How often do you wash your face and brush your teeth? You probably feel uncomfortable when you have been unable to do these things as normal. But how often do you clean the inside of your nose?
In the West, cleaning the sinuses is not a normal part of our hygiene routines, but some say that could be a contributing factor to the allergies and infections that we suffer.
In India, some people practice jala neti. In this practice, a special device called a neti pot is used to pass water through the nasal passages, clearing out blockages and washing away bacteria.
Neti pots come in a variety of designs but are all roughly the same size, designed to hold enough water for cleansing the nose in one direction. The tip of the neti pot is fitted into one nostril to form a seal and the head is angled so that water passes out of it, through the nose and out of the other nostril. The neti pot is then refilled so that the process can be repeated in the other direction.
Water used in neti pots is usually salted for best effect. You can purchase special neti pot salts for this purpose. It's acceptable to use crushed sea salt in a neti pot, but you should avoid using ordinary table salt, which often contains additives that may irritate the mucus membranes in your nose.
Proponents say that regular use of a neti pot can have a major positive impact on your general health. Neti pots may be particularly useful to sufferers of allergies, such as hay fever. Because it can get rid of allergenic particles trapped high in the nasal passages, proponents say that neti pots reduce problematic immune reactions while the salt water reduces swelling. They also say that regular use of a neti pot makes catching a cold less likely. And if you do catch one, the neti pot can reduce its severity and help you to get rid of it more quickly.
When choosing a neti pot, it's important to find one that is the right size for you. Find a neti pot that fits your nose comfortably and seals well. You should never have to squeeze your nose when using a neti pot, as this can lead to bruising and congestion. A good neti pot will also be light and easy to maneuver during use. Don't forget that you'll want to take your neti pot with you when traveling, so make sure it's not too fragile to pack in your luggage. And it's important to never share your neti pot, because this can transfer infection.
With so many benefits available, it's no surprise that more and more people are adopting the practice of jala neti. Neti pots are inexpensive (typically less than $20) and are widely available at online health stores if you would like to give it a try for yourself.
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