Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.


Posted by Lissa on October 14, 2009

Despite what you might think, this –

Neti pot

is not actually a torture device.


No, you buy it on purpose and voluntarily pour water up your nose.

If you’re insane.  Which apparently I am. 🙂

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the blue rubber instrument of pain up there is a neti pot, and you use it to pour water up one nostril and have it come out the other one.  No, you do not do this in lieu of saying the fifteen rosaries the Father assigned you for penance, or because you let the dog get into your wife’s shoe closet and he picked a pair of Christian Louboutin’s for his next chew toy.  You do this to wash ucky stuff out of your sinuses.

(Of course, the water you’re using to wash the ucky stuff out will, itself, be left behind as an ucky substance.  You feel quite waterlogged afterwards.)

I tend to get head colds a few times a year.  I can often fight off the worst of it by chugging tea-with-honey, gargling with salt water and religious use of Dayquil/Nyquil.  Often . . . but not always.  A few of my friends SWEAR by that-there neti contraption, so I gave it a try.

PANIC.  Utter panic the first time water started flowing up my nose TO DROWN MY BRAIN.  It didn’t even gross me out; I was too busy hyperventilating while sternly reminding myself that I was NOT in fact drowning.  It feels like water filling up your ears, mixed with that-time-you-got-pulled-under-by-the-riptide-at-the-beach-and-thought-you’d-drown.  It’s horrible.

I can’t say I noticed any great sinus improvement, either, but I’ll keep trying for a little while.  A week, maybe.

And if there’s no improvement, I’ll just move up to shoving bamboo splinters underneath my fingernails.

3 Responses to “NOT A NETI!!”

  1. Brad K. said


    Back to the instructions, dear. You are only doing 1/2 the exercise.

    First you tilt the head, pour into the upper nostril so the water drains out the lower nostril, then alternate.

    Next you do it again, with the head tilted to the side again, but raised a bit so the water runs out the (open) mouth. Repeat on the other side.

    The “water” you use should be warmish, somewhat near body temp. The recipe I was given was 1/8 tsp non-iodized salt, 1/8 tsp baking soda in 1 c. warm water. Use the non-iodized salt and soda so the solution is body-neutral, compensates for chlorinated water, and removes a lot of the sting.

    Repeated sinus infections are primarily caused not by allergies or colds, but from stomach acid reflux, gastro-esophageal reflux, GERD. Ask your doctor about GERD the next time you visit your doctor.

    I find I get about as good a result with *saline* nasal mist as I did with the neti pot – you can order ceramic or stainless version on the internet, or at a local ashram. The bottle of saline mist puts a bit of saltwater up in the sinuses, gets dry stuff moistened, breaks up clots of stuff. Amazingly “productive” over the hour following a dose. My doctor and chiropractor recommended the Saline Nasal Mist, my doctor claimed twice in each side, once an hour and blow (inhale big with each squirt, naturally – though it does wonders when the nose is all clogged solid, too) – will clear up to a sinus infection without antibiotics. A bottle lasts a long time, you just cannot share the bottle. Like the SNL skit goes, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t . . . share stuff you put up your nose without a seriously effective washing and sanitizing.

    America seems to have gone all fat-free in a lot of foods. But some research shows that chicken soup, made from the chopped up chicken, at least, does help recover from a cold. The chicken fat irritates the sinuses, causes the sinuses to generate more mucus and flush away what is there – including trapped dust, dirt, and cold viruses. Fat-free chicken soup is nice and warm, a comfort food, but won’t do much to directly affect the illness.

    Paul Harvey claimed that humming would help open nasal congestion. I wonder if that is similar to moaning loudly?

    Luck with the nasal wash!

  2. Breda said

    I use the same brand as you, Lissa, only the little squeezy bottle. Keep at it, it does help!

  3. georgeh said

    A portable waterboarding machine, alert the CIA!

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