For those who may not have much idea of the internal workings of the nasal cavities, it may seem stupid to pour warm salty water through one's nose. To help clear fears and misunderstandings, we have tried to explain the procedure with diagrams.
The first line of nasal defense is the tiny hair called ``cilia'' which should trap larger particles entering the nose. These cilia are usually cleansed by normal breathing and by blowing the nose, but sometimes, due to a gradual build up of dirt, they can become clogged and may require washing out.
The entire nasal passage - from the nose tip to throat (and beyond) - is covered with a layer of mucus. This mucus is secreted from within the mucous lining, and its function is to trap smaller foreign particles and bacteria. The dirty mucus is normally blown out, snorted and coughed out or swallowed.
The sinus passages are an even finer mechanism of filtering which, if infected, secrete a runny mucus to evict the germs. This is generally called sinusitis and can be a short term symptom or a chronic condition.
In Stage 1, the water simply flows up one nostril to just above the bridge of the nose where the usual air flows meet, backwards into the middle cavity and then the water flows down and out the other side of the nose.
In this route, it passes by the frontal and mid nasal sinuses. In Stage 1 there should be no flow of water back towards the throat or into the mouth. When done correctly, there is very little sensation as the water will be the same temperature as the blood, and the salinity will be the same salinity as the blood. As a result, the nose hardly notices the flow through.
In the more advanced of Stages 2 and 3, only attempted after mastery of Stage 1, the water flows fully through the whole nasal cavity, down the back of the naso-pharynx and comes out through the mouth.
In this route, it passes by the post-nasal sinuses, cleansing all the nasal passages more strongly. In neither version is there any discomfort or damage to the nasal functions.
Ideally, at no stage, should any water actually go up into the sinus passages or the Eustachian tubes. However, this may happen if the practitioner breathes incorrectly or blows too strongly when drying. This causes only momentary discomfort and is not dangerous. In such an event, a few minutes of air-drying will usually clear out any stray water droplets.
The way in which Jala Neti rinses out the dirt and bacteria filled mucous lining would be obvious to most people as the warm water loosens and dissolves any internal build ups, and takes them outwards. But what may not be so obvious is that, due to gravity and a venturi-effect, the sinus passages are also drained by the vacuum pressure flow of the water. Whereas it would normally be impossible to drain a ``dead end'' cavity like the sinuses, Jala Neti achieves this ingeniously and simply.
For those with thick mucus conditions as well as those with running sinuses, the relief of sinus pressure can be felt within seconds. In a more detailed examination, it would also be seen, that through the effect of osmosis and capillary action, the blood vessels of the nose are stimulated to cleanse as well.
The nose is the ``air conditioner'' of the body. One of the many functions of the nose is to regulate the temperature and humidity of the incoming air. Some people have ``dry noses'' and suffer dry, crusty, nose bleed type problems. Others are ``wets'', with the constantly running sinuses and the tissues always up their sleeve! Others have perpetual stuffy and blocked nostrils. Regular practice of Jala Neti helps to establish the correct working environment of temperature and humidity in the nose.
How to do - Stage 1 Jala Neti Stage 1
1. Nasal cleansing can be performed over a sink, a bowl on a table, in the shower or outside. First fill the Neti Pot with warm water of a temperature suitable for pouring in the nose - neither too hot nor cold. Just like testing a baby's bottle, pour a bit on your arm or taste and spit to check the temperature. Pure water is best if available but this is not obligatory.
2. Mix in salt to the proportion of one - level teaspoon for half a liter of water. This equates to 0.9% - the same as human blood - and is called an isotonic solution. Mix the salt thoroughly. Taste the water and spit - adjust if not correct. After several attempts you will be able to recognize the correct mixture by taste. Be sure to fully mix and dissolve the salt.
3. Place the nose cone of the neti pot into the right nostril, sealing it to the nostril with a few twists and slight pressure. Try to point the spout straight up in line with the nasal passage so as not to block the tip of the nozzle by the inside of the nose. Open your mouth and breathe gently through the mouth. Do not sniff, swallow, laugh, talk or have any movement of air through the nose while the water is flowing through.
4. Now slowly bend forward from the waist so that the tip of the nose is the lowest point of the head; and then tilt/roll the head, so that the left nostril is now the lowest point of the nose. Tilt slowly so that water doesn't run out the top of the pot onto your face! Keep the nose cone fully sealed into the right nostril so that water doesn't leak out. Continue breathing through the mouth while the water flows. After a few seconds and the water should run out the left nostril. Keep breathing slowly and gently through the mouth. After the water begins to flow, wait about 20 - 30 seconds for about half a pot to flow right to left, and then remove the pot and stand up.
