This week’s self-care exercise will require:
- 1 neti pot (available through Walgreens, Whole Foods, or Amazon for $10-20)
- Saline Solution (you can buy this prepackaged or you can easily make your own)
- Step 1: Heat up some filtered or distilled water. When using a neti pot, it is extremely important to never use tap water. (Note: you can get in the habit of warming up a kettle of water in the morning and using some of it for your lemon water and the rest for your neti pot!)
- Step 2: Put the saline solution into the neti pot. Walgreens sells neti pot kits that include prepackaged saline solution. You can pour one of those packets into your neti pot or you can easily make your own solution by putting 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into your neti pot. Once the saline solution is in the neti, pour your warm water into the pot. (Normally about eight ounces; most neti pots have a “fill to here” line inside.)
- Step 3: Find a good location to use your neti pot. I typically use a bathroom sink, but while I was in India we did this practice every morning outside in a grassy area (that worked too).
- Step 4: Insert the tip of the neti pot into one nostril (I normally start with my right nostril). Bend your knees, lean your upper body forward, and tilt your head to a 45 degree angle. Keep your mouth slightly open, breathe through your mouth, and let approximately half of the contents of the neti flow through your nostril. When done correctly, the solution will travel up your nose and out the opposite nostril.
- Step 5: Once you’ve emptied about half off the neti pot’s solution into your first nostril, repeat the same process with your other nostril.
Though it may be tempting to want to blow your nose after using a neti pot, I really don’t recommend it. (Your ears won’t like you.) A better solution might be to practice some Kapalabhati breathing, which I demonstrate in the YouTube video below.
Once you’ve finished using the neti pot on both nostrils, take a moment to clean your neti pot; this can easily be done by hand or (if you purchased a ceramic neti pot) by throwing it in the dishwasher (isn’t living in a first-world country great?).
Depending on how bad of shape you’re in, you may want to initially use your neti pot every morning. As your condition(s) improve, you’ll only feel the need to neti three(ish) times per week, and eventually just you’ll be able to only use it “as needed”.
If you have any other questions or want to see me demo this process feel free to watch the YouTube video below!
Short and stout
Shove me up your nose
And blow your boogers out