Many people practice Neti on a daily basis to keep their sinuses clean and improve their ability to breathe freely. Most find it a soothing and pleasant practice once they try it.
If you are one of the many people who find that your nasal passages are blocked as a result of the effects of pollution, dust, pollen and other irritants, you may find this simple cleansing technique of invaluable benefit to you.
The practice of nasal irrigation, known as Neti, has been used by practitioners of Yoga and Ayurveda in India for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Neti is one of the six purification techniques undertaken prior to the practice of yoga to help prepare the body for the yoga practice. It is referred to in the original yogic texts known as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Gheranda Samhita. It is described at some length in the Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnu Devananda, published in the USA as early as 1960. Some yogic teachers consider it valuable in cleansing the energy channels and balancing the right and left hemispheres to create radiant, energetic health and wellness, which is the foundation upon which true yogic practice can come to fruition.
While there are advanced techniques using various herbs and herbal oils, the simplest technique, known as “jala neti” uses water (jala) for the cleansing process. Lukewarm water is used to gently open up the nasal passages. Use of a neti pot or vessel is recommended to ease this process. Advanced practitioners may use this pot also for the herbal or oil administration (referred to as “nasya”) as well.
Benefits of Using the Nasal Cleansing Pot
• Clear the nostrils to free the breathing
• Remove excess mucus
• Reduce pollen or allergens in the nasal passages
• Relieve nasal dryness
Doctors and alternative health practitioners around the world recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a saline solution as part of a regular regimen of health and well-being. While the practice of nasal irrigation may have originated in India, today there are large numbers of people in Europe and North America who have added this simple technique to their daily hygiene.
1. Prepare the Saline Solution
Generally most people find that non-iodized table salt is the best source of the salt for mixing the saline solution. We do not recommend the use of sea salt as it is sometimes too strong and may irritate. Mix approximately 1/4 teaspoon of fine table salt into about 1 cup (8 oz.) of warm water, until it is fully dissolved. The water should be warm, but not hot. It should feel pleasantly warm to the touch so as to not irritate your nasal passages with either too hot or too cold water. Never use either HOT or COLD water. You may prefer to use bottled water if your local water supply is too hard or has chemicals or an unappealing taste.
2. Fill your Nasal Cleansing Pot
Once you have the saline solution mixed, pour it into the Nasal Cleansing Pot. You may choose to actually mix it right in the pot to save a step.
3. The Process of Nasal Cleansing
• Nasal Cleansing is best done as part of a regular hygiene routine. As you will have saline water flowing and mucus being discharged, it is best to practice this process over a sink or basin. Tilt your head to the side as shown. You will notice that when you get the proper angle, the water will flow easily from the upper nostril and out the lower nostril. It takes just a little bit of practice to get it just right. This is the most important factor in a successful nasal wash. Don’t be afraid to adjust your head slightly to get the most comfortable angle for your own personal practice. You should find that having your forehead at an angle about the same level as your chin will be just right.
• Insert spout of Nasal Cleansing Pot gently into the raised nostril and create a seal between the Pot and your nostril.
• Raise the Nasal Cleansing Pot slowly to develop a steady flow of saline solution through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril. You are in total control of the flow of the saline water by the way you hold the pot. The higher you hold it, the faster the flow. Try to find the right flow just for you by raising the pot slowly while you hold your head in the correct position.
• During the process breathe through your mouth. The angle of your head is important to allow you to breath easily through your mouth during the process. If you do not have sufficient angle to keep your forehead at about the level of your chin or just slightly higher than your chin, you will find water draining into your mouth. If this happens as you get to know the process, simply adjust the angle of your head to bring the forehead more or less in line with your chin and start over again.
• Upon completion of the process, exhale gently several times to clear the nasal passages. You may want to use a tissue to catch any excess mucus.
• Reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side. Some people find they can clear both sides with one pot full of saline solution, but most people prefer using an entire potful for each nostril.
• Once you get into practice, the entire process only takes a couple of minutes.
4. Completion of the Process
• It is beneficial to do some simple gentle exhalation blowing through both of your nostrils after completion. Either do this over a sink or into a tissue. Be sure to not close off your nostrils as you blow as you are trying to expel the excess solution and any residual mucus.
• Some people find it beneficial to do some side or forward bending to allow easier drainage. Experiment with this to find out what works best for you.
5. Cleaning your Nasal Cleansing Pot
After use, simply wash out the pot with warm water and dish soap and rinse away all soap and other residues. We have made our device out of sturdy food-grade porcelain so that it is dishwasher safe if you prefer.
6. Cautions and Warnings
While most people can safely and conveniently use this product, please note the following:
• If you are unable to blow your nose, you should not use this product except under the specific care and recommendation of your health care practitioner.
• Children using the product should be aided by a responsible adult.
• As with your toothbrush, you should not share your Nasal Cleansing Pot with others.
• If you have any chronic illness or health condition, or if you experience any kind of discomfort or nosebleed, do not use this product except under the specific guidance of your health care practitioner.
Particularly in our modern world that is filled with pollutants, allergens and dust, it is important to keep the nasal passages clean and healthy. Many health practitioners consider the nasal passage to be the doorway for most illnesses. The nasal passage actually is one of nature’s means of protecting us from illness, with its finely tuned mechanism of hairs and mucus membranes, both intended to catch and restrain external factors from entering our bodies. Unfortunately, this filtering mechanism can become overloaded through high exposure to dust and particulates and pollution factors. Cleansing the filter regularly allows it to operate more efficiently, thereby helping our bodies remain strong , fit and healthy.
It is no surprise that with the assault of chemicals, fragrances, pollution, dust, pollen, etc. that our nostrils are under extraordinary stress and there is an enormous rise in the number of people thereby suffering from various forms of nasal congestion and respiratory illnesses. Modern day diet also tends to favor foods that increase the body’s production of mucus, thereby creating an imbalance and clogging up the nasal passages and sinuses.
An effective and healthy nasal filtering system is an important part of the body’s immune defense system. Practicing regular nasal hygiene can be an important part of keeping this system functioning at its peak efficiency and maintaining a healthy, balanced life energy.