Nasal Cleansing

CFIDS and FMS Support Group of DFW


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These directions are from Suzanna, our Gentle R & R Coordinator; if you have questions, feel free to contact her at suzanna (at) msn (dot) com. She believes that they are very helpful if you can do them before your stretching and breathing exerices or yoga. There is more information available on the web if you want to explore other methods, however, this is an excellent method for first starting this cleansing practice.§



Simply use warm water and sea salt to rinse the nostrils.  An applicator device is needed, such as one of the following:

Tilt the head over the sink or in the shower, slowly insert just the tip of the squirter into the nose (not too deep) and slowly squirt the water into the nostril.  Blow through the other side.  Repeat the process a few times and do both sides.  It might be uncomfortable until you get used to the process and fine-tune how to do it without getting the feeling of water up your nose (which sometimes happens when swimming!). Like anything new, start slowly and do just a little.
§If you've had sinus surgeries please check with your physician on technique best for you.


Neti Pot For Sinus Health

In the U.S., sinus problems is the #1 reason people see a doctor. With increasing pollution and chemicals in our environment, there is an enormous rise in the number of people who suffer various forms of nasal congestion and respiratory illnesses. Alternative health practitioners throughout the world recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a saline solution as part of a regular regimen of health and wellness, a basic health-maintenance activity equal to flossing your teeth. Neti is a gentle, safe, efficient way to deliver a good cleansing dose of saline to the nose. Although the practice of nasal irrigation originated in India, today there are numerous people in Europe and the United States who use this simple technique as part of their daily routine.

People practice Neti on a daily basis to help keep their sinuses clean and to make their breathing easier and more free. Once they try it, most people find Neti to be a soothing and pleasant experience.If, like a lot of people, you find that your nasal passages are blocked because of pollution, pollen, dust and other irritants, you may find this simple nasal irrigation technique to be of invaluable benefit to you. The practice of nasal cleansing—known as Neti—has been used by practitioners of Ayurveda and Yoga in India for thousands of years. Neti is one of the 6 purification techniques performed prior to practicing yoga as a way of preparing the body for the yoga practice.

While there exist advanced techniques using various herbal oils and herbs, the simplest Neti technique uses water for the irrigation process. Lukewarm water is used to gently cleanse the nasal passages. A soothing, gentle stream of salt water, the same concentration as tears, flows through your nose, washing away pollens, mucus, viruses and bacteria. Use of a neti pot is recommended to ease this process. Many health practitioners consider the nasal passages to be the doorway for most diseases. The nasal passage, with its finely-tuned mechanism of hairs and mucus membranes, which are intended to catch and restrain foreign entities from entering our bodies, actually is one of the ways nature protects us from diseases. Unfortunately, this filtering mechanism can become overloaded through high exposure to pollution, chemicals, fragrances, pollen and dust.

Cleansing this filter regularly allows it to operate more efficiently. A simple yet very powerful technique, neti works wonders for chronic sinusitis, and allergies. It has a remarkable effect on upper respiratory tract infections, especially hay fever. In fact, neti is so beneficial that responses usually change from "YUK, there is no way I am ever going to try that" to "WOW. That is fantastic. I am hooked for life" after just one trial.Your neti pot should be right for YOUR nostrils: Choose a neti pot with a smoothly tapered conical tip at the spout end. This facilitates support on the nostril walls of varying sizes. More importantly, this minimizes spillage as it 'plugs' the inlet nostril.

How Neti is Done

A neti pot is filled with warm, slightly salted water and the spout of the pot is inserted into one nostril. The position of the head and pot are adjusted to allow the water to flow out of the other nostril. The technique is not as uncomfortable or difficult as you may think at first. You will be pleasantly surprised at this simple and effective practice for maintaining your health. Once learned, neti can be done in about 3 minutes and is easily integrated into a daily routine of body cleansing such as showering or brushing your teeth. Neti pot instructions:

  1. Prepare the saline solution (*) with lukewarm water and fill the neti pot. Hot water is irritating and dangerous. Cool water is not soothing.
  2. Tilt your head to the side as shown in the picture at the beginning of this article.
  3. Insert spout of neti pot gently into the raised nostril creating a seal between the neti pot and the nostril. If it drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead in relation to your chin. Relax. If you are calm, the water flows right through. But if you aren't, it just won't flow. If you keep breathing through your mouth, relaxed, the water should gently flow through the nose on its own. There's no forcing it.
  4. Raise the neti pot slowly to develop a steady flow of saline solution through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril.
  5. During the process breathe through your mouth.
  6. When you're done, exhale firmly several times to clear the nasal passages.
  7. Reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side.

You can find a high quality neti pot here (note from your editor: or other places, obviously!). I hope you make neti a part of your daily health routine. If you like this article, go to the website. One way that you can help support the development of this web site is by clicking on the links found throughout this site which lead to health products you are interested in. When someone purchases a product through one of the links on the site, I make a tiny commission. So I am grateful when people do that.

* Mix a heaping ¼ tsp of finely ground non-iodized salt or a slightly rounded ½ tsp of coarsly ground salt in the neti pot with 8oz of warm water until the salt is completely dissolved.

Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

© 2002 by Marc Leduc


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