How to use a neti pot
In India, neti pots have been used for centuries and are still as popular as toothbrushes. They have also become increasingly popular in the West. Doctors recommend nasal irrigation after nasal surgery. It is meant to help prevent bacteria, dust and chemicals from entering the body and causing irritation or infection.
I discovered jala neti many years ago. My nose was so blocked I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to use strong nasal drops. I happened to come across a Western version of the neti pot, and by using it I could breathe and sleep better. Years later, when my yoga teacher demonstrated the use of the neti pot in class, I could testify to its benefits. I don’t practise it daily, but I remember to use it at critical times, both for prevention (when I’ve been somewhere particularly dusty, or when I feel a cold coming on) and treatment. Some find it helpful for hay fever prevention and management.
How it works: a saline solution is passed in through one nostril and allowed to flow out through the other while breathing through the mouth. Watch the video for a full demo.
Take care when you blow your nose afterwards. Blow gently with both nostrils. Advice says to be gentle at this stage and not to close one nostril, as there’s a risk that this can bring the water up in you ears where it cannot dry correctly. Check out the links at the end of this article to learn more and see the different shapes and sizes neti pots come in.
If in any doubt, ask your doctor. If you need advice on how to practise jala neti, ask a yoga practitioner to demonstrate it for you. Most yoga practitioners will know this technique.