Does A Neti Pot Really Help You Breathe Better?
Christine Chen Certified Yoga Teacher and Author | My Body
You shower your body – should you shower your nose? In recent years, saline irrigation, once prescribed by doctors post-sinus surgery has gotten very popular as a natural way to relieve allergies and sinus problems without the use of medication. American Family Physician explains that it bathes your nasal passages to treat sinusitis to viral symptoms. Think if it as a shower for your nose.
So, should you add another daily shower so you can breather easier? Yes, and no.
Yes, Find a Neti Pot
The most common way of “showering” your nose is by using a neti pot, a teapot-looking device that is easy to find at your neighborhood drug or health food store. Originating in the Ayurvedic and yogic medical tradition, they’re considered a staple of holistic health.
If your face hurts from sinus pressure, or you find your congestion unbearable, your first step is to see a doctor to identify infections or blockages.
Otherwise, a neti pot or other method such as saline spray can remove dust, dirt, and pollen and loosen thick mucus that shows up because of allergies and colds. By cleaning out the particles, and irrigating nasal passages, you may be able to breathe easier immediately.
Warning: Don’t Go Overboard
Long term, you might not want to overdo it by showering your nose each day, every day, for the rest of your life. Western doctors suggest you use neti pots one to three weeks at a time, when symptoms are occurring, or per your doctor’s guidance. However, Ayurveda practitioners consider using a neti pot part of daily hygiene.
Whatever your choice, consider that your nasal mucosa is a first line of defense. You might feel better when you get that fresh neti pot feeling daily, but it might not be the best thing for you.
How to Use Neti Pots Safely
According to the FDA, neti pots themselves are safe for home use, but it can be problematic if we use tap water, which can contain low levels of organisms that can stay alive in nasal passages and cause infection.
Three things to remember:
- Buy a proper saline solution mix or make one carefully
- After using your neti pot, wash and dry thoroughly
If your symptoms don’t improve after regular use, visit your doctor, especially if you’ve experienced fever, nosebleed, or headaches.
Personal hygiene is a personal choice, and showering your nose at your personal frequency is worth considering for health benefits that can include deep and free yogic breathing.