Treatment of Sinusitis with Shiatsu and Trigger Points Therapy


Sinuses are hollow air spaces, known as paranasal sinuses. These are cavities, located within the skull or bones of the head surrounding the nose:
  • the frontal
    over the eyes in the brow area;
  • the maxillary
    inside each cheekbone;
  • the ethmoids
    just behind the bridge of the nose and between the eyes; and behind them;
  • the sphenoids
    in the upper region of the nose and behind the eyes.

Sinusitis is a very painful condition, accompanied by symptoms such as headache, pressure, fogginess of the mind ; facial pain, cough which may be more severe at night, and runny nose or nasal congestion, weakness, drainage of mucus from the sphenoids (or other sinuses) down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) can cause a sore throat and can irritate the membranes lining the larynx

Swelling in the nasal passages caused by following conditions also can affect the sinuses:
  • inflammation from virus-induced "colds"
  • fungal infection
  • Allergic rhinitis or hay fever caused by airborne allergens (substances that provoke an allergic reaction), such as dust, mold, and pollen.
  • Vasomotor rhinitis, caused by humidity, cold air, alcohol, perfumes, and other environmental conditions.

Like acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis is more common in patients with immune deficiency or abnormalities of mucus secretion (e.g., immune deficiency, HIV infection, cystic fibrosis, Kartagener's syndrome). In addition, some patients have severe asthma, nasal polyps, and severe asthmatic responses to aspirin and aspirin-like medications

Natural Approach.

Trigger Point Therapy:

A mechanical misalignment in facial joints is overlooked most of the times, yet a very important cause of sinusitis.

A mechanical misalignment due to pull of Trigger Points in affected muscles:
  • Medial Pterigoid muscle causes pain in the temporomandibular join (TMJ) and the ear.

  • Lateral Pterygoid muscle is the most prominent source of myofascial pain and temporomandibular join disfunction.

    Trigger Point generated tension in the lateral pterygoid tends to pull the lower jaw and partially dislocate the joint.

    This is where the popping or clicking sound in the jaw comes from. Trigger points in this muscle refer pain to the cheek, mimicking sinus pain. Besides that, they can stimulate sinus secretions.

  • Masseter muscle is the power muscle of the jaw. Trigger points in it cause pain
    • right in front of the ear;
    • in front of the face;
    • under the eyes;
    • over the eyebrow;
    • bags under eyes;
    • sinus drainage;
    • deep pain in the ear with sense of stuffiness or low roaring sound.

  • Zygomaticus and Levator labii are small cheek muscles that lie close to nose.
    Trigger Points in them cause pain in the face below the eyes, along the side of the nose and middle of the forehead.

    They can cause all usual allergy symptoms: runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing. Their referral pain pattern is identical to sinus pain and tension headaches.

In listed facial group of muscles Trigger Points are created when:

  • You have troubles breathing through your nose and keep mouth open in order to breathe.
  • Dental work requiring you to hold your mouth open for long period of time can be unsuspected cause of long term chronic pain in face and jaw.

    Often times TMJ pain and discomforts can be resolved by working on the Trigger Points in the muscles listed above.

Besides the facial muscles, surprisingly enough there is calf muscle - Soleus - trigger point in this muscle causes facial pain and jaw dislocation in some number of people.

From what I have seen in my practice the majority of people with sinus problems have trigger points in the Soleus muscle.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine listed trigger points are parts of Stomach, Gall Bladder and Liver meridians.

In Traditional Chinese Medical Theory the causes of sinuses are seen in imbalances of following Meridians:
  • Liver and Gall Bladder;
  • Imbalance in Lung meridian;
  • Stomach and Spleen meridians.

In every individual case specific set of points is treated as well as specific meridians that are responsible for the disbalance is worked on during the treatments.

"Shiatsu Therapy Plus +" Treatment Protocol:
  • Checking structural misbalances in hips and spine is the standard starting point in "Shiatsu Therapy Plus +" protocol for treating painful muscular-skeletal conditions. Hips are the base of spine and its balance greatly influences whole our body.
  • Treatment will definitely include work with facial muscles. The reason being - there is no person who would not have trigger points there ( the only exception are newborns). Each of us has sat at dentist chair and each of us has had stuffed and runny nose at least couple of times in our lives. These factors could create problems with drainage of sinus secretions by pulling facial bones out of alignment.
  • Meridian work (acupressure) will be applied. We will use Oriental Medical Theory analysis for evaluating appropriate meridians to work on.
  • Dietary recommendations according to Chinese Medical Theory will be provided. Dietary changes most often play crucial role in successful treatment of sinuses.
  • Self-awareness techniques maybe used during the treatment and/or suggested as a part of self care routine.

"Shiatsu Therapy Plus +" is usually successful in treating sinusitis. Use of trigger points and shiatsu (acupressure) and following the diet recommendations brings great results. In case of sinusitis you will be able to tell if this therapy is working for you after first 3 treatments. In case of seasonal chronic condition it is recommended to take treatments couple month prior the usual onset of condition. 5-6 biweekly sessions accompanied by dietary changes are very beneficial.

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Shiatsu Therapy Plus+ providing services in Bucks County, PA 484.213.2938