In some circles keeping your nose clean means staying out of trouble, to me it means using your neti pot. As a wellness coach I recommend using the least invasive methods first. If you are suffering from allergies or dry sinuses then a neti pot may be your new best friend.
The word “neti” means nasal cleansing in Sanskrit. Developed in ancient India, the neti pot has gained popularity with today’s wellness conscious consumers. Non invasive, easy to use and no side effects make the neti pot a valuable tool to lessen symptoms of colds, allergies, sinusitis and post-nasal drip.
The neti pot works by thinning mucus and flushing out the nasal passages. Breathing through the nose filters and conditions incoming air. The inside of the nose is lined with tiny, hair-like structures called cilia whose job it is to push mucus to the back of the throat so it can be swallowed, or to the front of the nose to be blown out. The cilia are covered with a thin layer of mucus that traps dirt, dust and pollen. It is important that this protective layer of mucus is kept healthy, if the mucus becomes too thick and dry or too thin and runny it is easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate.
Using a neti pot is easy, here are a few things to remember:
- Use a true neti pot that is designed for this purpose. Don’t try to stuff a tea pot up your nose because it has a spout!
- Use only distilled water. Tap water or even bottled water can contain impurities that can make your condition worse.
- Use pure non-iodized salt in the recommended amount. You can purchase salt made specifically for the neti pot. If you experience burning in your nose it often means you have not used enough salt.
- And like a toothbrush, everyone should have their own neti pot.
So how exactly do you use a neti pot? Quite simply you fill it with salt water and pour it through your nose. Okay there is a little more to it, but it really is simple.
- Make sure you start with a clean neti pot.
- Make a saline solution by using ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized salt in 8oz of warm distilled water.
- Bend over the sink and turn your head to one side so that your ear is facing the sink. Keep your forehead at the same height as the chin or slightly higher.
- Insert the spout into the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal.
- Raise the pot gently so the water begins to flow through your upper nostril and out the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth. If the water drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead in relation to your chin.
- Repeat the process on the other nostril.
- When you are done exhale vigorously through both nostrils while holding your head over the sink to remove excess water. Don’t pinch your nose. You can blow gently into a tissue if you prefer. Do this until most of the dripping has stopped and you can breathe easily.
If there is any remaining saline solution in your nose do the Forward Bending and Alternate Toe Touching exercises listed below to help you expel the rest of the water.
It’s that simple!
But be warned…you might notice easier breathing, a better sense of smell and enhanced taste buds.
Ready to try the neti pot but don’t own one yet? Click here to order a starter kit complete with a ceramic pot, neti salt and more.
Bend forward from the waist far enough so that the top of the head is pointing toward the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to standing. Follow this movement with a few vigorous exhalations.
Alternate Toe Touching:
Place your feet two to three feet apart. Raise the arms out to the side at shoulder height. Slowly bend from the waist and bring the left hand to the right knee, shin, or foot (whichever you can reach without straining). Reach up toward the ceiling with the right hand; turn the head gently and look toward the raised hand. Hold this position for a few seconds. Come back to standing and repeat the movement to the left. Exhale vigorously through the nose.