Ayurvedic Self-Care: How To Practice Jala Neti ( demonstration video included)
Jala Neti - also called "nasal irrigation," or, simply, "neti," this ayurvedic body cleansing technique involves washing the nasal cavity and sinuses with warm saline water to clean out the inner nose and sinuses from any mucus buildups, air pollutants and other debris that can clog our breath passageway . In order to practice jala neti you need a "neti pot," which is a special water vessel to inset into the nostril and looks similar to a small teapot. You'll also need warm filtered or distilled water and uniodized salt, such as sea salt. I was introduced to neti many years ago, and at this point in my life I practice jala neti almost every day, and I practice it as part of my morning care routine. It is an easy 5-minute practice that can especially help see you through seasonal allergies!
Here are some helpful hints to start practicing jala neti:
>Make sure your neti pot is clean before every use, so wash it with soap and water, and let it air dry, or you can wipe it dry with paper towel.
>Practice jala neti over a sink. Your bathroom sink is the best spot.
>Use filtered water or distilled water. We've probably all heard about the bizarre situation of people dying because of amoebas living in the tap water or spring water used in a neti pot being able to travel into the brain through the sinuses and ultimately phagocytosing brain cells. This is how to protect yourself from unlikely yet unfortunate events like this.
>Boil a kettle of filtered water so you can make your warm saline solution, and have water ready for your morning tea. It's not a good idea to use completely cold or very hot water for your net poti. The mucousa lining your nasal cavity and sinuses is very sensitive so too cold or too hot water can irritate your insides. Please use warm water that feels more like body temperature.
>If this is your first time practicing neti, it might take a moment for the saline solution to start draining out your other nostril, especially if there is a lot of mucous, pollen or other air pollution debris that is being flushed out of your nasal cavity. BE PATIENT AND DON"T TRY TO FORCE IT OUT. If your nasal cavity and nostril is that clogged, the solution and any debris will start flow out of your mouth, too. This is normal, just don't try to swallow it and spit it out.
>Have a clean washcloth or some tissue ready for when you're done practicing neti. You'll want to vigorously blow your nose many times to help dry your nasal passageway and sinuses. This will prevent any potential opportunity for a sinus infection to develop.
Here's what you need:
>2 Cups: warm filtered water (I like a 1:1 ratio of boiled filtered water to cold filtered water)
>1/2 Teaspoon: uniodized salt, such as natural sea salt
>1 CLEAN Neti Pot
Here's the Method (watch the video for a demonstration!:
>Make your saline solution by adding the sea salt into the warm water and mixing it well until the salt is completely dissolved.
>Pour 1 cup of the saline solution into your neti pot
>Insert the tip of the neti pot into one of your nostrils until it feels snug and a watertight seal is created
>Tilt your head to the opposite side of the nostril you are going to neti, e.g., if you are going neti your right nostril first, tilt your head to the left
>Open your mouth to close off your nasal cavity and breath through your mouth the entire time while you neti. (This also keeps your from drowning)
>Start to slowly tip your neti pot to pour the saline solution into your nostril--THE WATER WILL FILL YOUR NASAL CAVITY AND POUR OUT YOUR OTHER NOSTRIL
>When you finish pouring the saline solution through your nostril, remove the neti pot from your nostril, un-tilt your head and let any excess fluid pour out
>Blow your nose multiple times but keep both nostrils open while you blow your nose to keep the air moving easily and effectively through your nasal cavity
>Repeat the process on your other nostril!