Stay clean and clear with nasal irrigation

I don’t particularly relish sharing my hygiene rituals with people but here’s one I’m willing to report on because I wonder how many of you out there also know about this. I’m talking about nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot.

Wait … you’re reaching for the mouse … don’t scroll down! Seriously, have any of you tried this?

I was introduced to the concept last year by a friend who was living with us. I watched her perform this intricate head-tilting waterfall act daily, always swearing I’d never try it. Then I got a severe cold and sinus infection in March and I was desperate to try anything, anything, to soothe my sinuses and just be able to, I don’t know, breathe. So I bought the Neti Pot and saline packets and, although it took me a time or two to get the technique down, I can say that it’s turned into a sufficiently addicting habit that I do every day. Well, almost every day.

Basically, it works like this: You fill the Neti Pot with warm water, add a saline packet, and stir to dissolve. You then plug one nostril to form a seal with the Neti Pot, then tilt your head so that the water travels through the plugged nasal passage and exits through the free nostril. Tip: Do this over your bathroom sink and keep a towel nearby to catch the inevitable drips.


On the medical side of the coin, the practice of nasal irrigation helps clear dust, allergens and other irritants found in our modern world from the nasal passages. It also helps clear mucus from our increasingly mucus-producing diets. On the alternative, yogic side of the coin, nasal irrigation (said to have originated in India) is purported to cleanse the energy channels and promote radiant, energetic health and wellness.

Whatever the reason — and as with most habits I adopt — I rarely do so because it’s good for me or ups my pious quotient. I usually do it because it feels good. That this particular habit is curious and makes for good conversation carries its own points. But I mostly do it because it’s … just … addicting.

Author by Kristi Anderson