Whether you have tried everything you could find to unblock that ear congestion or you just prefer to avoid medications that can have side effects, acupressure can be a superb treatment to get you hearing clearly again. The Merriam-Webster medical dictionary basically describes acupressure as the application of finger pressure to discrete points on the body to achieve therapeutic effects.
Symptoms of Ear Congestion
According to the Seattle Children's Hospital, the most common symptoms of ear congestion are sudden onset of muffled hearing, crackling or popping noises in the ear, and a stuffy or full sensation in the ear. Unless the congestion is caused by air travel, there is generally a lack of pain associated with basic congestion. If you have ear pain as well as these symptoms, go see your family doctor because it may be caused by something serious.
Acupressure Technique for Ear Congestion
Acupressure does not require any special tools, just your fingers and the knowledge of where to press. Using moderate fingertip pressure, each point should be massaged in small circular motions for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The pressure should be enough to cause some mild discomfort but should not cause pain. Acupressure Online instructs that the points can be stimulated in any order and there is no limit on how many times the points are stimulated. The treatment can be continued until the symptoms resolve.
Head Acupressure Points
There are several helpful points on the head and around the ears. The Gallbladder 20 points are located at the back of the skull where it meets the neck. They are about half way between the ear and the middle of the spine. There are two small dips where the finger will fit, one on each side of the skull. It is typically the most sensitive point at the back of the skull. San jiao 17 is tucked behind your earlobe where the ear attaches to the skull. There is a small dip just behind the jaw bone. San jiao 21, small intestine 19 and gallbladder 2 are all located at the junction where the ear meets the face. Simply massage the whole area where the ear attaches to the face with small circular motions.
Body Acupressure Points
Although the congestion is in the ears, there are several points located on the body that may be helpful in resolving the symptoms. Large intestine 4 is located on the web of the hand between the thumb and first finger. Sanjiao 3 is located on the back of the hand between the fourth and fifth fingers just below the knuckles of the fist. Gallbladder 43 is located on the top of the foot one finger space below the cleft between the fourth and fifth toes.
Dr. Daniel Choo, M.D., of Wellness Net, warns that there are times when ear congestion can be a sign of something more serious such as middle ear fluid or infection, Meniere's disease, growths or lesions. If the ear congestion is chronic or recurring, consult your physician to be sure you are not overlooking a more serious condition. Other signs that you should see your physician include pain, fever or discharge from the ear.
- Merriam-Webster/Medline Plus Medical Dictionary: Acupressure
- Seattle Children's Hospital: Should You See a Doctor? Ear Congestion
- Acupressureonline.org: How Acupressure Works
- Net Wellness: Ask an Expert: Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders: Ear Congestion
- "A Manual of Acupuncture;" Peter Deadman, Mazin Al-Khafaji and Kevin Baker; 2006
Kristen Ball is a doctor of chiropractic medicine. She is also an acupuncturist trained in medical acupuncture and Chinese acupuncture. She specializes in natural health care and has been in private practice since December of 2003. Dr. Ball currently writes two weekly articles in a local newspaper. One pertaining to health care and one pertaining to environmental issues.