Using a Neti Pot


A neti pot is an ancient Indian tool used to cleanse the nose. Choose a neti pot with a tapered conical tip at the spout end that is the right size for your nostrils. Fill the pot with the cooled saline (6a).

Tilt your head to one side, and gently insert the spout of the neti pot into the raised, upper nostril (6b). Continue to breathe through your mouth, and slowly pour the saline into your upper nostril.

The saline should pour through the upper nostril and out the other (lower) nostril into the sink (you can also try this in the shower). If the saline drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead toward your chin. Keep breathing through your mouth and relax: the saline should gently flow through the nose. Raise the neti pot slowly to create a steady flow of saline solution through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril (6c). When you’re done, compress one nostril at a time by placing pressure on it with your finger and then blow your other nostril out by exhaling firmly several times to clear the nasal passages. Then reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side by pouring saline into the other nostril.

When you are finished irrigating, you should stretch and do toe touches for 2 minutes (6d). When you are as far flexed as you can be with the top of your head pointing at the floor, turn your head to the left, then to the right. Prepare yourself before you stand up: The saline may pour out of your nose, even though you may have thought that it had all drained while you were blowing. Repeat blowing each side of your nose while pressing the other side. Do more toe touches and then stand up and drain your sinuses a few more times.

Nasal irrigation can be done once or twice a day, depending on your level of congestion. Although it sounds difficult, this cleansing ritual is very easy to perform and soothing whether you do it in the morning or in the evening before bed. If you are around irritants and dust at work, I highly recommend that you irrigate in the morning and again when you return home from work to wash out all the inhaled particles.

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