The neti pot is your friend. It really is. Don’t fear the neti pot.
For those of you who just answered, “OK…um, what’s a neti pot?”, read on. For those who know, but become conveniently absent-minded when their doctor suggests using one, feel free to skip ahead a bit.
The neti pot is a nifty utensil somewhat resembling a small teapot (probably best left out of the kitchen for that reason), which is used in the alarming-sounding practice of nasal irrigation. Nasal irrigation is actually a fancy, yet dull, way of saying, “rinsing out your sinuses.”
“Why do I want to rinse out my sinuses?”, you now ask, thinking those absent-minded avoiders of doctoral advice have the right idea. Because your sinuses are also your friends and you want them to be as healthy and happy as the rest of you, of course. Neti pots are great for a wide array of sinus problems. Allergy-sufferers benefit from being able to rinse out allergens hanging out in their sinuses. If a nasty cold is living in your head, a neti pot can flush out all that excess mucus and provide much-needed sinus pressure relief. Neti pots also keep your nasal passages nice and moist and can help you breathe better.
“All right already, how does it work?” Basically you mix up some fairly warm water with a saline solution (available in pre-mixed envelopes or you can mix your own) in your neti pot. Water should either be distilled or boiled because you don’t want to add any little friends up your nose that could cause problems. Then you place the spout of the pot in one nostril and gently tilt your head until, voila! Water up one nostril and out the other. When your neti pot is about half-empty, switch to the other nostril. Have tissues standing by so you can gently blow your nose after and try to stay upright for about 30 minutes to help any left-over water drain properly.
Despite seeming like an incredibly weird thing to do, you’ll definitely feel better afterwards. Many people have incorporated using a neti pot as part of their daily routine, in fact, as it is both so very beneficial and not unpleasant (AKA “you can stop avoiding this now”) to use. True, on an excitement level, it rates right up there with flossing, but sometimes dedication to health and wellness and well-being means a little boredom now and again.