5. Before changing sides, blow out gently through both nostrils to clear water and mucus from the nose. It is important that you do not blow hard at this point or you will send water up into the ear tubes and sinuses. All that is needed is a couple of slow, soft blows out into the sink to remove the water in the nose. Do not pinch the nostrils to create extra force, or blow hard and vigorously.
6. Repeat steps 3 & 4 as above, but with the nose cone entering from the left nostril and the flow of water going left to right. After the pot runs dry, stand up, blow out gently through both nostrils and then prepare to dry out the nose. Read: Drying the nose
7. If, after doing the above steps, there is still a mucus blockage, the whole process may be repeated several times until it clears. If you regularly need to do several pots to effectively clear nasal mucus, it is easiest to mix several liters of solution in a bowl beforehand.
8. Always do half a pot right to left, then half a pot left to right. Repeating this sequence is better than doing one whole pot in each direction, and taking a break to refill in between sides. It also gives the mucus a better chance to dissolve and exit more quickly.
How to do - Stage 2 Jala Neti Stage 2
The second stage of Jala Neti is actually called sinus bellowing. It's a more advanced and powerful practice; hence one should first master the simpler version of Stage 1. Ideally, this stage of Neti should be supervised by a teacher on your first few attempts, however many people manage to succeed unaided.
First one pot of water is done as per Stage 1 to clear out the frontal nasal passages, and then a second pot is done in this more advanced way. In this case, it is not necessary to dry the nose fully between Stages 1 and 2. A few gentle blows out into the sink is satisfactory before refilling the net pot.
On the second pot - while the water is running through from one nostril to the other - it is gently sniffed backwards and spat out of the mouth. The easiest way is to draw one slow, long inhalation through the nose to ``bubble'' the water as it goes through. Do not do quick sharp snorts or you may send water up the ear tubes and sinuses. On the exhalation, that water is spat out the mouth. One or two slow sniffs will make half a pot disappear quickly! Repeat on the other side for several slow sniffs to drain the pot. A third pot may be done to repeat Stage 2 if desired.
Although not dangerous, one should try not to swallow any water when sniffing backwards.
Extra care must be taken to dry the nose properly after Stage 2, as more water floods the nasal passages and may cause irritation for some time if not completely dried out. Repeat the full drying process as many times as it takes.
This stage of Neti works more on clearing out the posterior sinus passages which Stage 1 does not reach and is even more effective than Stage 1 for post nasal drip, sinusitis, coughs and throat problems.
Posted by serendipity (Member # 8474) on :
Thanks, this is what I needed. I was just making a mess with my netti pot.
Even though I wasn't using it correctly, I can feel the benefits.
Posted by momlyme (Member # 27775) on :
My son's LLMD suggested a neti pot.
I just ordered one and thought I would bump this post for others.
This is the formula I use in the neti pot. I was much more helpful than just salt and water. I think xylitol might be the most important ingredient.
8 oz water 1/2 tsp colloidal silver 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp xylitol 1-2 drops tea tree essential oil
C. silver kills all one-celled microorganisms that it touches. Salt shrinks the tissues, fights infection and prevents the solution from burning nasal passages. Tea tree oil (or eucalyptus, oregano or thyme essential oils) are all anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Xylitol is so slippery it prevents microbes from attaching to mucus lining or a cell membrane.
From Rife Handbook by Nenah Sylver, page 570
Posted by sillia (Member # 23994) on :
Personally I think tea tree oil is too harsh to put in your sinuses. I would be leery of the silver, also.
The natural saline solution (xylitol is gentle and okay) really will do the trick.
Remember, you are not only trying to kill off organisms but also trying to improve the health of the very delicate cillia that work to move the mucous in your sinuses. If you harm those little guys, you're in trouble.
Dr. Grossan is an ENT who is expert in sinus issues, care and feeding of the cillia, and who promotes saline rinsing. I've learned a lot from him over the years. See his website, www.ent-consult.com/ Posted by momlyme (Member # 27775) on :
My son's LLMD suggested a gentle saline rinse.
I intend to stick with that.
That's if I can get my kids to do this at all!
Posted by gwb (Member # 7273) on :
I get the neti pot with the premixed packages and it's worked out really great for my sinus inflammation and infections when I get them. Very safe and no side effects.
Tree oil is a bit strong in my opinion. Not sure I'd want to go that far.