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Natural Posture, Pressure and Movement Decongestants

Appropriate posture, pressure and physical movement can all help provide relief from congestion if undertaken correctly. With regard to Natural Decongestants and Allergies, this can take many forms such as:

Posture Related Natural Decongestants

A person’s posture can make a difference concerning congestion. For example:


The ancient practice of Yoga dates back thousands of years and employs a variety of poses or positions that optimize body position to help relieve both nasal and chest congestion whilst facilitating breathing. For example,Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) is said to help breathing whilst both Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) and Uttanasana (standing forward bend) relieve sinus congestion.

Posture, Decongestion and Yoga


Given that body position can make a difference with regard to congestion, gravity-assisted drainage of the sinuses is improved if the head-end of the bed is raised when you sleep. Furthermore, the use of an extra pillow will also help to elevate your head and aid drainage; be sure to position the pillow so as not to bend the neck and constrict the airways in any way.

Acupressure and Massage To Relieve Congestion

Acupressure and Acupoints

Acupressure can be used alone or as a complementary technique to maintain the effectiveness of acupuncture or moxibustion. Acupressure (pressure), acupuncture (needles) and moxibustion (fire heat treatment) target acupoints. In Chinese medicine, acupoints are considered to represent stimulation points that can regulate the flow of qi (vital energy) and blood thereby providing a means to treat disease.

Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years in the East in countries such as China, Korea and Japan. Some scholars believe acupuncture may be older than 10,000 years dating to China’s Neolithic Age (c. 8000-3500 BC), although others dispute this based on archaeological and documentary evidence. In fact, it is the ancient Chinese text Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Medicine Classic or Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine) that represents the earliest documented account of acupuncture (c. 400 BC – 1 BC). This landmark in the history of Chinese civilization laid the foundation for traditional Chinese medicine but was only translated into English in the 20th century.

Acupoints represent highly specific locations on the body and the 1993 World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘Standard Acupuncture Nomenclature, Second Edition’ recognizes 361 points on 14 meridians. A meridian or channel is viewed as the pathway that qi (life-energy) flows along. However, there are additionally many hundreds more acupoints that are not located on these meridians. Choosing the most appropriate points is determined by the skill of the practitioner and the individual needs of the patient.

The following guide to acupoints related to nasal and chest congestion should serve as an introduction to the fascinating world of acupressure, and anyone interested in pursuing the topic further should seek the advice of a qualified practitioner.

Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints

Examples of head and facial, wrist, arm, hand and ankle acupressure/acupoints said to alleviate nasal congestion and sinus pressure include:

Upper Nose and Eyebrows

Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints - Upper Nose and Eyebrows

The upper region of the nose area can be massaged by using the thumb and finger of one hand, in the area either side of the bridge of the nose, towards where it meets the eye socket and eyebrow. Use both up and down movements as well as a repetitive circular motion for several minutes. Some people recommend a modified version of this by just using the thumb of each hand in this region, and to apply pressure alternately to each side. This location refers to acupoint Zanzhu but the term used varies depending on the system of classification applied. For example, it can also be known as Gathered Bamboo, Bladder 2 or BL-2 but also as Drilling Bamboo or B2. Please note that the acupoints noted below will simply list alternative names in brackets.

Another nasal decongestion acupoint in this vicinity is known as Yuyao (Fish Waist or Ex-HN-4) and this is located in the slight depression found just below the center of the eyebrow on either side of the face.

Yintang (Hall of Impression, Hall of Seal or Ex-HN-3 also termed GV 24.5 or Governing Vessel 24.5) is commonly referred to as the “third-eye” and is associated with relieving frontal headaches, nasal congestion, sinus problems and calming the spirit. It is located midline between the eyebrows.

Lower Nose and Cheekbones

Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints - Lower Nose and Cheekbones

The lower region of the nose can be massaged around the area just next to each nostril. Using your index finger, use both up and down movements as well as a repetitive circular motion for several minutes, though a pulsating action may yield superior results. This can be performed on each side separately, performed simultaneously using both index fingers or by using 2 fingers on each side.

There are a number of acupoints in this region associated with easing head congestion. For example the following points are said to help alleviate congestion and relieve sinus pain; remember that these are located symmetrically either side of the nose.

  • Yingxiang (Welcome Fragrance or Large Intestine 20 or LI 20)
  • Shangyingxiang or Bitong (Upper Yingxiang or Ex-HN-8) literally translates to “nose opening” in English.
  • Juliao (Great Crevice, Facial Beauty or Stomach 3 or ST-3) is located close to Yingxiang but where a line drawn down from below the pupil meets the base of the cheekbone.

