Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I Am So Glamorous, Or Me And My Neti Pot

Ever since the precedent was set by this post from the incomparable Anne Glamore's "Tiny Kingdom", I have been wracking my brains to come up with a similar unflattering personal-grooming procedure that I could take pictures of and post for the entire internet. My brains being small and thereby easily-wracked, it didn't take long to come up with the answer: The Washing Of The Sinuses! What could be more interesting than seeing someone with no makeup and her hair pulled back in a most severe manner go through her bedtime routine of pouring salt-water through her head? And to know that she does it every day?

When you live in the CDC's "Most Allergic Place In The U.S." you learn all the pollen-fighting tricks. This is my best one. Secret weapon. It looks crazy, but when there is a thick, snow-like coating of yellow pollen over the entire world, and your dogs go outside black and come back in with yellow legs, trust me when I say that I know whereof I speak.

Usually, I would just make my own saline solution from iodine-free sea-salt and warm water, but my Mom recently discovered the SinuCleanse Nasal Wash System, and GOSH, I'm lazy, so it's perfect. Here's what you start with:You simply empty the contents of the packet into the Neti pot,and add warm water.Stir until saline solution is completely dissolved; just a few seconds. Honestly, the little plastic stirring-paddle is unneccessary if you have, um, a finger. The use of your own God-given digit also allows you to feel when the salt is dissolved.Now you're ready to stick it up your nose! See how pretty you look! And remember to breathe through your mouth, the better for to not drown. Tilt your head to the side opposite the nostril with the Neti-nozzle wedged into it, and start to pour.I have these mutant tiny nostrils, so I have to jam the thing pretty far up there to achieve the desired "nostril seal." You probably would not have this issue. My husband swears, as did my father, that the reason the women of this family have congestion problems is because of our allegedly tiny sinuses. He should talk; He only has ONE sinus. The other one is calcified, or some freaky thing. I nearly drowned him while trying to convert him to the Neti Pot because of this. Looking back, that's kind of funny (only because he survived, you understand). The flow through the sinus cavity starts as a trickle, then just flows straight through. And I swear it feels good.Then you clear your nose by blowing it gently, and repeat the process with the remaining nostril. What you see here is photographic documentation of the cleansing of my #2 nostril, as evidenced by the large salt-water stain on my shirt. That's what happens when a right-handed person attempts to use a Neti-pot with the right hand while simultaneously trying to photograph the process with the left.
There. Don't you all feel educated? And better-looking? But seriously--respect the Neti Pot, because it can change your life. Or at least the way you breathe and how often you get sinus infections and colds. Go forth and cleanse.

47 comments:

  1. i am, all at once, amused, intrigued, disgusted, and in awe.

    in any case, my hat's off to you!

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  2. Hey, whaddaya know, that's just what I was going for! You are one astute reader, m'girl. And hey, did you see what I was wearing in the ER? You can just make it out...

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  3. I going with what Sweetney said:o)

    Very interesting, but if it helps?

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  4. Dude. Wow. As the Queen of allergies, you may have just convinced me to try this. But not to photograph it, as I am not at all coordinated enough to pour salt water through my nose with one hand while holding a camera in the other. Kudos!

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  5. I've never seen or heard of anything like this before! So this is supposed to make you be able to breathe through your nose?

    Every night?

    Yikes!

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  6. What a glamorous life you lead! :-)

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  7. kim--it helps!

    elizabeth--it helps!

    judy--yes! It helps! I swear! I know you've seen saline nasal sprays. Same principle, only more thorough. And on some high-pollen days, it's shocking what you clear out of there.

    dave2--jealous, much?

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  8. I cannot believe you posted pictures of yourself poring salt water through your head on the internet. With a Nasti Pot.

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  9. Really? You REALLY can't? How well do you know me? And not only is my pot not "nasti," but I bet my sinuses are cleaner than yours!
    ;-) Go pour some water through your head. You'll feel better.

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  10. Turning around and walking away slowly. That pot freaks me out. I'm having flashbacks of drinking out of water fountains in school and the water pouring right out my nostril.

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  11. NO!
    I DID NOT SEE THAT!

    But I did. And now? When I close my eyes?
    I SEE YOU DRAINING YOUR NOSTRILS ON THE INTERNETS.

    Yes, I was shouting.

    Dude, I'm totally traumatized.

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  12. Ok, so you don't post pictures of yourself for AGES, and then you post THIS?!? What's WRONG with you?!? How about some more flattering photos?! (But you know, you have very pretty eyes, even your migrane photo.)

