Do you struggle with:
- Pollen and other allergens?
- Dust, smoke, or other airborne contaminants?
- Nasal dryness, especially with air travel or climate change?
- Nose bleeds from dryness?
- Sinus congestion and excess mucus?
- Mental sluggishness and lazy body?
Then I have two words for you: Neti Pot.
Neti Pot is used to practice a yogic technique of body cleansing called of Jala Neti, which means “nasal irrigation with warm salt water.”
Natural and gentle, Jala Neti (Neti for short) aids your nasal passageways in conducting your first line of defense against the outside world. Regular practice of nasal irrigation not only provides you an inexpensive and effective health remedy for sinus issues, it also supports your entire mind-body healing!
My experience with Jala Neti
When I was young, I got frequent colds that routinely turned into ear and sinus infections. Only two years ago I finished up my last regimen of amoxicillin, thanks to another episode of of head-cold-turned-into-sinus-infection.
Many times it looked as if I was over my head cold. And then wham! I’d wake up with excruciating sinus pain. I’d end up seeing my doctor and sure enough, he’d diagnose me with a sinus or ear infection and write me yet another prescription.
Once I was over the prescription, I found myself on a new regimen to rebuild the beneficial bacteria in my body. The antibiotics had, once again, destroyed the good bacteria in my body along with the bad.
That was my reality until I met my husband, Sage and discovered the ancient healing technique called Jala Neti nasal irrigation. Sage first made me aware of my Ayurvedic mind-body type as being Pitta-Kapha and that, thanks to the Kapha portion of my body type, I am very prone to sinus issues (excess mucus & phlegm production).
Then he introduced me to the practice of Jala Neti.
For the past one year, my Neti habit has protected me from my usual sinus issues.
Presently, I am visiting India (my first time ever!) and my husband and I are staying with his folks. Very exciting! But only two weeks into the trip, I started losing my voice. Then came the fever, the mucus and the body aches.
The fever broke and the body aches waned, but the mucus kept coming. Sure, my Neti habit has kept my sinuses clear for this past year, but I’ve not had a head cold either. And now I did. So I was afraid that my silly Neti habit would not protect me from what seemed to be an imminent sinus infection.
On the verge of panic and in tears, I told my husband that perhaps we should go see the doctor because I saw the writing on the wall. Sage, much to my disbelief, saw it differently. He stroked my arm and urged me to give it another day. He urged me to continue with my Neti regimen and increase my intake of warm fluids.
“If you’re still in pain tomorrow morning we’ll go to the doctor,” he promised.
I woke up the next morning and the pain was gone!
My Neti sinus irrigation habit had indeed protected me from what would’ve been a nasty sinus infection. The mucus was still flowing, but it was less profuse and clear. It was too good to be true, but I took it gratefully. I shared this news with Sage and we rejoiced.
This was the first time in my life that I had a head cold and it did NOT turn into a sinus infection!
So I am super excited about having discovered Neti. While antibiotics are very effective in ridding your body of harmful bacteria, they also destroy the beneficial bacteria that your body so desperately needs. Neti rids your body of only of the unwanted bacteria leaving the beneficial ones well alone.
Which makes Jala Neti a gentle, safe, simple, natural and inexpensive method for keeping you free of sinus issues and promote bodily healing.
Getting started with Jala Neti
Your investment is minimal. For your supplies all you need is a neti pot (any pot with material that does not react to salt will do), some salt (impurities in the salt can be irritating, but any non-iodized salt will do). If want to be extra careful, go with neti salt, a salt designed specifically for this purpose), warm water free of impurities, and about 3 minutes of your time.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Mix a 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8oz of sterile water.
- Lean forward and turn your head to one side over the sink, keeping the forehead at the same height as the chin, or slightly higher.
- Gently insert the spout in the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal.
- Raise the neti pot gradually so the saline solution flows in through your upper nostril and out of the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth.
- When the neti pot is empty, face the sink and exhale vigorously without pinching the nostrils. Refill the neti pot and repeat on the other side. Again, exhale vigorously to clear and dry the nasal passages.
At first your Jala Neti practice could be a bit uncomfortable, but you’ll soon get over it. If you experience any burning sensation in your nostrils, it could be because (1) your water is too hot or (2) you used too much salt. Correct these user errors and you should be fine.
Jala Neti is especially helpful during a sinus cold or an allergy flare-up, but as a daily ritual it also helps keep your Kapha in balance.
Here’s to your clean nose and healthy sinuses.
Want tips on other simple daily routines that promote healing and maintain health? Read my posts on Abhyanga.
To your health!
Image Source: dynamicclinic.com