Breathing Exercises to Fight Sinusitis

Sinusitis occurs when your sinuses become inflamed and irritated. Sinusitis causes mucus to build up around your nasal passages, making it difficult for you to breathe through your nose. You may experience headaches, facial swelling and a throbbing feeling in your face if you suffer from sinusitis. If you suffer from frequent sinus infections, see your doctor to discuss a treatment plan or try a few simple breathing exercises at home.

Woman in bed with sinus pain (Image: yelo34/iStock/Getty Images)


Pranayama is the name for breathing exercises performed in yoga practice. The Shri Siddhartha Foundation recommends practicing pranayama to treat sinusitis. By performing these gentle breathing exercises, you increase the oxygen flow to your blood and your brain, helping your body function more properly and relieving headache and other sinusitis symptoms.

How to Perform Breathing Exercise

Yoga Magazine recommends practicing a pranayama technique known as bhastrika, or bellows breath, daily to treat or prevent sinusitis. Sit comfortably and relax your shoulders. Take a few deep breaths through your nose to relax. Begin bellows breath by exhaling quickly and forcefully through your nose in short bursts, aiming for one exhale per second. Perform 10 exhales, then relax for 30 seconds, breathing normally. Repeat the bellows breath for 20 exhales, then relax for another 30 seconds. Finally, aim for 30 quick exhalations.


Do not practice pranayama, such as bellows breath, to treat sinusitis if you are pregnant. If you feel uncomfortable or light headed while performing breathing exercises for sinusitis, stop immediately and breathe normally. Yogic breathing techniques can increase your energy levels, so you may want to avoid performing them right before bed.

Expert Insight suggests practicing deep breathing in a warm shower to fight sinusitis. Breathing in the steam from the shower can help reduce sinus pain and loosen your mucus, helping to relieve sinus pressure and combat chronic sinus infections.


Practice your breathing exercises in a quiet, calm place where you are able to relax. Avoid burning incense or scented candles or wearing perfume during your breathing exercises. The area where you relax and practice breathing should be well ventilated.

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