Why You Should (and How To) Use a Neti Pot
When I first saw my mom’s yoga teacher use a neti-pot, I thought “Eww, gross, I am NEVER doing that! Who puts water up the nose?”
Fast forward several years. I now use a neti-pot regularly – usually every Sunday before I drink hot lemon water and sometimes mid-week, as needed. While the actual process isn’t the most pleasurable (at least not for me), I breathe noticeably easier immediately after and (maybe I am just imagining it) my nose looks slimmer after all the gunk is out. When I skip a week, I can see and feel a change. The process becomes more comfortable if done regularly.
Narcissism aside, using a neti-pot has several benefits, including relief from nasal and sinus congestion without the use of drugs. This is especially beneficial for those suffering from seasonal allergies. It is also relatively easy to incorporate in your weekly routine and is inexpensive (neti-pots range from $10 to $30).
Using a neti-pot is very simple (once you get the hang of it) and its benefits are tremendous (and this comes from a person who thought “eww, no way” the first time she heard of it). It’s best done at least once a week, or more as needed.
Here is what you do:
- Clear your nose out as much as possible before using the neti-pot.
- Dissolve about ¼ teaspoon salt in lukewarm water in the neti-pot.
- Lean your head forward over the sink, with your chin slightly down toward your chest. Insert the neti-pot spout at the entrance of your right nostril. The positioning is different for each person, so experiment to see what works for you.
- Tilt your head to the left until water starts pouring into the nostril from the neti-pot. Keep your mouth open and breathe through your mouth (don’t inhale through your nose). Allow the water to pour in between your nasal passage and drain out the other nostril, taking out any excess mucus and gunk. It may feel a bit funny (it tickles the back of my throat), but continue on until you have drained the pot.
- Blow out any excess water.
- Repeat the process with fresh water and salt for the other nostril.
- Use a mild soap and warm water to clean the Neti-pot, and let it air-dry.
- Use warm boiled and distilled water.
- Use sea salt or a salt designed for use in a neti-pot.
- After using the neti-pot, insert a few drops of sesame oil or coconut oil inside the nostril to moisturize. Dabbing a Q-tip with oil and using it to coat the inside of your nostrils works well.
If it doesn’t work the first time (and it didn’t for me), don’t give up. Practice again until it feels comfortable. Try and let me know how it goes!