Coming to Terms with my Neti Pot
Last week I blogged about trying a Neti Pot for the first time in dealing with a cold. At the time, I still had a love-hate relationship with the thing: I loved how I felt afterwards, but I hated everything about the process of using it.
In the intervening week, I’ve observed a few things that have made its use a littler simpler and a little less gross–and now I’m able to get myself fully “neti’d” in under two minutes, with minimal mess.
My Own Unscientific Neti Pot Hints:
- Don’t forget to have 2 or 3 tissues right by the sink when you’re gathering your ingredients. (Yeah, no-brainer, right? If so, then obviously I lack brain.)
- Keep your mouth open the whole time you’re pouring. Has to do with vacuum, pressure, whatever–it doesn’t work if your mouth is closed.
- While most of us will be goaded into the Neti’s use primarily because we have a horribly stuffy nose, if the process isn’t completely smooth the first time or two, or if you’re afraid you are “doing it wrong,” try it again some day when you are not horribly stuffy, because that way you get an easier sense of where to hold your head and where stuff is supposed to go.
- The instructions say to use lukewarm water, about the same temp as your body–for the record, I infinitely prefer warmer water than that, both because I find the warmth soothing and I guess because my body’s sensory organs are more able to pinpoint where exactly the water is hanging out when there’s a temperature differential there. Your mileage may vary. Obviously you don’t want to burn off your nose-hairs, but I at least have benefitted from experimentation with temperature.
- If you lean your head too far forward, the water doesn’t run out. (A friend described this as “I thought my eyeballs would explode.”) If you lean your head too far back, you get water down your throat. There’s this sort of “sweet spot” you have to find between the two, and that’s where it works best. (See #3–it’s easier to find it when you’re not all plugged.)
- Sweet spot notwithstanding, when one nostril is horribly plugged, you may get salt water in your mouth. Eventually, though, it usually finds its way through the nostril.
- Salt water notwithstanding, you may also drool. Don’t worry about it. (Isn’t this lovely? I hope everyone ate well before reading this post.)
- In a hurry (which is me, pretty much all the time), you can slightly over-fill the pot and do half a pot of water in each nostril, not standing up fully in between, and avoid having to do your nose-blowing-spluttering in the middle of the process. This is my “less than two minutes” method. Works really well.
There, I think that’s about all I’ve got. Anyone else use the thing who has any other good ideas? Things that have helped you get used to it?
I’ve gotta say, after a rocky start, I really do love the thing now. The difference in how I feel after using it is palpable. And, anecdotal as this “evidence” might be, this was by far my shortest cold, like, ever. My colds always go into my chest and get all bronchial; this one threatened to but did not. Different virus? Maybe. Neti? Could be.
My mom is a potter…I wonder if she could start making ceramic Neti pots? Or my husband’s suggestion–she could make them in the trademark family shape, as little dachshunds (she does adorable wiener dog mugs), and have you stick the ceramic dog’s nose in your nostril to irrigate…(EEEUUUW! But funny!)