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Massage Therapy Have You Stuffed Up?

Have you ever suffered from a stuffed up nose during a massage therapy treatment? Well, you are not alone. Throughout my practice (and direct experience) I have found this to be a common occurrence. This is due to a number of factors, mainly because most treatments are spent a great deal of the time with the client in the prone ( face down)position. In this posture their head / sinuses are often being compressed in the head rest. In addition to the compressed sinuses the massage techniques applied enhance blood flow there by increasing circulation. When in this position there is a release of histamine within the cardiovascular system causing allergy like symptoms such as stuffed or runny nose. For most, the symptoms tend to resolve themselves after being turned over into the supine (face up) position. While it can be annoying and uncomfortable here are a few tips that can help in reducing your symptoms.

  • Using aromatherapy oils such as eucalyptus have been proven to help in reducing congestion within the nasal cavity. Place a couple drops on a tissue paper and place it on a surface under the client’s face to allow the client breathe in the eucalyptus oil.

  • Incorporating a few minutes of sinus massage.

  • Incorporating more time in supine can also help minimize the symptoms.

  • For severe cases such as those suffering from painful sinusitis side-lying may be the best option.

Like many of you I too get congested while I receive massage therapy treatments, but I realize it is short lived and the positive effects of the massage supersedes the stuffed nose.

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