I'm going to give you five essential tips to avoid drowning by neti pot.
The first is to choose the neti pot vehicle that's right for you. Now, there are several types of neti vehicles. The old school is the pot. It looks just like a teapot, and you literally pour the water up your nose so that it runs out the other side. Ouch, that is painful!
My preference is the squeezy bottle type. These are disposable, and they're safe, and they're bacteria free. You can buy them at your local pharmacy, and there are a couple of different brands. They come in kits with the squeeze bottle, and they also have saline available for you to put in it. There is also a fill line so you know exactly how much water to put into the bottle.
The third type of vehicle for those fancy pants at there is the electronic irrigator. This is the type of irrigation system that your specialist, your nose and throat person, would use to clean out your sinuses after a sinus surgery.
Second tip: use only distilled water. Local tap water can carry fungi and bacteria that are not great for shooting up our noses. Our sinuses are very closely connected to the brain and it actually defeats the purpose of cleaning out your nose and in fact can cause sinus infection rather than prevent it.
If you're using the neti to help to prevent or get rid of an early sinus infection, which you can do under the supervision of your physician, you can add certain things to your irrigation water. You may add colloidal silver, which is a bacterial static or antibacterial solution. I recommend only adding 5-10 drops to the saltwater solution. You might also add something called GSE (grapefruit seed extract) which is a natural antibacterial. I strongly recommend you do this under the supervisor of your holistic doctor or naturopath or herbalist.
There are a few things never to add. Never add peroxide (can cause some serious damage to the lining of your sinuses), alcohol (painful, and will do damage to the inside lining of your sinus cavity and your nose) and tea tree oil. While tea tree oil has great antimicrobial properties and it's not necessarily damaging to your sinus wall, it can actually be irritating. Where there's irritation there's increased avenues for bacteria and infection to come in. So I do recommend against using tea tree oil in your neti.
Next, prepare your water. You don't want to use water that's too hot, and you especially don't want to use water that's too cold, otherwise it will make the irrigation itself painful. My recommendation is to have the water be just lukewarm.
My recommendation is to run some hot water in your sink and then let the water bottle filled with the appropriate solution sit in the hot water for approximately 3 minutes. You'll find that by diffusion the heat is transferred into the bottle and will cause the water inside the bottle to be slightly lukewarm. That's perfect for irrigation.
Fourth, check your technique. This is the most critical aspect of the neti irrigation. You want to stand in the mirror face-on and tilt your head slightly downward. If you tilt your head too far back, it's going to cause all the water to go to the back of the throat because the sinuses are connected to the back of the throat. In addition, it might actually sting just a little bit. If it's too far forward, then you'll cause the water to go up into the next set of sinuses. This can actually cause a headache and be pretty painful as well. So when you're facing the mirror you want to slightly tilt your head downward so that the water has an opportunity to come right back out when it goes out of the sinuses.
The second thing you want to do is make sure that you're holding your breath. You absolutely do not want to inhale when you're doing the actual irrigation; otherwise, you will get that horrible brain-freezing feeling that you get when you jump into a swimming pool and accidentally inhale chlorinated water. I typically recommend taking a deep breath, then letting it out and holding it, and then squeezing while the breath is out. Then you allow it to go out. Then you take a deep breath through your mouth, let it out, and then squeeze.What will happen is the water will go up one side and usually will come out the other. I know that sounds a little gross, but that's the way it's supposed to happen. Repeat. When you do that you'll find that you actually can close the back of the throat so none of the water goes down and you're not felling like you're drowning from the irrigation itself.
Finally, once you've emptied out your squeezy bottle is to blow your nose. The next thing you want to do immediately after emptying your squeezy bottle is to blow your nose and get all the rest of the water and the junk out of your nose. You will be left with a clean sense of an ability to breathe through your nose and no allergens.
|Get answers to your health questions! Sign up for Dr. Maiysha's Ask the Doctor video of the week newsletter.|
|What's Your Wellness Score? Take your free assessment and discover your wellness blueprint for stress free living today!|