If you have ever had sinus issues, you have felt the difficulties of getting through the winter. When over-the-counter medications fail in treating sinus issues, many people turn to home remedies. Today, we are sharing a lesser known method: the Lymphatic Drainage Self Massage!
So what is a lymphatic massage? According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a massage method that encourages the “flow of lymph fluid” throughout our lymphatic system.
According to licensed massage therapist Heather Wibbles, if applied properly, it only takes several minutes of gently applied pressure on the right spots to ease your sinus issues.
Disclaimer: do not perform lymphatic massage if you are demonstrating one of the following symptoms:
- Fever, acute infection, early onset of inflammatory disease
- Circulatory system problems, especially thrombosis
- Cardiac issues such as heart disease, acute angina pectoris or coronary thrombosis
- Active bleeding, internal or external
- Active malignant cancers, undiagnosed lumps, or tumors whose origins have not been determined by your physician
- High-risk pregnancy or late term pregnancy with complications
If you don’t have any of these symptoms, you are good to go. Keep in mind, though, that the lymphatic drainage massage does not require any strength. Heather compares the pressure you need to use to the pressure level you would use to roll a coin across a tabletop. In other words: don’t press too hard!
You’ll be focusing on four areas to clear your sinuses, all four are spots where fluids settle close to the skin: your head, your neck, around your ears, and the back of your neck.
1. Find the Venus angle
Take your ring finger on each hand, and place them on each side of your collarbone, one on either side of the notch in your throat at the center of your collarbone. Then slide your hands up over the collar bone to the soft tissue of your neck. Lightly and slowly start to pump, with one pump every one to two seconds, or slower. Do 50 to 100 pumps, and you’ll start to feel the fluids move. You may feel like you need to clear your throat; that’s totally normal!
2. Move to the side of your neck
Place the top parts of your palms on either side of your neck, and use the surface of your palms and fingers to pull straight down, along the big muscle in your neck. Repeat about 50 times. You’ll start to feel the fluid beginning to drain from your ears!
3. Move to the back of your neck
Cup your hands together, again using the top part of your palm and fingers. Place your cupped hands on the back of your neck, and again pull downwards about 50 times.
4. Finish up
Put your hands into the Star Trek “Live long and prosper” salute— i.e. in a V-shape, with your pointer and middle finger forming one side, and your ring and pinky finger forming the other side. Put your ears in the bottom of each V, between the middle and ring fingers. Pull downward toward the bottom of your cheek, about 50 times.
5. Repeat the massages in reverse order: back of the neck, side of the neck, and finishing near your collarbone at the Venus angle
Check out the video for the full demonstration by massage professional Heather Wibbels.
For those of you who don’t have the time for a full massage daily, there is a quicker routine recommended by massage therapist Amber Lynn Vitale. Here are the steps:
1. Start at your eyebrows. Push up under the brow bone with your fingers or thumbs while sitting at a table, leaning forward to apply pressure.
2. Move to the middle of and slightly above your eyebrow. Apply pressure to the little divot there as long as needed.
3. Move to the far edge of your eyebrows. Do not go out as far as your temple, but find the slight indentation before it. Press and hold, or move your fingers in small circles.
4. Move to the top of your nostrils on the sides of your nose. This spot should be where your cheekbone meets your nasal bone. Press, again while sitting at a table and leaning forward on your elbows.
5. Move slightly down, below your nostrils now, to another indentation, and then out to the middle of your cheekbone. Press up.
Follow the in-depth instructions in the video below.