Addition to my Bag o' Tricks

I have had allergies all of my life.  Seasonal, dust mites, animal dander, etc.  It wasn't until I got my tonsils taken out as an adult that I realized that it was not normal to have post-nasal drip constantly streaming in the back of one's throat.  I have taken a myriad of allergy medications and shots, but nothing really seemed to work.  If it did, it was temporary and I was either drowsy or nervous (a bit agitated).  My body had been susceptible to nasal infections until I found this lovely addition to my bag o' tricks - the Neti Pot.

An Ayurvedic Tradition

The Neti Pot has been around for over 5,000 years.  It is an Ayurvedic yoga tradition and in Sanskrit translates "nasal cleansing".  It is a little clay ceramic pot (or in some cases plastic or metal), that contains a saline solution, that is irrigated through the nasal passages to reduce swelling of the nasal membranes and clear the sinus passages.  

It is a little intimidating at first, as many tense up at the thought of running anything through their nose, but it is not as bad as it is cracked out to be and for me creates so much relief.  I use it religiously during seasons that I know cause me issues or in situations that typically are problematic for me.  If I am using it in this prophylactic manner, I only use it twice a day.  If I can tell that I am already beginning to have a sinus issue, I might employ it 3 times in the course of a day.  I usually cease using it once the threat is over again unless I am in a season or environment that is potentially problematic.  

 


Here is how I use it:   

Step 1: 

Use distilled or sterile water.  If you are boiling tap water, do so for about 5 minutes and then let it cool to lukewarm. I use my Berkey water filter.  If you use a water filter, it is suggested that the water run through a pore size of less than one micron.   

 
 
 
 

STEP 2:

Measure out about 1 cup of water.

Step 3:

If using tap water boil for 3 minutes and then allow to become lukewarm.

 

STEP 4: 

Add a little over a 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground salt or a a little over 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt.  Please make certain it is non-iodized.  

 

When you purchase a Neti Pot, a wide opening is good as to have a good flow of water passing through.  This helps to wash out any allergens or bacteria that is over-populating your nasal passages and causing the infection.  Some Neti Pots are dishwasher safe.  I wash mine with soap and hot water and set it out to air dry.  It is important to observe clean conditions with your Neti pot, so please don't skip this step! 

When you purchase a Neti Pot, a wide opening is good as to have a good flow of water passing through.  This helps to wash out any allergens or bacteria that is over-populating your nasal passages and causing the infection.  Some Neti Pots are dishwasher safe.  I wash mine with soap and hot water and set it out to air dry.  It is important to observe clean conditions with your Neti pot, so please don't skip this step! 

 

Step 5: 

Pour the lukewarm water (please test this before putting in your nose - I pour a little on my wrist) into the pot and fully dissolve the salt. Note: Reduce the amount of salt used by a little if the solution stings a little.  

 

Step 6:

Bend your head over the sink at about a 45 degree angle and then tilt your head to one side.  Place the spout of the Neti Pot in the top nostril open your mouth a little and begin to pour.  If you do not open your mouth it may not flow.  As the water is flowing through your nasal passage, breathe through you mouth (not your nose).

 
 

Sometimes the inflammation is such that very little is able to pass. In these cases, I personally let is sit a bit and/or then try the other side.  I try the side that was too clogged again, later in the day.    

Step 7:

Once you have finished one side, VERY gently blow your nose.  This should be done with small little pulsing blows.  If you have an ear infection or any issues with your eardrums, you should be especially careful here (check with your doc).  Then repeat this process on the other side!  

 

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