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How to Properly Use a Neti Pot

By Randi Morse 

The changing of seasons brings along a host of problems including allergies and the always hated cold and flu season. Is there anything more frustrating than waking up and finding that you're unable to breathe through your nose? Sinus problems affect millions of people every day, and it's obvious how many people are searching for relief when you look at the wide variety of medications in the cold and flu aisle. Some people have no problem utilizing pharmaceutical measures to help relieve their sinus pressure and pain, but there are those who are uncomfortable using chemicals. The neti pot has long been used to help relieve sinus pressure and clear out the nasal area to eliminate congestion. But do they really work? Is there a proper way to use one? 

How It Works 

Research has shown that nasal irrigation is one effective way to help clean out the nasal passage and relieve sinus symptoms. In simple terms, the neti pot thins the mucus inside of the nasal cavity in order to help flush it out of the body. Typically people use their neti pot once a day if they are dealing with serious sinus issues, while others opt to use the pot two or three times a week during the cold and flu season to help keep the nasal passage clear. 

How You Use It 

Make sure that you are not using straight tap water in your neti pot. This is because tap water isn't adequately filtered and may contain organisms, like bacteria, that can cause infections. By using distilled, sterile, or boiled water, you are eliminating those organisms and making the neti pot much safer to use. If you plan to boil water, make sure you let it boil for three to five minutes and then allow it to cool to a comfortable temperature before use. You may find it easier to purchase distilled water at your local supermarket. 

To use the neti pot, simply tilt your head to one side or the other over your kitchen or bathroom sink. The spout end of the pot goes in the nostril that is pointed toward the ceiling. You then breathe through your mouth while slowly pouring the filtered water into the upper nostril. The liquid should drain from one nostril out of the other. Then simply repeat the process on the other side. There is no need to blow your nose or do anything but allow the water to flow through your nostrils. 

Make sure that you thoroughly clean your neti pot after using it. The best way is to use boiled water to clean it before drying it thoroughly. Neti pots can be an amazing way to help you get through cold and flu season, especially if you follow these safety guidelines. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Georgetown, Tex.

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