Health And Wellness

How To Clear A Stuffy Nose In 2 Minutes Flat

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woman holding her nose

No matter how much you try to avoid it, getting at least one cold per year seems unavoidable, especially if you have kids and/or travel.

Sure, colds aren't as bad as getting the flu or some other wintertime ailment, but they're still not fun. Most adults will get two to four colds a year, while children can easily get six to ten. And while it may seem that members of the same family or kids in the same class pass colds back and forth, there are over 200 viruses responsible for colds, so yours may be a different strain than the one your eight-year-old has.

As everybody knows, the common cold has many different symptoms including sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose.

One of the more annoying symptoms of a cold is a stuffy nose. It's horrible feeling like you can't breathe and having a dry mouth, and it seems to get even worse when you're trying to sleep.

And of course, you may also have a stuffy nose that has nothing to do with being sick, but is caused by seasonal allergies.

While there are many over-the-counter medicines for a stuffy nose, it's a good idea to try other less invasive methods first. Many drugs lose their effectiveness if you use them too often, and they can also add up in cost.

RELATED: Is It The Flu Or A Cold? How To Spot The Difference

It can feel empowering to be able to use your own body to heal yourself.

How to Unclog Your Nose Fast — 3 Expert Hacks

They don't cost anything, work quickly, and you don't have to drag yourself to the drug store to get them.

1. The Tongue Tap

Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Then, using two fingers, firmly tap against the area between your eyebrows on your forehead.

Repeat these two steps of pressing and tapping for 20 seconds and your sinuses will begin to drain.

The reason this works is because it moves a bone and releases the mucus that's stuffing you up.

2. Hold Your Breath and Pinch

Lean your head back and pinch your nose closed. Hold your breath as long as you can without passing out. When you can't hold your breath any longer, let go of your nose.

This method for un-stuffing your nose (and popping your ears as well) actually tricks your brain into thinking you need more air. The brain goes into non-suffocation mode and clears your sinuses to make more room for more air.

When you let go of your nose, your airways are clearer.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Boost Your Immune System: What You Need To Stay Strong & Healthy

3. Acupressure

Using your fingertips to make circular movements, apply gentle pressure to four places on your face.

Point one is located on the cavity of the corner of the bottom part of your nostrils. As you gently push the nostrils together with a rotating movement, open and close the nostrils (to the best of your ability). Do this ten times.

Point two is just below the corner of the eyes, near the nose, where your tears come out. Again, do 10 gentle circles on this point without lifting your fingers, and lightly moving the skin.

Point three is behind your earlobe, at the bottom part of your ear in the cavity just below the cartilage. Push and release the point 10 times without applying any pressure to the cartilage. The rotation shouldn't be wide, but a very delicate motion.

And lastly, Point four is the earlobe itself. All you do on this point is gently massage it 10 times.

Here's to breathing easy again and to no more colds, at least for this year.

RELATED: Why Your Nose Runs So Much During Winter

Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or her Instagram.