They sell 'em here.
Do You Really Want to Read A Post About Nasal Hygiene?
Of course you don't, but you're here already, right? You thought it was going to be an amusing post by Merry 'cause she's usually Tuesday, but it's not. Fooled you! Fear not, though, Merry will be back tomorrow.
Anyway, I may have mentioned in passing before that I have mild but chronic allergies. My nose runs pretty much all the time, and as a result, I get occasional nosebleeds. Also I have to sleep practically sitting up. If I don't? Then my post-nasal drip eventually hits a sensitive spot or something and my asleep self decides to fix the problem by not breathing at all.
Thanks so much, asleep self. Way to problem-solve! I so love waking up in the up in the middle of the night gasping for air and fearing I'm dying.
But year after year I refuse to do anything about my allergy problems. Well, I tried some over the counter stuff a few times and it didn't help. And once I went to a doctor who suggested I drink a glass of warm salt water through my nose every day. I think I actually did it once, but, um, hello Mr. Big Fancy Expensive Ear Nose and Throat Doctor? This may surprise you, but Nose-Drinking is unpleasant! It would have to not only cure my allergies but give me superpowers of some sort. Alas, no superpowers were immediately apparent so I said screw it.
Now I suppose I could try to clean my house of allergens. But that would be a lot of work, wouldn't it? And then where the hell would I put this?
Plus, once we moved to a sterile corporate apartment across the country from our old place, with no cat and none of the usual allergens, and my nose still ran all the time. Case closed, tried everything, there's no hope!
Nasal Remedy of Last Resort: The Neti Pot
There was one thing, however, that I hadn't tried, because it sounded too much like the dreaded nose-drinking. But now I am trying it. Last weekend I went out and bought a neti pot.
For those who haven't been introduced to one before, you use it to pour water up your nose. Nice, huh? Actually, you pour warm salt water in one nostril and let it run out the other in order to irrigate your sinuses. (Preferably while leaning over the sink in the privacy of your own bathroom; not in the middle of a big client meeting at work. But however you like to roll).
Of course I assumed that the earthy-crunchy employee at the Natural Foods store would be familiar with the ancient Ayurvedic technique of jala neti, thus sparing me awkward explanations. But no, lucky me, he was a Neti Pot virgin and seemed very curious and amused by the whole concept.
(Had I thought to have googled sooner, I could have told him that the practice of jala neti is thought to assist the Ajna Chakra in awakening higher states of meditation. Plus, it's supposed to reduce mouth breathing and temper-tantrums and gives one sparkly eyes. And who doesn't want sparkly eyes?)
Even Web MD approves of neti pots for allergies and other sinus problems, though they don't cite particular studies (and I'm not going to go hunt them down either). They did mention stuff like "uncoordinated cilia" and used other impressive medical terminology, so I say, good enough--I'll give it a try!
How To Use a Neti Pot
If you're actually going to buy one, don't worry, it comes with instructions. And there are even Youtube instructional videos but I am SO not going to watch one. Do I really want to see some random stranger pouring water up his nose and flushing out his snot? No, I do not.
Basically, you just have to learn to tip your head at the correct angle so the warm salt water goes through your nose and not down your throat.
If you need additional resources, here are the best Neti Pot Instructions ever. (Or at least the most hilarious).
So How Do I Like My Neti Pot?
Well, it's a much less obnoxious practice than drinking water through your nose and swallowing it, that's for sure. The first time was uncomfortable because I had the water too warm; after I solved that problem, it wasn't fun but it wasn't a big deal. It's really just a bit of a time-consuming mess.
Does The Neti Pot Work To Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
Not yet, goddamn it! But it's been less than a week. I've decided I'm going to give it a month before deciding whether it helps or not. It's worth a little bit of patience if I can reduce my allergy symptoms. Or hell, even if I don't end up curing my runny-nose problems, maybe I can shoot for sparkly eyes or fewer temper tantrums.
My goodness, this is not going to be an easy post to comment on! I will not be alarmed if many of you do not have any thoughts/experiences to share about the exciting topic of Nasal Irrigation. But feel free to chat about anything, snot-related or not, and pray for the speedy return of Merry Sunshine.