When your nose is stopped up, stuffy, and you can’t breathe, it feels like it is the only thing on your face. But I know what you are thinking because I have thought the same thing. I don’t have allergies, I am never stuffed up, and my head is clear. Besides that, I am not a great swimmer because I can’t stand water up my nose. And now you are suggesting I put water up my nose?
But you know me. I am a person who has to walk the talk. If I am going to suggest to my clients that they practice dinacharya (daily routine/mini cleanse), and using the Neti Pot is part of the routine, then I need to at least be able to teach them how to use it.
My first experience with the Neti Pot:
Having never experienced purposely putting water up my nose, but thinking it would be much easier in the shower; I purchased the Travel Neti Pot (which is plastic) and a jar of Neti Salt. I put a teaspoon of the salt in the pot, filled it full of warm water, sloshed it around until it dissolved. I then proceeded to insert the spout in my nostril and pour the water into my nose.
Oh my gosh! My eyes about popped out of my head! Yes, let me also admit that I am not good at reading directions! First of all, don’t start with a teaspoon of Neti Salt. This is awesome stuff but if you have never used it before, start with just a little because it can be intense!
So while I was mixing up a second batch, this time using only a quarter teaspoon of the salt mixture, my nose started to run….wait a minute. My nose isn’t stopped up, where is that coming from?
Anyway, I continued then to practice and refine the proper head tilt in order to get the water to run out the lower nostril. Then I switched nostrils and completed the other side. Following the directions, I exhaled vigorously without pinching the nostrils to clear them. I was surprised at how much congestion my sinuses had accumulated unbeknownst to me! After a few minutes of this, my head was so much clearer. Being the anatomy geek that I am, I certainly am aware of the intricate sinus system. The fact that it could be holding so much mucus without me being aware was crazy!
Well needless to say I was sold. Granted, some days it is easier than others to Neti. Some days you have the head tilt, some days you have to look for it. The important thing is that it is now part of my daily routine. Sometimes more than once a day!
Some other reasons to use the Neti Pot would be:
– During allergy season to rid the nostrils of pollen and other allergens
– Remove excess mucus when you are experiencing nasal congestion
– When you are traveling or are exposed to dry climates or are in air-conditioned or heated rooms
– Before Meditation
– When getting up or before going to bed to help you breathe easier.
The various types of Neti Pots:
There are different pots. I own both, the ceramic and the plastic, and I use the plastic one in the shower and the ceramic in the sink. There is regular Neti Salt™ (non-iodized salt); Neti Wash Plus™, a liquid you add to the salt mixture that will help nourish and moisten the nasal passages; Neti Wash Flu™, a liquid you add that helps with chills, fever, aches and pains; Neti Mist™, a nasal spray which helps sooth and relieve nasal congestion; and Neti Stick™, an aromatic inhaler that helps support nasal wellness.
Nasya oil is another product that I absolutely love and that is also part of dinacharya. This oil comes in a small bottle with a stopper. To use, just place a few drops in the palm of your hand, coat your baby finger and then insert the baby finger in your nostril and coat the nostril. After coating both nostrils, close one nostril and breathe in vigorously and then do the same with the other. This oil keeps the nostril membrane moist and creates a nice barrier for any bacteria that might come your way. It is great to use daily and especially during dry weather or on airplanes.
I usually have a supply of these products if you are interested in trying them. You can also find them at the Himalayan Institute website at http://www.HimalayanInstitute.org
Nasal wash is not a substitute or medical treatment. Anyone with chronic inflammation of the nasal passages or other ear, nose, or throat disorders should seek medical attention.