Sinus congestion can leave you feeling a lot of head pressure. It can be so bad that it creates a headache. The good news is that there are natural remedies for sinus congestion that you can easily use that are free or almost free! I used to suffer a great deal from sinus congestion especially in the fall during allergy season or when I had a cold or flu. Now that I have learned how to manage and prevent sinus congestion, it is rarely an issue for me!
Steam and Hot Water for Sinus Congestion
My first experiences with relieving sinus congestion naturally came as a child. My mother would have me take a hot shower or drink hot soup. The steam would help to loosen some mucus that was causing the pressure in my nasal passages. This is a great quick fix for sinus congestion as long as you are at home and hot water is available.
The steam from the soup was also very soothing when I had a cold. It took only minutes for the steam to provide some degree of relief. You can also drink tea throughout the day when you are suffering from sinus congestion to relieve it as well. It doesn’t just have to be soup.
Another great way to relieve sinus congestion with steam is to use a humidifier in your home.
Buteyko Breathing Exercises
The buteyko breathing exercises are some exercises that I learned as an adult. I read that you can relieve sinus congestion with them, but didn’t believe it until I tried it. You absolutely can! Buteyko has a theory that all illnesses are occurring because we are over breathing, or breathing too fast. When we slow down our breathing, our body is better able to use the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air.
The best Buteyko breathing exercise that I have found to relieve congestion is a series of 5-10 control pauses. You take your thumb and index finger and plug your nose while you hold your breathe until it becomes uncomfortable. This will initially be only about 15-20 seconds. You wait a minute between each control pause and then you try to comfortably hold your breathe a bit longer each time. This can be done while you are out and about. I taught my friend how to do it when we were at a museum. She is a doctor and was shocked how quickly it worked!
Once you have cleared out your nose, you want to focus on nasal breathing instead of trying to breathe through your mouth. Nasal breathing will help to prevent further blockages as the air is coming and going through the nose!
There are some great books on Buteyko Breathing exercises to learn more about this technique. Patrick McKeown has a great book called Close Your Mouth that is very helpful for those people who are new to Buteyko Breathing exercises.
If you are really feeling sick and achy, this may not be the best option. However, if the sinus congestion is simply the first sign of a cold and you have enough energy to make it through the day, you may want to hop on your treadmill and put in an hour. When you exercise with nasal breathing only, you are forcing air through your nasal passageways. Your body will start to clear out the mucus to allow for the air that is coming and going. During the spring and fall when my seasonal allergies creep up, I take to my treadmill daily. I do notice that exercising when I have sinus congestion will help to eliminate it. Keep a tissue box handy though! You’ll want to blow your nose a few times during a workout with the goal of relieving sinus pressure!
When your body is hydrated it is better able to fight off colds and viruses. Often times when we are sick, it is because we allowed our bodies to get slightly dehydrated and become a bit more vulnerable. When you are fully hydrated, your body is functioning more optimally, which includes keeping your sinuses moist. Make sure that you drink water throughout the day. Steer clear of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. These can cause dehydration and put you at greater risk of sinus congestion.
The recommended fluid intake will differ from person to person based on their body weight. Ideally, you want to consume about 1/2 an ounce of water per pound of body weight. Additionally, you will want to ensure that you are replacing essential minerals with a pinch of sea salt per 16 ounces of water. If your urine is very light yellow or almost clear, you are probably taking in enough water. However, if your urine is very dark, you need to increase the amount of water that you are drinking each day!
There are plenty of natural remedies that you can use to relieve sinus pressure. You don’t need to rush out to the store and get the latest decongestant on the market to experience relief. In fact, you can do some of these remedies on your way to the store and realize that you don’t need that decongestant after all! Once you master some Buteyko breathing exercises and get used to being fully hydrated, you may discover that sinus congestion is a thing of the past. I no longer suffer from sinus congestion, but when it does rear its ugly head, I relieve it immediately with these natural remedies!