A massage has many known health benefits including tending to sore muscles, improving lymphatics, and overall relaxation. One unintended effect of massage is nasal stuffiness. So how do we avoid this and what is responsible for this phenomenon. When our face is placed in a dependent position, such as face down the blood tends to pool here. Part of this is the dynamic nature of the nasal turbinates. The turbinates regulate our breathing by swelling and deswelling. When we lie down on one side, the turbinate on that side will swell, making breathing easier on the opposite nasal passageway. Similarily, when receiving a massage, since the face is down, both turbinates will swell creating potential for diffuclty breathing.
What are some solutions to “massage induced nasal obstruction”? Some natural oils such as peppermint, menthol, or eucalptus can act as a natural decongestant. Other conventional medical techniques, may be using a nasal spray either over the counter or prescription to help constrict the nasal turbinate. Be cautious using Afrin too much or if medically contraindicated as it isnot safe to use on a continual and daily basis.
Hopefully, this allows patients to enjoy their massages a little more.