Do you use the neti pot? My yoga instructor introduced me to the neti pot over a decade ago. She said in class one night, you all clean our body, our teeth etc., so why aren’t you cleaning your nose? I thought that was a great point…as well as the fact that it helps with pranayama (breathing) practice. Neti pots benefit you when you are sick, avoiding sinus infections, but also cleans your sinus cavity of pollen, dust, and other pollutants. The Neti pot is filled with a body-warm saline solution of the same concentration as the body fluids. With this solution, the nasal cavities are rinsed so that the salty water goes in through one nostril and comes out the other.
The sensation is a little strange at first, but with daily practice, you will wonder how you ever went without it. If you are an allergy sufferer, this small cost is well worth every penny. Before I go over the step by step on how to use your neti pot, let me first preface how important it is to use clean water. Boil and cool your water to be sure it is safe to send up your sinus cavity. Some use distilled water, but I recommend boiling even that.
Firstly, buy a type of salt without anything added. Industrial salt often has added chemical anticaking agents. You can use normal sea salt, best without added iodine, or pharmaceutical salt which you can buy in health stores or pharmacies. Here is my recommendation for salt if you already have a neti pot. There is also a kit if you do not have any supplies.
The solution you use should have 0,9% of salt, like the body fluids do. Some Neti Pots have a spoon to measure this exactly. The kit will provide you with all the instructions you need. If your salt does not have such a spoon, you can start by taking 500 ml of water and add one teaspoon of salt, this is about 0,9%. You will know the ratio that works best for you, typically if it burns you have not put enough salt.
- Fill your Neti pot and stand in front of the sink.
- Bend slightly over the sink and breathe naturally through your mouth. By opening your mouth wide enough, the passage from the nose to the mouth is closed. No water can get into your mouth or your throat. Don’t talk or laugh, no air should come into your nose now. There won’t be a feeling of having water in the airways if you pay attention to this. Simply breathe through your mouth slowly and evenly, even if you taste salt and a little water escapes into your mouth, just continue to focus.
- Now put the nose cone into your right nostril and seal it with some gentle moves so that no water is coming out of this nostril.
- Then gently bend your head slightly forward and roll it to the left side. The left nostril should be the lowest point. Forehead and chin should be about the same level. Once you find the best position for you, the next time will be like riding a bike.
- Repeat the procedure with the left nostril, doing everything in the opposite direction.
- When you have finished let all the water flow out again and gently blow the water out of both nostrils. You can roll your head in every direction and let it hang and move it then to get all the water out. Drying up the nose is very important! I like to do a gentle “farmers blow” into the sink to be sure that I have gotten all of the water out of both nostrils. I then begin a pranayama practice, but for this instruction just be sure to dry out your nose the best you can. If you are not familiar with pranayama breath, plug one nostril and give a hard blow, and alternate or use a number of tissues.
- If you have a mucus blockage you can go back and forth from side to side multiple times. Make sure that the water which has entered the nose does not flow back in the Neti pot. Therefore put the cone in your nose, pour some water in, remove the pot and let it flow out again.
There are multiple benefits to using a neti pot. Here are a few:
- removes dirt and infectious microorganisms from the nasal cavities and passageways
- reduces the frequency and duration of colds-and helps when you have a cold to avoid a sinus infection
- reduces allergic problems such as hay fever
- moistens dry nasal cavities and passageways
- reduces the symptoms of chronic sinusitis
- flushes the tear ducts and increases eye sight
- has a harmonizing and calming effect on the mind
There is a kid’s version of a neti pot. The neti pot is not for young children, but they need the benefit of clean passageways as well. The SinuCleanse Squeeze is a great option for them.I use it for my boys when they are dealing with allergies as well as when they have a cold to keep things moving.
With so many benefits, you really should give it a try. Come back and let me know how it goes.
Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.