Posted on: June 29, 2016 at 9:03 am
Last updated: September 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

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Sinus pressure OR upset stomachs are no joke.  I’ve noticed during the last two weeks that a lot of friends have been sick or unwell with one of two types of illness…myself included.

It seems to be either a really rough cold/flu experience with very blocked sinuses or dare I mention it, the dreaded stomach flu (sadly for me, I got the second one…).  Mind you, that particular choice is effectively between a rock and a hard place, I guess.


That Dreaded Sinus Pressure – and What You Can Do To Get Some Relief With Reflexology


Having a blocked nose and sinus pressure can be a miserable experience.  If you want to try some self-help, the sinus ‘reflexes’ are located on the balls of all your fingers and toes.

(Wondering to myself here how many ‘interesting’ spam attacks I’ll get for typing the word ‘balls’ in a blog post.  Sigh.)

For self-helpers, it’s often easier to work the hands than the feet.  The reflexology technique I learned to relieve sinus pressure is based on the work of Eunice Ingham, a groundbreaking force in the formation of the reflexology movement in the USA.  It’s called ‘thumb walking’.


How to Thumb Walk All Your Sinus Reflexes On Either Hand For Sinus Pressure Relief

What this means in non-reflexologists language is simply this.  Take the thumb of the right hand, bend it slightly and practice ‘walking’ the ball of the thumb (here I go again) across the palm of the opposite hand.

The movement you’re looking for is kind of like the movement of an inchworm.  Make the movement as small as you can, so that pressure is applied almost continuously as you ‘walk’ your thumb across.

Now repeat this movement on the ball of each finger of the left hand, moving across from right to left.  You may discover some ‘crunchy’ or ‘bumpy’ feelings as you thumb walk the tips of each finger.  This is gold-dust, because this will help unblock your sinuses, crazy as it sounds, so work these crunchy spots really well.

Switch thumbs and thumb walk the fingertips of the right hand with your left thumb.  That’s how to gain some sinus pressure relief using reflexology.


If you find reading instructions and applying them hard to do (I much prefer to be shown, myself), then here’s a link to EHow, where there is a short video demonstration of both thumb and finger walking.  The video is also posted below.

Reflexology Techniques — powered by ehow.

I apologize in advance for the short advertisement at the beginning of the video, but it was not of my making.

Help Your Children Out When They Have Sinus Pressure

If you’re helping out your children, you can either work their hands or their feet.  So, the same thing, but make sure you go in different directions on the ball of the big toes, since there is lots of room to work there and get an even better result.

Keep The Tissues Handy When Working The Sinus Areas To Relieve Sinus Pressure With Reflexology

If you, or the person you are helping out is open to reflexology, they will get a definite result.

This might mean an immediate clearing of the sinuses, so keep the tissues handy!  Some people get a slower drain over time, but a lot of people do experience an immediate easing of the sinus pressure.

Great especially for the little ones when they are trying to get to sleep with a stuffy cold and there’s only so much cold medicine you can give.

Why Does Thumb Walking This Area of My Hands and Feet Help Clear My Sinuses?

There are many theories as to why reflexology works.

The zone theory views the feet and hands as literal maps of the body, so if you looked at the palms of your hands turned towards you with pinky fingers touching, the top ‘zone’ or fingers all relate to the upper zone of the body, e.g. head and neck.

Chinese meridian theory also points to channels or ‘meridians’ which start and end in the hands and feet and affect all organs and systems in the body, so if you receive a reflexology session from a State-Certified reflexologist (such as yours truly) then all meridians within the body have been worked in some way.

The ‘nerve theory’ states that all the nerves in the body are connected and that the nerves in the tips of the fingers and toes ultimately connect through the body to those in the neck and head, so thumb walking on these nerve endings ‘enervates’ (stimulates) the nerves in related areas.

Who knows which theory is right?  I certainly don’t, and maybe they all partially have some bearing.

What I do know from experience with clients and personal application is that I can clear my sinuses darn quickly using this method, and help others too.  Feel free to try this and comment back, I’d love to hear your experiences and hope you find some relief from your sinus pressure.

Like To Learn More About Reflexology?

Here are some recommended readings if you’d like to learn more:

  1. Complete Reflexology for Life by Barbara & Kevin Kuntz
  2. Stories the Feet Can Tell Through Reflexology by Eunice Ingham
    Eunice Ingham could be considered the founding Mother of Reflexology in the United States.  As a physical therapist, through her work with Dr William Fitzgerald, she discovered that stimulation of the nerves in the hands and feet helped post-surgery patients heal more quickly – especially if she stimulated the nerve areas related to the locations where surgery was performed.

Dr William Fitzgerald was one of the first US doctors to try powerful clips on the hands and feet in certain nerve areas to reduce pain during surgery (thus reducing the amount of anesthesia needed to perform surgery, life-threatening at the time).

We have both Eunice Ingham and Dr Fitzgerald to thank for being groundbreaking practitioners in their field.  Eunice Ingham’s nephew Dwight C Byers runs a reflexology Institute in St Petersburg, Florida to this day.

Barbara and Kevin Kunz are two practitioners who have both produced some excellent ‘how to’ books for experienced reflexology practitioners and new practitioners (or interested newbies!).

The illustrations are clear and the instructions simple…highly recommended!


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