To use the Neti pot, mix about 2 cups of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon of salt. 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda can be added to buffer the solution and make it gentler on the nose, but it has yet to be proven that this improves the experience. Use any of distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution.
Once you've filled the Neti pot, tilt your head over the sink at about a 45-degree angle. Place the spout into your top nostril, and gently pour the saline solution into that nostril. The fluid will flow through your nasal cavity and out the other nostril. Many people expect it to be a strong stream of water coming out of the bottom nostril based on previous experience with nasal sprays. In fact, it is a slow trickle and may get a little messy so be sure to stand over a sink or bathtub. It is also much easier in front of a mirror. Using the Neti pot after a hot shower can be a great way to loosen the nasal passages beforehand, making the it that much more effective for thinning and flushing excess mucus.
You should not taste salt water in your throat. If you do, experiment with the angle at which you are holding your head until the salty taste is gone.
Once you have used the entire pot on one nostril, blow your nose, refill the Neti pot and repeat the process for the other nostril. Again, blow your nose when you are finished draining the pot.
Ensure that you thoroughly clean the Neti pot after each use and dry thoroughly to prevent bacteria growth.
The Neti pot is most effective when used daily as long as symptoms are present. Once symptoms have subsided, 2-4x/week is sufficient depending on the chronicity and severity of your sinus congestion and/or allergies.
Neti pots can be found at Peaches & Green, 1561 Bayview Avenue:
Just 2 doors north of Bayview Chiropractic Health Centre!
Still not convinced? Come in for a consult with Dr. Mingay today and find out if a Neti pot is right for your congestion concerns!