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  13. I think I am enjoying this more than anything I ever posted.

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  14. Grace--it's not technically "draining your nostrils." It's just the water going through. I HAD to post this because everytime I try to explain to anyone what a wonderful thing it is to do for yourself, no one can visualize it. So now I've burned it onto your retinas! You can thank me later.

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  15. There is actually a "nasal attachment" for a water pick that works wonders! It pulses the water through your sinuses, and I remember the year I bought it, I had a nasty sinus infection, and my mom bought me the water pick system with the nose attachment. I have sworn by it ever since. You would not believe the toxic waste that I flushed out of my head! It was glowing. Anyway - just a thought.

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  16. Dude! B. Let me get this straigt. You pour it in one side and it comes out the other?? And it works? I don't have sinus problems, but I may recommend it to my friend who does.

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  17. jessica--get OUT! I must know more of this!

    Claire--yes, that's EXACTLY what happens. On polleny or dusty days, after the rinse, when you blow your nose, all manner of dirt can show up. Yep, you pour the water through one nostril, it goes all through the sinuses and comes out the other nostril! Then you do it the other way. It. Is. Fantastic. It can also run off course, down your throat, which is why you tilt your head sideways a bit.

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  18. Now THAT's a helpful product review. I am sending this link to my friend with frequent sinus infections. Surely this would help.
    Thanks for joining me in being brave and exposing the more unattrative parts of life for everyone's edification.

    (BTW - My cast iron skillet is WAY to heavy for tacos-- I only drag it out for important things like cornbread).

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  19. Anne--you were truly my inspiration for this, the post that has disturbed more people than anything I've written to date! But really, it DOES work wonders. Tell your friend that during bad allergy times, a twice-daily Neti Pot habit can change her life. Once a day is fine the rest of the time.

    I'm so lazy I keep my big cast-iron out on the stovetop, clean and lightly oiled, all the time. But you're right, cornbread is the *ultimate* application. I preheat my skillet in the oven and melt butter in it just prior to adding the cornbread batter. MMMmmmmm. NOW I want cornbread. Once again, thanks for the craving, evil woman! ;-)

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  20. Ya know.. "creating" this technique for myself a couple decades ago.. before I ever heard of a neti pot.. I just use a "dedicated" squirt bottle and warm water. (is saves on that whole tiny nostrils trick, too).

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  21. I was all impressed looking at the yard photos...just reading my way along...and then WHAM water out the nose.

    I'm even more impressed now.

    And tell Alex he's safe, the Kaiser is coming to Blogher to watch the kids. And make fun of us.

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  22. You told me about this a while back. I keep meaning to look for one of those pots.

    I can't even imagine what sort of crap I'd get out of my sinuses.

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  23. Dude...

    How did I miss this post, this morning??

    Umm...I have allergies, but I'd be terrified to try that thing. Knowing MY luck, I'd panic and inhale the entire saltwater contents of that pot into my lungs.

    Drowned by Neti-Pot. Bet I'd make the news.

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  24. That is just SO not sexy, dear heart.

    Interesting.... but SO not sexy.

    Thanks for sharing.....?

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  25. Seriously -- it's a rubber attachment that you affix to a water pick and it pushes the water through your sinuses. You just sort of bend over the sink, and it does all with work with a blend of salt and warm water. The water pick has a motor in it that pushes water out of the end of the pick, which works really well because it pushes the water up through your sinuses. It is AMAZING. Especially if you have an infection -- you can cut a couple of days off of the feeling crappy part by flushing the green, disgusting toxins out of your head! Check it out -- you won't be sorry! It also helps with flushing pollens away, thus helping to alleviate allergies.

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  26. This is exactly why I love the Internet!!! You can find everything you ever needed or wanted to know about anything, including the proper way to pour water through your head. As a fellow sinus sufferer, I am so appreciative of your pictorial essay, because I've sort of been wonder how to do it my self. Heretofore, I've just been using the shower massage set on a trickle and doing it while in the shower...can be highly entertaining if you accidently dial the pressure up while flushing. If you ever suffer from sinus stuff, you will try anything that might possibly, remotely bring some small amount of relief.

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  27. I... ummm... am at a loss. That's... well... Sweeney said it best. With emphasis on "disgusting." JK.

    It is weird though. I don't think I could ever do that to myself, regardless of how bad my allergies get.

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  28. Aaaaaaaack!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    I totally held my breath while reading that. I was afraid I'd drown.

