As most allergy-prone residents of the Truckee Meadows can attest, spring is in the air. If your nose is runny and your eyes are bleary from the increased pollen and allergen count, you may find sweet (and salty) relief from the regular practice of nasal irrigation with the help of a neti pot.
Our nasal passages are one of our body’s first lines of defense against disease. The thin coating of mucus that lines our nostrils works as a filter to capture dust, dirt, allergens, and other impurities. Nasal irrigation can help flush these impurities out of our system, decreasing many of the acute and uncomfortable symptoms that show up during allergy season.
The practice of nasal irrigation is an age-old tradition with roots in ayurvedic medicine – yoga’s sister science. Today, both eastern and western medical professionals prescribe this practice as an easy, safe and inexpensive way to clean the nasal passages, reduce symptoms of nasal irritation and disease, and promote the healing of nasal tissues.
NASAL IRRIGATION WITH A NETI POT
* Neti Pot (found in most health food stores and pharmacies)
* ¼ tsp. finely-ground, non-iodized salt (use the purist salt available as impurities in the salt can be irritating)
* Warm water (be sure to use distilled or filtered water)
- Dissolve ¼ tsp. of finely-ground, non-iodized salt in 8 oz of warm (body temperature) sterile water inside a clean neti pot.
- Lean over a sink and tip your head to one side until your forehead and your chin are just about level with each other. (You may have to experiment to find the perfect angle.)
- Insert the spout of the neti pot into the upper nostril, forming a shallow, gentle seal.
- Slowly tilt the neti pot until the warm saline water begins to run into the upper nostril and out the lower nostril into the sink. Breathe through your mouth.
- When finished, roll your face toward the sink and exhale through both nostrils to empty the nasal passages of any lingering fluid.
- Repeat the process on the opposite side.
SANITATION AND SAFETY NOTES:
* Clean and dry out your neti pot after each use.
* Just as you wouldn’t share your toothbrush with anyone else, avoid sharing your neti pot with others.
* A little bit of burning is normal and can be a sign that you didn’t use enough salt or that your water needs to be a touch warmer (it should be body temperature.) If you experience a lot of discomfort or if you experience nose bleeding during nasal irrigation, discontinue use and consult your medical professional before trying again.
Yoga Loka offers high quality yoga instruction for students of all levels and at all stages of life. Yoga Loka, has been sharing the practice of yoga in the Truckee Meadows for more than ten years. View Yoga Loka’s class schedule at www.yogalokareno.com