Why again? I tried it years ago, but could not for the life of me get it to work. For those of you who are not familiar with a neti pot, it is essentially a miniature porcelain (skip the BPA-laden plastic ones) watering pot. You fill this pot with warm saline water and use the spout to get water to flow from one nostril to the other via the nasal and sinus cavities. While it's not incredibly hard to do, it initially takes a few tries to get it just right; instructions are VERY helpful.
Long story short, I was able to breathe through my nose immediately after my first neti cleanse. Not only that, the pressure in my face miraculously went away. The results were nothing short of miraculous. If you're wondering, cleaning the sinuses using water is not a new practice. In fact, it has firm roots in Ayurvedic practices and is even part of the Muslim Wudu.
Follow the instructions below for a bearable Neti experience or read the Himalayan Institute's Guide - believe me, it's worth the results:
- Get your goods
- Porcelain neti pot - I personally like the Himalayan Institute Neti Pot, which is available at Whole Foods
- Pure Sea Salt - I skipped the tiny and pricey neti salt packages and just bought a large bottle of very high quality, unprocessed grey sea salt called Esprit du Sel, which is again available at Whole Foods
- DO NOT USE TABLE SALT - all of the added chemicals will burn the inside of your nose
- Prepare your saline mixture
- Boil approximately 10 ounces of water for at least 5 minutes
- THIS IS KEY - people have died as a result of infections caused by tap water mixtures. Forbes has a great article about how not to die while using a neti pot - read it.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to the boiling water
- Stir the salt in the boiling water until it dissolves entirely or near entirely
- Let the mixture cool for at least 10 minutes - pour it in the neti pot
- Work that Neti! Before you do - checkout the pic of Jessica Simpson rocking the Neti (trust me, this is better than a pix of yours truly)
- Setup your neti position - you may have to adjust this over time, but start here
- Look straight down into a sink
- Turn your head to the right such that
- One nostril is clearly higher than the other
- Your forehead is higher than your chin in terms of level
- Take the neti pot spout and stick it into the higher nostril
- Create a seal between the spout and your nostril
- Start raising the neti pot in order to pour the solution into your nostril
- After a few seconds, water will start to come out of your lower nostril
- DO NOT BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE during this time
- Blow your nose when you're done
- I personally use half of the solution in each nostril - that is, I switch sides
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