Does This Viral TikTok Hack Really Work For Clearing A Stuffy Nose?

Have you ever had a stuffy nose that was so uncomfortable it made you realize how often you take for granted not having a stuffy nose? Us too. Not only can nasal congestion be a real downer during the holidays, but it can also make it tricky to function, talk, and focus as we typically do. While we can take holistic, preventative action to strengthen our systems and prepare for winter sickness with immune boosters like echinacea, garlic, zinc, and elderberry, once we catch a cold, it can be pretty hard to shake it.


Being the birthplace of life hacks that it is, TikTok once again has users hooked with this quick and simple solution to clear a stuffy nose, and you'll likely be asking yourself, how did I not know about this? Content creator James Moore, Moore Wellness, is a licensed massage therapist, and his video on using acupressure to relieve nasal congestion has gone viral. In the clip, he applies pressure with his fingertips to targeted areas of his face to clear a stuffy nose. It sounds too good to be true, but is it? Let's take a closer look.

Applied pressure can drain nasal congestion

According to user responses on Moore's video, acupressure around the nostrils does, indeed, work to clear a stuffy nose. There are no tools or products required, and you'll be on your way to clear breathing in just 30 seconds. To try it out, pull your nose over to one side and then apply pressure to the area around the nostril with your thumb. Push in and pull upwards for half a minute with your other thumb.


"This technique uses self-massage pressure to relieve sinus pressure," James Moore, licensed massage therapist, told Shape. "When [you] have sinus pressure and pain, the sinuses and muscles just next to the nose can become tender and tight. By moving the nose over, and then massaging these spots, it brings more blood flow and circulation to the face," he explains. "This allows the muscles/sinuses to release, which promotes the sinuses to drain out mucus."

Acupressure is a great tool to keep in your back pocket, as it's also effective for nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies -– which surely has some leaping for joy.

Tips for acupressure

While acupressure for nasal congestion hasn't exactly been backed by research, it also hasn't been disproven as effective. Acupressure follows the same points on the body as acupuncture which is also widely used to treat stuffy noses that just won't clear up. If you don't experience immediate results like many of the users on TikTok seem to, don't get frustrated just yet. You may need to reapply pressure throughout the day to get some relief. And if using acupressure around your nose is too painful, then it's likely time to visit your health care provider as the tenderness could indicate a sinus infection.


Maybe you've given acupressure the benefit of the doubt, and it still just isn't working for you. Don't worry! There are other avenues to explore. "Another thing that I find very helpful when there is a lot of mucus production (such as during a cold or when indoor allergens can't be avoided), are nasal saline rinses," Nicole Aaronson, M.D., a board-certified otolaryngologist, told Shape. "Whatever the underlying cause, hydration is key to helping keep mucus as thin as possible."