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Life Hacks

Got Allergies? This TikTok Hack Claims to Unblock A Stuffy Nose in Minutes — No Medication Required

A quick fix for that stubborn sniff.


It’s hard to enjoy the spring when you’re not feeling well. While flowers and fresh outdoor greenery are a delight for our eyes, the pollen they produce can cause misery for seasonal allergy sufferers. How are you supposed to stop and smell the roses when the roses are making you sniffly? You could take allergy medications — but with so many available, how do you know which ones work best for you, without annoying side effects like sleepiness or dry mouth? Good news: You don’t always have to pop an antihistamine every time Mother Nature has you breathing through your mouth. Instead, try this TikTok hack for clearing up your stuffy nose in seconds (without using medications) so you can fully appreciate the season.

The Med-Free Allergy Hack from TikTok

This particular hack for clearing a stuffy nose was posted by Dr. Michael Rowe (@drmichaelrowe on TikTok), a chiropractic professional in Michigan. He claims you can instantly clear congested nasal passages by strategically pressing on your face. Want to try? Follow the steps below. 

  1. Press your left nostril closed with a finger or two on your left hand. 
  2. Place your right thumb under your right cheekbone with your fingers holding the side of your head.
  3. Press your thumb upward while breathing deeply and slowly through your open right nostril for 10-15 breaths.
  4. Repeat on the other side. 

If you’re looking for a visual, watch his video below. 

Does this hack work? 

The comments on Dr. Rowe’s TikTok video vary greatly. Some people claim the method is magic; others, not so much. Luckily, I am a steadfast annual member of the springtime-stuffy-nose community — and while I don’t enjoy sniffling and sneezing, my condition made me a good candidate for testing this hack out myself. So I gave it a try, as Dr. Rowe instructed. And to my surprise and delight, it worked — I got temporary relief! Just make sure you breathe slowly, like he recommended, so you don’t get lightheaded in the process.

While a doctor-approved dose of allergy medication is a more effective, reliable, and long-lasting way to unclog a stuffy nose, this hack will work well in a pinch. Have an important phone call in a minute and forgot to take your meds? Try this effective free bandaid for banishing nasal blockages on the spot.

Why does this hack work?

Pressing on your face and breathing deeply may seem too easy to be effective — but don’t let the simplicity fool you. This method is a form of acupressure, which is a practice based in ancient Chinese medicine that uses the body’s pressure points to activate healing, according to WebMD

Acupressure is deeply rooted in tradition and culture; it’s safe, easy, and may be effective for multiple conditions. “Sinus acupressure is not something [proven] by the medical literature,” ear, nose, and throat doctor Nicole Aaronson, MD told Shape — but she noted that it hasn’t been disproven, either. She explained that nasal stimulation due to pressure applied to the nerve near your cheekbone may be responsible for the feelings of temporary relief. So, while acupressure is probably not a long-term solution for your stuffy nose, it’s safe and free — and it doesn’t hurt to try. 

The Bottom Line

Seasonal allergies plague tons of people every year, and stuffy noses are a common symptom. But just because you have a stuffy nose doesn’t mean the reasons behind it are as innocuous as regular allergies. If your problem persists, ask your doctor for advice. You deserve to breathe easy.

Looking for additional ways to unblock your stuffy nose? Try some of these natural allergy hacks.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.

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