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How To Use A Neti Pot

The Neti Pot’s Impact On My Asthma

I avoided neti pots for years.  Until this past year – when I made it my goal to fully eliminate my asthma medications.  Years ago I never would have thought that would be remotely possible, but now I’m really close!

I’ve been slowly making lifestyle changes over the years that have brought me from a high point of seven medications (at high doses) to the lowest dose of just one medication.

I didn’t do it over night.  Check out this post to find out more about what I’ve done: 25 Ways I’ve Improved My Asthma.

You’ll notice the neti pot wasn’t on that list of 25 – at the time of writing that post, I was down to 2 medications.  Now I’m down to one!

I eliminated the nasal steroid three months ago, and replaced it with the neti pot.

I’m not a doctor, expert, etc, etc – so be safe and careful.  Take it slow.  Listen to your body.  Talk to your doctors.  And definitely do not decrease nor go off your meds if your asthma is not under control.

Other Benefits Of The Neti Pot

  1. Washes away dust, pollen, smog, and other irritants.
  2. Rinses out extra mucus.
  3. Serves as an antidote for dry nasal passages (sometimes this is particularly bad in the winter).
  4. Reduces sinus pressure and the risk for sinus infections.
  5. Relieves some symptoms of colds and flu.
  6. Allows your breaths to be easier, less inhibited, fuller.

What Neti Pot To Buy

I have a Himalayan Institute Eco Neti Pot.  It’s $10-15 in my local health food store.  My pot is made of “bioplastic” and is biodegradable.  It’s also super light so I take it when I travel.

There are a number of different types out there.  The woman at my health food store suggested for the first time that I use one that is plastic and light-weight.  Apparently the ceramic ones are a little more difficult to maneuver because they’re heavier.  In retrospect I don’t think it makes that big a difference.

How To Use The Neti Pot

It is amazingly simple.

What You’ll Need

  1. Neti pot
  2. Non-iodized salt
  3. Warm water (more or less body temperature)
  4. 1/4 teaspoon

Steps

  1. Wash your neti pot with warm soap and water before first use and after each use.
  2. Fill the pot with warm water. The water should be around body temperature, so when you feel it with your finger, it should not feel cold or hot.  Added:  Many people use straight from the tap but to be completely safe I use filtered water, you can use distilled as well.  There may be water-born diseases – not to mention chlorine! – in tap water.
  3. Mix in 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt.  Be sure to use non-iodized salt without additives or anti-caking agents.  You can buy “neti pot salt” – some are sea salt with more minerals in them and thus feel more mild (I like them better).  Start with 1/4 teaspoon on your first try, but then experiment – you may find you like a little bit more.  I use somewhere in between 1/4 and 1/2.
  4. Lean your face forward over the sink, and then tilt your head to the right.  I was terrified I was going to do this wrong the first time!  But really, it’s ok if you don’t have this “right” – you’re not going to screw it up and you’ll get a feel for this quickly.
  5. Place the neti pot spout inside your right nostril.  Make sure you form a seal with your nostril so it doesn’t leak.
  6. Breathe through your mouth.  Don’t forget to breathe – oxygen is important!
  7. Tilt the pot until water starts to pour out of your left nostril.  Keep pouring until the pot is empty.  I usually have to pause about half-way through to gently blow out the water and gunk, and then I start pouring again.
  8. Relax your neck and shoulders.  No other instructions say this, but boy I tense up when I’m trying to do this right.  Relax – it’s not that hard, you won’t screw it up (and if you do it doesn’t really matter), there’s no reason to be tense.
  9. Repeat #2-8 on the other side.
  10. Exhale through both nostrils into the sink, and then gently blow your nose.  The pot came with instructions to do crazy hand-to-toe exercises afterwards.  I found a couple gentle blows of the nostrils is good.
If you want to watch a video of someone doing it, here is a video.  Just ignore adding the extra drops and such – multiple websites, books and health care professionals say you don’t need it.  (Try it if you want, but it seems like an unnecessary cost to me.)

That’s It!

Not so bad, eh?  Do you use a neti pot?  If not, will you give it a try?

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