If your child has sinus problems or a cold, a little massage can help clear those facial passages.
Many doctors teach patients a simple series of strokes to help kids through sinus congestion. But before you give your child a gentle massage, you need to know exactly what you’re doing. Most of us are not intimate with our own sinus cavities, so getting to know them first will help you find and massage your child’s.
Learn Your Own Nose Sinuses
Using your index and middle finger, feel from the bridge of your nose down along the edges of your nose. You can pinch and feel spots along your nose that feel more tender. If you are congested yourself, you may feel an effect on the mucus in there.
Related: 5 Elements of Staying Healthy
Learn Your Own Cheek Sinuses
As you slide down your nose, you will reach a point where your fingers come to a natural stop. There’s a little indentation and ridge there, a part of your cheekbone near the nose.
Take your fingers out towards the ears now, along the ridge of your cheekbone. Not on top of it by your eye socket, but along it. Right near your nose you should feel a more tender part where the sinuses are. Gentle pressure here can move mucus along.
Continue in a sweeping motion out over the cheeks toward the ears and off the face. If you’re also congested and massaging yourself, repeat twice, starting either at the cheekbone bump or back to the bridge of the nose.
Learn Your Own Eyebrow Sinuses
Next, move back to the bridge of your nose. Drag your fingers up and along the tops of your eyebrows. You should feel that slightly tender spot along them. Again, if you have a cold, you may feel some movement.
Now, Do Baby
When you’re ready to try it on your child, lay her down on a comfortable, but sturdy surface. A bigger kid can hold his head steady or sit on a comfy chair with his head supported. You can also do one side at a time while your baby is nursing.
Use some lotion or oil if helps. Too much can make it too slippery and not effective.
Pinch from the bridge of the nose down along the edges of the nose and out along the cheekbones. You can drag the fingers up in a circle to the forehead and back down the nose so you don’t break contact. Alternately, trace across the cheekbone sinuses and over the ears, behind, and down to the neck where you release. Repeat that a couple times.
Next go along the eyebrows in an outward direction. Use steady and firm, but comfortable pressure. Repeat a few times.
Add in a little lymph massage for good measure. Using your finger pads, make a circular massaging motion behind and under the ears over the lymph nodes.
Soothing skin to skin contact helps babies feel better and get better, so go ahead and ad lib as you and baby see fit with the rest of the body.
Consider sitting with your child in a steamy bathroom beforehand to loosen things up. End with some cuddles and a relaxing book.
Hope you all feel better!