Saturday, November 07, 2009

Casting my Neti

Today, Dr. Stuetzer up in Silver City recommended I try a neti pot.

He had to explain to me what that was, and then bustled me to the Silver City Food Co-op to see if they had one in stock. I followed him in, hoping they would be "temporarily out" of them. Somehow the idea of flushing my nostrils with warm saline solution was intimidating.

(Personal sidebar: I'm a big baby about medical stuff, even though I am CPR/First Aid trained. In an emergency, I can cope; and I witnessed my son's birth without feeling queasy. And yet: can't put contact lenses in my eyes; have a hard time with blood, cuts, scrapes, etc.; can't look in the mirror when the dentist works on me, have to look away when getting a shot or blood drawn -- I even fainted once. The idea of flushing my nose grossed me out although, years ago, I got into the habit of washing my eyes in warm water and that never bothered me. So who knows?)

The neti pots were in stock, so I bought one and made my first attempt at using it tonight. The device is a simple thing, yet something about the neti pot felt a bit intimidating as I held it in my grasp for the first time.


The directions are simple enough: mix 1/4 tsp. of non-iodized salt into a cup of lukewarm water, stir well. The way it is supposed to work is by tipping your head at just the right angle, making a seal between the pot's spout and your raised nostril, so water flows easily through your nasal passage and out through the lower nostril into a sink or basin.



The sample photograph in the pot's instructions shows a woman gaily flushing her proboscis but did not illustrate well how to achieve the desired angle. If you are off just a bit, the water does not pass through easily. If your head is too far back, you have trouble breathing through your mouth while doing the procedure; cock it the wrong way, and it comes down your throat.

Although the sensation of warm water in my nose was not unpleasant, I just about threw my back trying to find the right angle...



So I did what modern and hip people do, and took my question to the internet, that magic 8-ball of a fact-finder. Google led me to some YouTube videos that demonstrated use of the neti pot, some sillier than others.

Even so, it took quite a bit of contorting to feel like I was doing it halfway correctly...


It will probably take a few tries to master the technique. In the meantime, I now know to be ready to blow my nose in abundance once I am through.

11 comments:

Jessica said...

super pics! not unlike my first adventure reversing the swimming pool effect up my nose...

jessica

Donna said...

LOL! Too funny. I love the pictures, especially the one of you on the floor.

Kelly said...

What an entertaining post!!

I have a friend who absolutely swears by his neti pot...considers it a miracle cure.

I've been tempted, but will stick with regular saline spray use for now.

Nathan said...

So funny! I enjoyed that a lot. I have had a neti pot for about a year and a half now. It's definitely effective. But yes, I sometimes still have "mishaps" - it definitely forces you to pay attention.

quid said...

Hilarious!

Pam said...

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I needed a good laugh!!! YOU obliged!!

Hey, I've had sinus issues all my life so I'm familiar with the neti pot as well as many other similar contraptions. I even have a special attachment for my water pic that does the same thing. :)

I've found something new this year: Simply Saline. You can get it at any pharmacy or Wal-Mart, etc. It's not a spray saline, but a pump and it is fantastic!!

Works wonders on the sinus flushing!

Those photos were priceless!!!

Debby said...

The pictures were a hoot. Algernon, I have used a neti pot for several years now. I just do my neti stuff in the shower. I have not had to take antibiotics for a sinus infection since I discovered this wonder. Seriously.
Interesting side note? Once I got the sinus thing under control, the number of all out migraines decreased. In fact, I shouldn't say it out loud, but I have not had a migraine since a bad reaction to a chemo drug last November. *looks for wood to knock*

Marion said...

Alg, you could never be a female. Hilarious post! Blessings!

Algernon said...

You're right, Marion, I probably couldn't.

fishychick35 said...

Hysterical. I've been there... the surprise choking, the draining sinuses...Neil Med is cool, but the ancient neti pot ranks higher with its low-tech functioning... ;) Jessica Randall

fishychick35 said...

Too bloody funny. I've been there... warm, salinic fluid up through the sinuses.. hey ACK, tastes gross, WTF? Neil Med is awesome, but I bow to the ancient method of the neti. ;) Jessica Randall