    I do, however, keep going back and looking at the pics over and over. Before you do that at Blogher, call up my room so I can come watch. :)

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  29. Wow, I don't know which I'm more turned on by - you flushing your nostrils with water, or the thought of Jessica putting something in her nose that was meant for her mouth. heh.

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  30. HAHAHHAHAHAHA Karl! That there is damn funny!!!!

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  31. Oh, thank God. I found this entry. It has brightened many a day for me to think of you with a flower pot waterer stuck up your nose.

    Oh, how I love you.

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  32. This is my first time here!

    Um.

    This is my, first time here....

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  33. Can this be used for stuffed up noses while suffering from a cold? To me, the boogies associated with being sick are the absolute worst part. And, surprisingly, this process is not all that disturbing to me.

    Sorry, this is my first time here. Cut right to the important questions, lol.

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  34. Lorina--Oh, my goodnes, yes! You can use it up to every 2 hours, if you like, and it GREATLY improves the process of clearing all the gunk out. I recommend *learning* how to use it while you're well, though! ;-)

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  35. I have one of those! Seriously, I just bought one a couple of weeks ago. I won't say it feels good to me, but I need it and it isn't totally gross or anything. I use mine for dry sinuses due to my sleep apnea treatment which is basically a machine which blows air up your nose while you sleep. Fun, eh?

    Here via a blog hopping fest... I think NaBloPoMo Randomizer to Mike Stand (or something like that) to Mocha Momma to you! Voila!

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  36. Oh, my. I learn so much when I click on links from Kelly's blog.
    Wow. Wouldn't a steamy shower been... um... less.... um...wet? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  37. I, for one, thank you for baring all (or at least your nostils). I've heard about the neti pot and thought about using it to help cure a persistant sinus clogging that's gone on since Christmas, but couldn't quite visualize the process. Written descriptions can never match the visual...thanks. And you got this thing at Walgreens? That was my next question. I'm on my way to the corner drugstore!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yeah, the brand-name of the Walgreen's one (also available at drugstore.com) is "Sinu-Cleanse." You can get a whole kit that comes with a plastic pot and several packets of saline solution mix, or just a box of the saline packets.

    Before my mom discovered SinuCleanse, I had bought a ceramic neti-pot at Wild Oats health-food store, and followed the instructions that came with it, on mixing my own saline solution. You have to get sea salt that is NON-iodized, but it's quite simple. And obviously, making your own is cheaper than buying the pre-measured packets.

    BUT--SinuCleanse is frequently offered as a rebate item through Walgreen's rebate program, so you can get $5 back if you send for the rebate.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi - this is Krista in Santa Fe
    I use a neti pot, too (love it!) and was looking for a website to send my friends who want to start using one. The ninjapoodle thing caught my eye - funny! (and I'm getting a little red poodle in May - btw, yay!). But now I want to try this waterpik attachment, since I already have a waterpik. AND I wanted to tell you guys that I just started getting allergies the last couple of years and now I don't. I do the neti pot like Jessica every day (i do mine in the morning), PLUS i eat a heaping teaspoon of bee pollen every morning. I get local bee pollen, so wherever you live, see if you can find some "harvested" in your area. It's not a quick fix, like it won't work one you're already in allergy season, but take it every day as preventative. It's yummy plus great protien! krista :)

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  40. I was really wanting to get this for hubby after reading your post. Then I read about Jessica's Waterpik thingy. THAT'S what Bret needs! He's got a persistent, recurring infection in his left sinus, and I think it's because of all the crap impacted in there. God, I want to run right out and get that for him, so we could pressure-wash his sinuses!

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  41. I bow to your superior coordination, able to photo and pour at the same time withOUT drowning. *clapclapclapclap*

    My dad SWEARS by his Neti pot. I'm scared I'll cause myself encephalitis.

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  42. Man! I have wanted to try this for the LONGEST time but I could never find just one person who has actually ever tried it!

    This could change my life, since am constantly in environments filled with particles of burning metal, primer paint, and urethane sealants.

    I normally try to tilt my head back in a steaming hot shower and just let water flush back into my sinuses. It works better sometimes than it does at others.

    I think I'm going to try this!

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  43. I am a huge sufferer of Sinusitis and having had TWO deviated septum surgeries….I highly recommend Nasal Flushing…and Neti Pot. I guess I do have something in common with Oprah…for once! Ck it out on dailycents.com.
    http://blogs.dailycents.com/?p=825

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yogis (who have used his process for 1000's of years) say that by cleansing your sinuses you open up your third eye allowing you to meditate and communicate more clearly. How about that for a little salt water poured through your nose?

    ReplyDelete
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