Especially in the winter months, congested sinuses can be a problem for everyone, whether they have a cold or not. Your nose is stuffed-up, and blowing doesn't help. You can go around breathing through your mouth, but that exposes your throat to the dry cold, inviting illness, and there are better ways to handle this!

It's common knowledge that putting your head over steaming hot water can be helpful. Boil some water, add to a large bowl, if desired add 2-3 drops of essential oil of menthol or eucalyptus, place a towel over your head, and breathe in the steam. This warms the tissues and helps soften phlegm.

 My favorite method is, of course, massage. And while this can be done by me in my office, it's also quite effective to do on yourself. Next time you find you can't breathe through your nose due to stuffed-up sinuses, try this:

1.     Starting with the forehead, using firm pressure, stroke with all 4 fingertips from the center outwards. Repeat for a total of 9 strokes.

2.     Find the inner corner of the eyes, the point just inside the tear ducts — apply comfortable pressure on each side with the middle fingers for 9 counts, release, repeat 2 more times.

3.     Using firm pressure with middle and ring fingers, draw a "smile" shape moving from the inner corner of eye to side of eyebrows, 9 strokes.

4.     Find the center of the outer curve of the both nostrils, press with middle fingers for 9 counts, release, repeat 2 more times.

5.     Thoroughly massage the earlobes.

6.     Place both thumbs under the rigid fold above the entrace to the ear — gently pull the ear up and back at an angle. Hold for 9 counts, repeat 2 more times.

How are you breathing now? If completely cleared, hurrah!

If not, repeat as needed. And maybe boil some water.

Happy winter breathing to all!

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