Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Allergy Season and Neti Pot

I admit that when I was first attending classes in the fundamentals of Ayurveda (the ancient medical system of India), I resisted using a neti pot for cleaning my nasal passages. Every morning, the community bathroom was filled with students cleaning their sinuses with a neti pot. I thought, "no way, not me." It looked weird, for one thing, and my nose rarely felt stuffy so I figured, "why bother?"

Time passed and the year after I graduated from the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, my husband and I moved to Tucson, Arizona. The air there is dry and dusty, and in a very short time, my nasal passages were a mess. Okay, I decided, I would try using the neti pot. Guess what? I loved it! I could breathe easily again and felt more alert in the mornings (this was a bonus for me since I'm not much of a "morning person").

I still use a neti pot most mornings, even after moving to humid southern Missouri, because of the alertness factor it seems to impart. In addition, however, with all the pollen this spring (we live in the woods), I found that if I didn't clean my nasal passages, I would find myself sneezing or getting stuffy feeling. It seems like every other person I meet has "allergy problems" that could be palliated by using a nasal rinse cup. If you're one of those people, give it a try! Once you buy the pot, the rinse is a simple, inexpensive saline solution (don't use regular table salt or sea salt; best is the pink Himalayan rock salt).

Here's a link to an explanatory video: Banyan Botanicals "How to Use a Neti Pot." I found that after the first couple times, finding the right tilt for my head was a breeze. I'm sure you will, too!

P.S. Different teachers seem to have a variety of thoughts on this, but I was taught to put a few drops of oil in my nostrils shortly after cleaning with a neti pot; the saline can potentially dry your nasal passages out too much, depending upon one's constitution, and the oil provides a short-term lubricant to avoid dryness (which can over-activate one's mucus, again, depending upon individual constitution, the season, the current weather, etc). You can evaluate this yourself and decide whether using oil helps. I nearly always use an oil after my neti pot cleanse; here's the one I buy NASYA OIL.

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