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Saturday, May 07, 2005

It's better than sticking a french fry up there....

Today I bought a Neti Pot, as I had mentioned I was considering doing a short while back. (Here's the brand I bought.) A Neti Pot is a small vessel -- mine holds about a cup of water -- with a spout that is designed to fit into one's nostril. One fills the pot with warm saline solution (I used Kosher salt, since apparently you're supposed to use non-iodized salt), sticks the spout in one nostril, and tips the pot so the saline solution flows into the nostril, up and over the bridge of the nose, and out the other nostril. The idea is to rinse clean the cilia and mucous membranes of the nose, since they can become clogged with dirt and dried mucus and other nasty things that can ultimately lead to sinus infections (and therefore headaches), and also to create a vacuum effect (I'm not sure of the physics of this) that, while not flowing water directly into the upper sinuses, still encourages them to drain.

So I tried the thing a few minutes ago, and my initial report is that my nose does, in fact, feel a bit more clear than it did before I tried it, although I suspect that multiple uses will be needed before I've totally cleaned things out up there. I also need to work on my technique a bit, since I'm sure the saline is only supposed to run out the other nostril, but I had some end up in the back of my throat as well. The whole procedure, from the time I started mixing the saline to the time when I wiped my nose and rinsed out the pot, took all of five minutes. The sensation was akin to the first time I swam in an ocean, and took salt water into my nose as opposed to fresh or chlorinated water. But this time the water was warmer, and since I was doing this voluntarily, I was quite a bit more relaxed. I performed the procedure over my bathroom sink, but I think that in the future I'll just do it directly in the shower. Easier cleanup that way, I suspect.

(And no, the water running out my nose wasn't green or thick or mucus-y or anything like that. It looked fairly clear. Still, it is inherently icky.)

I'll report back on how things feel after I've been doing this for a week or so, but so far, so good.

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