I’ve been attempting to write this blog for what feels like months now, and I’m so glad that I’ve finally got it done! Nasal cleansing (as associated with the Neti Pot) is an ancient tradition; and as with many traditions there is good reason why this one should continue to be practiced.
For those who may not know (I just got hip myself when a brutal head cold attacked me while I was pregnant & taking medication was not an option) what a Neti pot is or what it’s used for, allow me to explain:
What Is It?: A Neti Pot is a nasal cleansing unit, typically made of ceramic, that is shaped like a ‘child size’ tea kettle; some come with extravagant designs and others are just plain-jane. The main difference between this ‘kettle’ & the traditional one is that you will use this one to hydrate/clean your nasal cavities. Here’s a handy, little site about the History of the Neti Pot http://www.ehow.com/about_5156969_history-Neti-pot.html
What is it used for & Why?: A Neti Pot is used as a form of personal hygiene for your nasal cavity. With only the help of gravity, the pot aids in ridding the nose & sinuses of mucus, dirt & bacteria; therefore cutting down on the possibility of one catching a cold and/or sinus infection.
It’s used by filling it up with a saline solution (which is nothing more than combination warm water & a small percentage of salt-though I wouldn’t recommend table salt as it can be too harsh for our mucus membranes- you’ll want to try a pre-mixed saline solution from a pharmacy or pick up some sodium bicarbonate from your local Walgreens). The saline solution helps moisten & draw out debris from the mucus membranes. As we know, salt is a natural healer (think Epsom salts for achy feet or even gargling with table salt to soothe a sore throat). It has been proven that practicing good nasal hygiene (as a part of your normal hygienic regimen) can help to decrease swelling in the nose (especially once the membranes have already flared up & a cold/infection is present), drain the sinuses making asthma more tolerable and just making everyday breathing easier. *Tip: Be sure to use filtered water- if none is available- boil your faucet water, allow to cool until warm & proceed*
How is it used?: Once the mixture is prepared, one simply leans over the sink, turning the head to one side (the goal is to have the nostrils parallel to each other) and mouth open for the entire procedure (you will only want to breathe through your mouth, as your nose will be occupied). Once the head is slightly tilted, then the Neti pot spout is inserted into one of the nostrils. The entire content of the pot is poured through one nostril & (if the head is held proplerly) it filters through the other pushing all that nasty debris out. (I know sounds a little scary but TRUST ME, you will NOT drown (I didn't)!
Click on the link below to see Dr. Oz explain and demonstrate how to use a Neti Pot.
Though salt isn’t something you want to add to your diet, it is ideal for the overall health of your otolaryngology system as they are all connected. In the long run you can expect overall better health & in the event that you do suffer from the occasional sniffles, just warm up some water, drop in a few milligrams of salt and get ready to feel better! I’ve been using the Neti system for 3 months now and my breathing has never been better! I don’t have that irritating post nasal drip that I used to experience & I haven’t been sick since I started. Neti pots are great for anyone over the age of 5 & for those who can’t (or chose not to) flirt with western medicine as the answer for every discomfort.