Neti Pot - Nasal irrigation
A Neti Pot has been used for centuries in India. It a very old nasal cleansing technique of Hatha Yoga called jala Neti. The translation of the Sanskrit means "water cleansing“.
The Neti pot is filled with a warm saline solution. It is supposed to be of the same concentration as the body fluids. With this solution the nasal cavities are rinsed so that the salty water goes in through one nostril and comes out to the other. A more advanced technique is letting the water in through one nostril and out through the mouth. This is hardly felt if the salt concentration, water temperature and technique are good, for sure there is no pain or uncomfortable feeling involved. In the yogic tradition, Jala Neti is performed every morning with the daily routine such as tooth brushing. It can be performed more often if you work or live in a polluted area or have health problems such as hay fever.
Firstly, buy a type of salt without anything added. Himalayan salt is usally the pureest or a good quality Rock salt. Your average supermarket salt often has added chemical anticaking agents.
The solution you use should have 1% of salt, like your body fluids. Start by taking 500 ml of warm water and add one teaspoon of salt, this is about 1%. Pour some drops on the inside of your wrist to see if the water has the right temperature. It is better to have the water a little bit too warm than too cold. Mix well so that the salt is diluted completely.
With practice you will get the right solution for you. Everybody differs slightly. Some people like a higher saline solution, others may not use any salt. Nasal tissue is very sensitive and will react immediately if something is not right. However If you take the solution and temperature as suggested, there should be no discomfort.
Technique - How To Use A Neti Pot
Most Common Method - Sideways
1. Fill your Neti pot as above and stand in front of the sink.
2. Bend over the sink and breathe normally through your mouth. By opening your mouth wide enough, the passage from the nose to the mouth is closed. No water can get into your mouth or your throat. Don't talk or laugh, no air should come into your nose now.
3. Put the nose cone into your right nostril and seal it with some gentle moves so that no water is coming out of this nostril.
4. Gently bend your head forward and to the left side. The left nostril should be the lowest point. Forehead and chin should be about the same level.
5. You will need to experiment with the position of your head. Once the water is coming out of your left nostril, hold your head in position and only move the Neti pot to keep the water pouring in.
6. You should start with half a pot per side. For this wait about 20 seconds and remove the nose cone out of your right nostril.
7. Bring your head to the middle and let all the water flow out. Blow gently with both nostrils. You should not close one nostril now and you should not blow hard. This can bring the water up in your ears where it cannot dry correctly.
8. Repeat the procedure with the left nostril, doing everything in the opposite direction.
9. When you finished let all the water flow out again and gently blow the water out of both nostrils. Drying up the nose is very important and should not be neglected!
10. If you have a mucus blockage you can go back and forth for some times. Make sure that the water which has entered the nose does not flow back in the Neti pot. Therefore put the cone in your nose, pour some water in, remove the pot and let it flow out again.
11. If you have problems doing this alone, you can ask people who practise yoga or give yoga classes to show you. Most yoga practitioners will know this technique.
12. If you try it for some time and the water does not come out of the other nostril, you should ask a doctor for advice. There could be some type of anatomical blockage.
Advanced Method - Backwards - No Danger
1. This is called sinus bellowing and cleanses a part where the water cannot flow just by using the sideways technique. It is a more advanced and more powerful technique. It may have a better effect on some diseases and problems such as sinusitis, snoring or throat problems. You should only try this if you have mastered the sideways technique.
2. Always start with by cleaning your nose with one or two pots using the sideways technique.
3. Then start just as if you would do the sideways technique. Gently sniff some water back into your mouth and spit it out.
4. Even though there no danger you should try not to swallow the water.
5.You do not need to dry your nose between the two techniques but you should pay extra-attention on cleaning your nose afterwards as the water reaches deeper and will reach more places than just by using the sideways technique.
•removes dirt and infectious microorganisms from the nasal cavities and passageways
•reduces the frequency and duration of colds
•reduces allergic problems such as hay fever
•improves your nose breathing generally and therefore reduces diseases such as asthma and bronchitis
•moistens dry nasal cavities and passageways
•reduces the symptoms of chronic sinusitis
•flushes the tear ducts and increases eye sight
•improves your sense of smell and taste, is therefore very good if you want to stop smoking
•can be beneficial for some types of ear disorders
•has a harmonizing and calming effect on the mind