Sinus congestion can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, affecting millions of people worldwide. With so many remedies available, it can be challenging to find the most effective solution. In this blog post, we’ll explore the effectiveness of acupuncture for sinus congestion and how it can provide relief for those who suffer from this common ailment.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body, known as acupuncture points. This technique aims to balance the body’s energy flow, or “qi,” and promote overall health and well-being.

Acupuncture for Sinus Congestion

In a study published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, researchers explored the effectiveness of acupuncture for sinus congestion, 24 patients with a history of nasal congestion due to hypertrophic inferior turbinates or chronic sinusitis without polyposis were examined. The participants were asked to rate the severity of their congestion on a visual analog scale (VAS), and nasal airflow (NAF) was measured using active anterior rhinomanometry (ARM). The acupuncturist was blinded, and specific traditional acupoints were tested against nonspecific control acupoints. VAS and NAF were recorded before, 15 minutes after, and 30 minutes after the acupuncture treatment.

Results revealed that control acupuncture led to significant improvements in VAS and a deterioration of NAF. In contrast, traditional acupuncture demonstrated highly significant improvements in both VAS and NAF. Moreover, traditional acupuncture significantly improved NAF and VAS over time.

In a different study published in the Journal of Korean Acupuncture and Moxibustion Society, researchers investigated the effectiveness of a novel acupuncture point, Sim-eui, for treating rhinitis, a condition characterized by annoying nasal symptoms such as discharge, itching, sneezing, congestion, and pressure. Rhinitis affects 10-25% of the population and is known to cause sleep disorders, learning disabilities, decreased productivity, and low quality of life.

The study compared the effects of acupuncture treatment with Sim-eui point to a control group that used the pre-existing LI20 point. Both groups experienced significant improvement in their nasal symptoms. Besides the relief from nasal congestion, patients also reported improvements in various aspects of their quality of life. According to the SNOT-20 questionnaire, which measures rhinosinusitis health status and quality of life, 18 out of the 20 categories showed significant improvement for both groups.

Notably, improvements were seen in the need to blow the nose, sneezing, runny nose, cough, post-nasal discharge, thick nasal discharge, ear fullness, dizziness, ear pain, facial pain, difficulty falling asleep, waking up tired, fatigue, reduced productivity, reduced concentration, frustration, sadness, and embarrassment.

The experiment group, which utilized the Sim-eui point, experienced a greater degree of immediate relief from nasal blockage during acupuncture treatment, scoring between “much relief” and “no symptom felt” on a visual analogue scale. In contrast, the control group, which used the LI20 point, reported lesser improvement, scoring between “little relief” and “moderate relief”.

How Acupuncture Works for Sinus Congestion

Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body related to the sinuses, helping to clear blocked nasal passages and reduce inflammation. This, in turn, can lead to improved nasal airflow and relief from congestion.

When receiving acupuncture treatment, a trained acupuncturist will insert thin needles into the appropriate points on the face, head, and body, targeting areas that correspond with the sinuses. The needles are left in place for about 30 minutes, allowing the body to respond to the treatment and promote healing.


Acupuncture for sinus congestion offers a natural and effective solution for those seeking relief without relying on medications. With its ability to improve nasal airflow and reduce inflammation, acupuncture can provide much-needed comfort for those struggling with sinus congestion. If you’re interested in trying acupuncture, consult with a licensed acupuncturist to discuss your specific needs and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or therapy, including acupuncture.


If you are looking for a Denver acupuncture clinic for help with sinus congestion, or need help with your digestive problems, headaches, pain, psychological conditions, or women’s health issues, contact us today at (720)285-6251 or book an appointment online.