How to use Gua Sha for Sinus Drainage

gua sha for sinus

The Gua Sha is a Chinese instrument that can best be described as a flat, smooth stone. And it has gained its popularity due to the wonders it does in relieving tensions, stimulating blood circulation, and helping eliminate toxins from our skin. Usually, it is used as a beauty and therapeutic tool. Nonetheless, because it helps lymphatic drainage, it has been proven very helpful in alleviating sinus congestion and discomfort.


Whether it's a cold, sinusitis, or seasonal hay fever, Gua Sha can be your new aid in caring for your upper respiratory health. We are usually greeted by the symptoms before a slight inflammation or fluid accumulation. Before we resort to taking any kind of medicine, we can also use the Gua Sha preventively as well, to help calm the inflammation and drain the fluid and mucus accumulation.


Try using the Gua Sha if you experience the following symptoms

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus pressure and headaches
  • Ear infections, ear pressure, clogged ears
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache


reduce sinus drainage

Step 1: Prepare your skin

Before using the Gua Sha on your skin, it's important to hydrate the massaged area to ensure a smooth and irritation-free massage. You may use your favorite cream, or even better, an essential oil that can help improve your respiratory health. Any of the following are great for relieving congestion: peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender. If you use them directly on the skin, it's important to dilute them, so use no more than 3 drops of oil.


Step 2. Drain

  • Hold your Gua Sha almost flat on the skin.
  • Use long and quick strokes.
  • Be mindful of the pressure you need, start softly, and increase as you feel necessary.


1. Maxillary Sinus 

This is the cheekbone area of your sinuses and the largest.

Use the Gua Sha in strokes, starting from the base of your nose outwards towards your ears. Do it in 2 lines, one starting from the middle of your nose and one from the base. Repeat from 5 -20 times for each stroke.


Bonus tip: pay special attention to the Bi Tong area. This is the point used in acupuncture, and it can translate to 'nose opening'. You can find it a bit higher than the base of your nose, so touch the area where the cheekbone meets a tender point that ends into the nasolabial groove. To help relieve this area, you may want to switch to small circular movements or just to add a bit of pressure with the stone to the area.


2. Frontal Sinus

This is the low-center of your forehead, just above your eyebrows.

Massage outwards, in the eyebrow area towards the temples. Go higher towards the middle of your forehead and repeat the same outward movement. Then move from the center of your eyebrows (3rd eye area) upward towards your hairline.

Do this 5-20 times for each stroke.


3. Ear pressure

These chronic or seasonal inflammations can also cause an extended pressure build-up around your ears. That is why some may feel like a constant blockage or clot in their ears. To alleviate this, use downward movements, starting from the back of your ear and following your jawline down to the base of your neck. Repeat this 5-20 times as you feel necessary.


Step 3. Soothe

Once you have drained and massage your problematic areas, it's important to continue the care. You can use a moisturizer on your face and neck, but you can also consider diffusing essential oils in the room you're sleeping to further help you free your respiratory tract.