Judy Bowen-Jones

A common condition, sinusitis is inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, typically caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

The sinuses are small, air filled cavities behind your cheekbones, forehead and eyes and either side of the bridge of your nose. They open into your nose and allow mucus to drain.

The main symptoms of sinusitis are:

  • a blocked or runny nose
  • facial pain and tenderness
  • high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F) or more
  • sinus headache (dull throbbing pain in upper face, which may get worse when you move your head)

Conventional medical treatment of sinusitis includes analgesia for pain relief, steam inhalation and possibly antibiotics if the condition is very severe and there are signs of infection.


Research suggests that acupuncture may help relieve symptoms of sinusitis such as nasal congestion. More research is needed. Acupuncture may also help to relieve symptoms of sinusitis by:

  • Increasing the production of endorphins ( the body’s natural pain killers)
  • Changing how the brain processes pain
  • Increasing circulation
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Stimulating the body’s natural immune response

Treating Sinusitis

“If you suffer from repeated bouts of sinusitis or chronic sinusitis it may be that there is an underlying imbalance or deficiency which needs to be addressed. Diet may be an issue. Alternatively, if you also suffer from allergies, it may be that allergic rhinitis is making you vulnerable to viral or bacterial sinus infection. Acupuncture may help.”

Research Fact Sheets

Research Fact Sheets

For more information see the British Acupuncture Council Research Fact Sheet below.