posted Tue, 24 Aug 2004
I didn’t realize until I started looking for a photo to go with this story that I am actually a practitioner of the ancient art of yoga. Yes. This is true. To quote, “The practice of nasal cleansing - known as Neti - has been used by practitioners of Ayurveda and Yoga in India for thousands of years. Neti is one of the 6 purification techniques performed prior to practicing yoga as a way of preparing the body for the yoga practice.” (From HealingDaily)
This is what it is: your pour salt water up your nose. Who knew this counted as exercise?
My quest began with the desire to rid myself of chronic sinus congestion and pressure, earache, headache and general malaise.
Oh, don’t cry for me. Really. It’ll be OK. There is redemption in suffering. And I am stronger than most so can bear it.
But there does come a time when one says, “!Ya basta!”
So onto the internet I went. My college roommate Anita had told me about neti pots. I thought they were named in honor me. Yes, “Nettie” is the nickname for “Class Factotum.” See how much useful stuff you learn here? Bookmark this site before you forget. Right now.
Anyhow, Anita had told me about neti pots. She should know – she has had sinus problems since I don’t know when. In college, she would sniff loudly for half an hour every morning after she woke up. No need for an alarm clock in that suite. (I feel the blonde glare coming at me as I write – OK, yes, I was the one who snored. Now you are even.)
She has done everything for her sinuses, including surgery. She also has taken steroids, which are not fun drugs, as they give you all the disadvantages of eating donuts, ice cream and chocolate with none of the advantages.
So I knew I was hearing from an expert.
I got a neti pot and tried it, but then my sinus problems went away for a while and I stopped using it.
But for about the past month, I have been miserable. The drugs really haven’t helped – they might solve the sinus problem but they create issues of their own. My doctor refuses to give me the miracle cure he keeps in the back of the office, so I decided I had nothing to lose by practicing neti again.
Look at the photo again. Looks like fun, doesn’t it? Of course, being the Factotum, I followed the instructions. I made sure the neti pot was right for MY nostrils: “Your neti pot should be right for YOUR nostrils: Choose a neti pot with a smoothly tapered conical tip at the spout end. This facilitates support on the nostril walls of varying sizes. More importantly, this minimizes spillage as it 'plugs' the inlet nostril.”
It looks and sounds totally gross, but it’s really not that bad. It’s kind of like when you swim in the ocean and get a little bit of water up your nose. It actually brings back some happy childhood memories of the beaches in Spain and Florida, where I spent my formative beach years, which was why Galveston beach was such a horrible disappointment.
But here’s the amazing part: it seems to make a difference. Yeah, sure, my nose drips salt water for an hour after I do it and I am gaining weight from all the extra salt being put into my body (I am SURE that is the reason the scale is inching higher). But if it prevents sinus headache (aka the headache you have to take migraine drugs to eliminate), I am willing to do it.
The end of the line
2 years ago