET ME KNOW...

Try inhaling Tabasco sauce vapors and eat some with food, it should release congestion in couple minutes.

the next time you have sinus issues, go buy Eucalyptus Oil, boil water, and put like 5-10 drops of the oil into the boiled water and deeply breathe in the Steam with a towel over your head.

maybe its time for the doctor u never know if something else is causing the problem
better safe than sorry. good luck

I tried this I got bad sinus right now and this didn't clear me completely up didn't hear i got nasal drainage in my mouth my head still hurt and my voice is lost in my nose get plugged up then clear plugged up then clear off and on

I tried clartin 24 hours pills it lessen my symptoms but doesn't completely heal me up either

I've always had sinus problems because of allergies. Pills don't work. The rinse bottle doesn't work these pressure points help with the headaches sometimes but nothing else. Does anyone know any other ways ? This is awful.

Oregano oil solution. I just posted here for all who need relief and found this hasn't helped enough.

For those of you who haven't found something natural that has worked,
there is a home remedy solution that has worked for many.

One (tear drop sized) drop of oregano oil mixed into a saline solution (sea salt and warm distilled water), in a small amber dropper bottle.

Balance the solution so that there's not an excess of too much oregano oil or salt.

Oregano oil is highly concentrated so taste test your solution mixture first. If it stings your tongue or mouth, add more distilled water. Be careful, this will sting your skin especially if your nose is sore from blowing. For safety from the burn of the oil, you may want to use some coconut or other safe oil as a barrier under the nose before attempting to sniff the solution.

Use this the same way you would a nose spray, by tilting head and sucking in the solution through your nostrils. Stay tilted for a minute or so so the solution can work it's way deep up into the sinuses and head.

Oregano oil is highly effective in treating the cause and effects of painful sinuses and stuffed noses as well as sore throats, candida and more. I make a mouthrinse and gargle with it every time my throat begins getting sore. It usually relieves it by the end of the first day.

Be aware, if you have a serious infection, the act of sucking this up and holding it in the head by tilting the head forward or backward will hurt, stinging where there is infection. If you are ultra sensitive, just use half a drop of oregano oil or add more distilled water.

You may use the solution several times a day until your passages are cleared.

Happy breathing!


Thank you Heather. I can't believe just a few moments of massages you gave have given me relief. I will be doing this from now on when clogged nose happens.

If your sinuses are dry, inhale water vapors, or wash your nose .

None of this has worked on me! I'm still very clogged up!

Be sure to try the neti pot as recommended. It helped me so much

The best way to open your airways is to chew a mint chewing gum(clorets/trident......)

For any of you that have sinus problems due to an infection or have a sore/strep throat there is a very easy at home remedy that works for me every time.

Take garlic cloves crushed up into 2 tablespoons and coat the garlic in honey before taking it (so that youre not tasting the nasty garlic). Take those 2 tablespoons before you go to bed and you will wake up feeling a thousand times better. Also a hungry howies personal pan pizza with extra garlic on the crust worked amazing for me one time. Idk how but it worked amazing.

works 100% of the time. use peppermint oil and dab a small amount between your lip and your nose. opens up your passages fully.

Smoking shisha/hookah clears your sinuses very fast, works 100% of the time

The first method makes you piss a bit if you fail to do it 100% correctly.

#1 actually worked for me almost instantly, omg.

Okay so I've been suffering with my 3rd stuffed nose of the year and on the verge of a disaplinary in work because I'm sick so often (I'm actually sick, not hung over or skiving) and I'd try anything right now. So set my alarm for 20 seconds and pressed and pushed my tongue up. Stopped and nothing happened, typical! Well a few seconds later my left nostril cleared suddenly! Like what!?!? It actually worked! Apapslwpxmgmnralllhfoeo!!!

Could this work ?

How do you get rid of stubborn nasal inflammation?

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