Back in February, I wrote an article for Inner Child Magazine about neti pots. I’ve been a devoted fan of the neti pot for years, and it always helps me tremendously when springtime allergies kick in around this time of year. It’s not Valentine’s Day anymore, but since I use my neti pot year round, I thought you might still enjoy learning about this strange, but useful contraption. I think you’ll find that it will help you soothe your sneezes!
Wishing You Total Well-Being,
It’s February, and love is in the air. Since Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of cold and flu season, there’s the potential for some germs to be in the air, as well. Getting a good night’s sleep, eating a clean and healthy diet, and getting plenty of exercise are all good ways to give your immune system a fighting chance, but there’s another way to help your chances of being struck by Cupid’s bow rather than a nasty virus or infection, and it starts with your nose.
We take in approximately 11,000 liters of air in a day, with our nose acting as a primary filter for most of whatever happens to be traveling with that air. When things are working normally in the nose, your cilia keep mucus moving along in your nasal passages, bringing it to your nose to be blown out or to the back of the throat. When things become congested in there or the membranes inflame due to allergens these hair-like cilia can benefit from a good rinsing to thin mucus and get rid of the irritants that are clogging up the works. That’s where the neti pot comes in.
The neti pot has been used in Aryuvedic therapy for centuries, but is just now getting it’s due in the west as allergy and sinus suffers are discovering its ability to ease congestion and clear pollen and other debris from nasal passages. They come in a variety of materials from plastic to copper, and in the traditional teapot-style or more modern squeeze-bottle designs. No matter what type you use though, the end result is the same: to irrigate the sinuses by flushing out mucus and any particles inside the nose that may contribute to illness or inflammation. By inserting the tip of the neti pot inside the nostril and directing a warm, salt water solution through to the other side on a regular basis, health experts suggest that you can prevent or shorten the duration of colds, reduce snoring, ease sinus headaches, improve taste and smell and more.
Neti pots can be found in pharmacies and health food stores, and are typically inexpensive when compared to nasal sprays and medications. Prepackaged saline packets can be purchased, or can be made at home with minimal cost and supplies. Keeping your neti pot clean and sterile is recommended, especially if it is being used to clear congestion due to illness or to clear seasonal irritants. Nasal irrigation can be performed as frequently as needed, and some experts suggest doing it as often as you brush your teeth. There are some circumstances and pre-existing conditions that can be affected by use of a neti pot though, so always talk to your doctor before starting any new alternative therapies to make sure they will enhance your health and not hurt it. Once you get the okay, take some extra time to stop and smell the roses. They ought to be especially lovely, now that you can breathe.