I started this post with the intention of making it about natural allergy remedies, since it seems that this season is making everyone who ever even thought about having allergies turn into a sneezing red-eyed mess. But over the course of researching, I kept coming up with the same answer, which we at the studio use not only for allergies, but for everything from colds to curing the dryness of airplane travel. Yes, I’m talking about that wondrous and disgusting-sounding contraption, the Neti Pot.
Now, perhaps you are already familiar with this most handy of devices and are thinking ‘pshaw! I’m so down with Neti pots I’ve already used one twice today!’ But, perhaps you are looking at this wondering why we are extolling the virtues of a small ceramic watering can. Well, friends, for you I will provide some explanation.
Neti pots are the primary tool involved in Nasal Irrigation. Yes, that little watering can does not in fact hydrate your dahlias, but instead is filled with a saline and water mixture and applied to one nostril while your head is tipped to one side, to clean out your sinuses. Put simply, the Neti Pot is for putting water up your nose.
Okay, so bear with us before you run away in horror. What seems like a weird and disgusting thing to do – after all, those childhood memories of getting water up one’s nose in a pool are among no one’s best – is quickly alleviated by the actual use of a pot. Once you get used to the method – you fill a neti pot (or, if you’d prefer, one of the squeeze bottles they make for the same purpose, which many find easier to use) with a sodium bicarbonate solution (they sell them in little packets, so life is again made easier) in water. Once you have the bottle full, you put it against your nostril, tilt your head to the side and forward, and let the mixture flow through your sinus, then do the same on the other side. Once you get used to the feeling (and it does take a little getting used to, although it in NO way feels like getting water up your nose), you will realize that a few moments of a weird feeling will by you an afternoon of a GREAT feeling – clear, itch-and-and-ick free sinuses, that you can breathe through. And, you didn’t have to apply those really scary chemicals that are found in nasal sprays (a quick google will reveal myriad horror stories about those). And people who use neti pots regularly report that they work as well as many allergy medications.
But you don’t have to take our words for it – Neti Pots, although they are enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity right now, have been around for hundreds of years, started as part of the Hatha Yoga practice. Which only goes to prove, again, that yoga can make you happier and healthier in all parts of your body and mind – even the parts of your body that are geographically right under your mind!