I’m at the tail end of fighting this virus, which has dissipated with a steady regimen of Emergen-C vitamin C packs and at least two doses of apple cider vinegar a day, utilizing the recipe I first talked about here: https://thirtyreimagined.com/2014/05/19/apple-cider-vinegar/
As with most bouts with colds or the flu, the end stage is the body ridding itself of the illness through “draining” with coughing and nose running. The result can be lots of frogs in the throat, lots of phlegm that breaks loose with coughing, and blowing the nose to clear the sinuses.
With this bout, I found that my end stage came along with an unfortunate nasal voice that hung on for about five days. I sounded so much worse than I actually felt, and I wanted to do something about it. When I was pregnant, I had read about neti pots for nasal congestion and the prevention of bacteria build up. However, I didn’t try the neti when I was pregnant because I was fearful of how it would feel and whether I’d be able to do it properly. Because I will be reading names at my college’s graduation next week, I decided I needed to kick the Fran Drescher voice, ASAP. I picked out a neti pot from Amazon.com that my husband ordered for me. Once it arrived, we both decided to try it together.
So it’s worth mentioning that my main fear over using the neti pot was that it would irritate my sensitive sinuses. I always had issues at the pool as a child trying to swim underwater, and ever since I got clued in to this quirk about myself, I’ve always been cautious about immersing my head. The good news is that even those with sensitive sinuses can successfully use the neti pot. Just note that water temperature, salt mixture, and head position play very key factors to a positive neti experience.
Start by adding warm FILTERED water to your neti pot, and dissolve one heaping scoop of neti salt into the pot. Yes, the water must be filtered. Tap water is not okay here. The scoop you use for the neti salt should come with your container, but if you should lose it, a recommended 1/4 teaspoon is the amount.
The directions that came with my pot explained that you can employ the same rules you would for heating a baby’s bottle to determining the appropriate temperature for your water. Slightly warmer than room temp is great, but not scalding hot. Too cold is not good for your nasal passages either.
Lean forward over a sink and tilt your head to 45 degrees. This is crucial. You want to lean forward so that the water flows through your nasal passages only, and tilting your head too much can cause the flow of water to make your eyes and head burn. This happened to me twice. I almost wrote a blog post about how neti pots don’t work for me!
Breathe through your mouth while pouring the contents of the neti pot through one nostril. It may seem like it’s taking a while, but stay calm and continue to breathe. If the flow starts to slow down or does not make it through to the other nostril, lift the pot higher – don’t tilt your head further. Remember the burning I mentioned earlier?
After the pot is empty, place your hands above your knees, slightly bend them, and continue to lean forward over the sink. Exhale through the nose to clear your nasal passages. You can also blow your nose to help clean them out. The solution may still be flowing through your nose, so keep leaning forward so that any excess is caught in your sink. When the flow has stopped, refill the pot and pour through the other nostril.
After you’ve flushed out both nostrils, step away from the sink and stand up straight with your arms extended at your sides. Bend forward to touch your left toes with your right hand, then return to center with your arms extended. Repeat the exercise on the other side. Do a few of these exercises to ensure that the solution has flowed out of your nose entirely.
Stretching may seem pointless afterwards, but it’s crucial to getting the solution out of your nose. Leaving the solution in your nasal passages can cause bacteria buildup, and these simple stretches can help the solution drain completely.
We agreed that the neti pot definitely cleaned out our nasal passages, and we’re happy to utilize it more to help ward off sinus issues. I recommend everyone check it out as an alternative to nasal sprays. Just be sure to use it correctly, and also keep it clean.