Head – Hairline

Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints - Head Hairline

Various nasal problems including congestion can be addressed by the acupoint named Shangxing (Upper Star or Du-23 also termed Governing Vessel 23 or GV 23) that is located midline just above the hair line.

Head – Base of Skull

Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints - Head Base of Skull

It is said that massaging the region of the Occipital (hollow space at the base of the skull) for several minutes is beneficial for nasal congestion. In fact, there are a number of acupoints in this region associated with easing head congestion:

  • Tianzhu (Heavenly Pillar or Bladder 10 or BL-10) is located just below the base of the skull on either side of the spine.
  • Fengchi (Wind pool or Gall Bladder 20 or GB-20) is a little higher and outwards from Tianzhu noted above and is located on either side of the base of the skull.
  • Fengfu (Palace of Wind, Wind Palace, Wind Mansion or Du-16 also termed GV 16 or Governing Vessel 16) may not only help relieve head congestion but also associated headaches.

Other acupressure points said to help relieve nasal congestion and associated sinus problems include:

Hand and Wrist

Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints - Hand and Wrist

Use one hand’s thumb and index finger to squeeze and apply pressure to the area between the thumb and index finger of the opposite hand. Work the area of the fleshy part for several minutes at a time and repeat for both hands. This targets the acupoint known as Hegu (Hoku or Joining Valley or Large Intestine 4 or LI-4) which is found on the back of the hand as indicated. However, note that this point is often listed as not being recommended for pregnant women due to it causing premature contractions of the uterus.

Continuing with the hands, the acupoint located just below the corner of the thumbnail furthest from the fingers is called Shaoshang (Lesser Shang or Lung 11 or Lu-11).

Lieque (Broken Sequence or Lung 7 or Lu-7) is the acupoint found in the depression in the wrist area as shown in the illustration.


Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints - Arm

Further down from the wrist and located towards the top inner side of the bend of the arm is Quchi (Pool at the Crook or Large Intestine 11 or LI-11) and this is said to relieve stuffiness and congestion similar to those experienced with cold symptoms.


Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure and Acupoints - Ankle

Acupoint Taixi (Supreme Stream or Kidney 3 or KID-3 or K3) is said by some to assist nasal congestion and is located in the indentation between the inner ankle bone and the Achilles tendon.

Chest Congestion and Acupoints

Even though the term decongestant is usually applied to nasal congestion, as we have discovered previously, some people apply the term more liberally to include anything that helps congestion per se, and this includes both nasal and chest congestion. It is in the latter context that we will now consider chest congestion given the nature of the material being covered i.e. acupressure, massage and acupoints.

In general, massaging the chest and upper back region (especially when using a natural rub that contains herb extracts such as eucalyptus or peppermint), is said to alleviate chest congestion and help clear the airways.

However, a number of acupoints associated with chest conditions (e.g. colds and flu) can suppress coughing. Even though temporary relief from a troublesome cough may seem appealing, as noted in Congestion Complications – Fever, Warning Signs, Polyps, “suppressing the coughing action can result in creating more problems than it appears to solve.

Fortunately, there are some locations that are said to help relieve chest congestion and aid breathing, such as:

Chest Congestion and Acupoints - Arm

Chize (Cubit Arsh or Lung 5 or Lu-5) is on the radial (outer side) of the bicep tendon.

 Chest Congestion and Acupoints - Wrist

Neiguan (Inner gate or Pericardium 6 or P-6) is located about 2 cm beyond the hand-wrist crease and between the 2 wrist tendons.

Chest Congestion and Acupoints - Chest


Shufu (Shu Mansion or kidney 27 or Kid-27 also known as Elegant Mansion or K27) lies just below the clavicle (collarbone) approximately in a line drawn down from the outside of the neck.

General Massage

Massage involves physical manipulation (kneading, pressing, rubbing, stroking) of different areas of the body to improve one’s physical and mental well-being. Massage therapy sessions can take place sitting in a massage chair or lying on a floor mat but are mostly associated with lying on a massage table. Unfortunately, as noted previously, a person’s posture can affect chest and sinus congestion. Lying prone on a massage table can aggravate chest and nasal congestion resulting in discomfort and a less pleasurable session. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to minimize this issue:

  • Undertake nasal irrigation an hour or so prior to the massage session.
  • Adjust height/angle of the face rest.
  • As acupressure involves a form of highly targeted massage, it may prove beneficial to massage appropriate congestion acupoints before undertaking a massage therapy session.
  • Consider using essential oils or nasal strips to open airways .

Walking and Exercise

Aside from the actual physical movement and shaking that occurs when taking a walk, running or exercising, the resulting increased circulation and body temperature can also help loosen mucus and clear sinus pressure.

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