The Neti Pot
I’m going to warn you up front: what I’m about to share with you is not for everyone. I’m not even sure how I came to be comfortable with using this device, but I did. And since I started using it, I’m almost never stuffed up, never at a loss to do voice work because of congestion. I’ve never been more healthy, head-wise. But…it is a little…odd.
Here’s something you probably don’t know about me.
I have a deviated septum. There, I’ve said it.
And because of that, I used to get stuffy all the time – I was prone to nasal and sinus congestion, and that can be death to your daily VO responsibilities.
Then I found the Neti Pot. Originally used as part of the cleansing preparation for certain types of yoga, this ceramic vessel is used to cleanse the nasal passages and sinus cavities. And that’s accomplished by actually pouring lukewarm pH-neutral salted water into one nostril, which flows around the back of the nose through the sinus, and out the other nostril, cleansing the entire path.
I’m not kidding.
I do it at least once a week, more if I’m feeling a little stuffy.
And since I started, I rarely feel stuffy.
It’s amazing. It’s soothing. It’s satisfying. And my pipes are clean! You can get one at any drugstore, health food store, Whole Foods or, if you want to use the one I use, here’s the link to it on Amazon.com. And there are videos on YouTube that show you how to use it properly. Here’s one:
The Neti Pot Demonstration Video
Over a sink, please.
Hope this helps.
I’d like to add to this as well David. I’ve suffered from sinus infections and bronchitis and would also just get stuffy. I completely cut out dairy and that alone has been tremendous help. Another bit of information that was passed onto me and has been a night and day with sinus pain is XClear: http://www.xlear.com/xylitol-products/nasal-spray/. A natural nasal spray that can only be bought at Whole Foods. It puts moisture in the nasal passage without drying it out with chemicals of any kind. I still have a nasal drip, but much more manageable that it doesn’t interfere.
Nasal irrigation is how my Ear, Nose, Throat Doc says it. He got me using “NeilMed” device. For me, much more effective than netipot. I use it daily in the winter when we’re all locked-up with central heat.
Also, mix-up my own solution. Make sure to use purified water – distilled is best – per quart: 3 teaspoons kosher salt. 1teaspoon baking soda. 1 teaspoon xylitol.
I am also a fan of Neti Pot but be warned that the quality of water is very important. I don’t have a link for verification, but I have heard that an amoeba from tap water killed someone when using Neti Pot. To avoid this, just boil tap water and let it cool.
Yes…in 2011, contaminated water was linked to two deaths in Louisiana – here’s the link:
I use my Culligan tap, which is filtered in several ways, including reverse osmosis, for my neti pot use.
Great recon., David! As a yogi of almost 20 year, I can tell you that nasal irrigation is one of the age old secrets of ayurveda. The first time it’s simply a bit weird, I think, because when we’ve been flooded with water in the sinuses, its usually from swimming. Just open your mouth to breath is the key and relax.
In addition to clearing up most chronic and all temporary congestion, it makes one more lucid. Additional oxygen to the brain, is responsible for that.
They are available on line.
Dear Kat, please don’t worry about fatal amoeba. there are many more threatening danger in life. Put another way, breathe easy!!
I’m a neti pot user, also have a deviated septum and underwent an operation in 1997 to straighten it out, but continue to be a sinusitis sufferer due to allergies… That’s rough for a vocal artist sometimes, so the last time I was congested, I tried to make the best out of it and recorded my voice to add to my commercial demo: https://soundcloud.com/jessica-lohmann/commercial-sinusnomore. I hope we all stay healthy this winter!
I’ve been using one for years. I fly a lot. And my nasal passages get dried out and caked with boogers. A neti pot keeps me cold free and breathing free. But, if I do get a cold? I neti pot twice a day and my cold only lasts a few days.
Yogis know nasal irrigation with a neti pot is an age-old ayurvedic technique originating in India. To be effective it stipulates the water be very warm (slightly higher than body temperature) with salt dissolved in it. Both those attributes of the practice cut through the phlegm. Additionally, the salt sterilizes the nasal tissue, eliminating chronic nasal infections. Using it in the shower is easiest.
In ayurveda, there are 3 doshas or constitutional types and those that are mostly kapha, like David, have a tendency toward congestion. (The other doshas are vata and pitta.) Googling a “kappa-reducing diet” will also provide some guidelines on how to minimize the weaknesses inherent in this dosha. Another effective ayurvedic practice is nasya, a technique that applies medicinal herb-infused oil into the nasal passages, is worth the research.
There is some evidence that the use of antibiotics promotes chronic nasal infections because healthy bacteria is destroyed. The makers of Sun Chlorella, manufacture a supplement specifically for this issue. Repopulating one’s body with probiotics is a grand step toward boosting immune defenses.
aka Yogi Marlon
I’m too scared to use a netty pot. I get extremely uncomfortable with water up my nose when I swim and I fear the netty pot will feel just as bad.
Once Again, the Great David H. Lawrence XVII speaks truth to his Voice Over Students!
-I’ve been using Sinus Irrigation with Neil Med and the Neti Pot since Dr Oz demonstrated it on one of his shows several years ago. The relief is immediate and soothing and comfortable. I believe I got my first one as a sample sent by mail. I like that it clears allergens from my passage way, cutting down on asthmatic episodes. Theresa Mignonne Daniels