Nasal cleansing with a Neti irrigator

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Nasal irrigation with the Neti-irrigator combines western with eastern medicine.

"Neti" means to cleanse the nasal passageway of the breathing system, and this is typically performed using pure saline water. The healing power of salt in dealing with diseases of the breathing system has been known for centuries. The mucous membrane of the nose has an important function of the immune system. It fights off infections by eliminating foreign bodies from the body. When nasal secretion is too viscous, too solidified or too watery, then it is impossible for the mucous membrane to transport the invading particles and microorganisms effectively. Bacteria and viruses can then begin to multiply and eventually create infections and illness.

Irrigation of the nose removes bothersome blockages and congestion, such as experienced during a cold, and relieves breathing.

The mucous membrane will be stimulated and strengthened by regular irrigation. Any unnecessary secretion is washed away. This supports the natural immune system function of the mucous membrane. The delicate connecting channels between the nose and the sinuses will be kept open. This diminishes the possibility for blockages and painful inflammations.

Using a Neti irrigator regularly for health and wellbeing

Nasal irrigation cleanses the mucous membrane of dust and other allergens, such as pollen. The irrigation of the nose, especially for allergic people, is an excellent way to reduce the presence of allergens and to restore the natural response of the immune system.

For some occupations, such as carpentry and others where there is regular exposer to pollution and dust, the irrigation of the nose daily is especially beneficial and will help reduce the intrusion of dust polluted air.

Nasal irrigation loosens dried secretions and helps with a dry mucous membrane. This is especially beneficial when there is regular exposure to heated air and air conditioned rooms or from a sudden change to a hotter climate. Normal secretions which enable the body's natural immune system to rid the body of foreign bodies may become disturbed and the risk of infections greatly increases.

Regular irrigation of the nose is a safe and natural way to support your overall health and wellbeing. Irrigation enables free and easy breathing, increasing vitality and preventing fatigue.

Daily use can become as natural as brushing your teeth, and has proved to be helpful with:

Frequent colds and sore throats; blocked or running noses; inflammation of the sinuses with painful pressure, headaches; Inflammation of the upper respiratory system (sore throat, bronchitis, anginas); hayfever, frequent sneezing and other allergic reactions of the upper respiratory system; dry mucous membranes and impaired breathing; unpleasant smelling secretions from nose and throat; ear blockages; impaired sense of smell.

How to use the Neti Irrigator:

Preparing the salt solution

Add 9g of Dead Sea salt* into a measuring jug and boil a little filtered water. Pour in approximately 200ml, enough to dissolve the salt. Stir using a spoon and allow the salt to be completely dissolved. Top up the hot water with cold pure filtered water, until the temperature is close to body temperature, or just about luke warm. You should have approximately 1 litre of salted water. This is enough for two irrigations, or one irrigation each for two people. Use half the amount of salt and add less water, if only one irrigation is needed.

If you find that the salt causes irritation of the mucous membrane, try using less salt. You may have to experiment until you find what is right for you. Some people may only need a pinch of salt if the nose is particularly sensitive.

* You can use ordinary sea salt if you don't have Dead Sea salt. DO NOT use ordinary table salt which contains additives and chemicals and may cause harm or irritation to your nasal mucous membranes.

Performing irrigation

Follow these seven steps closely:

  1. Rinse out the Neti irrigator and fill it approximately half full with the salted water.
  2. If possible, find out which nostril allows easier breathing.
  3. Put the spout of the Neti irrigator into this nostril.
  4. Bend your head forward over the sink and then tilt it to onside. Open your mouth and breathing through your mouth, tilt the Neti irrigator gently upwards until the water begins to flow out of the bottom nostril. It is important to breathe calmly through the mouth and tilt the Neti irrigator slowly, to avoid water going down the throat. Don't worry if you swallow a bit of water, but try to avoid it.
  5. After the irrigation is complete, straight up and breathe out through both nostrils. Have a paper tissue paper handy so that you can blow your nose and catch any remaining secretions.
  6. Repeat the irrigation with the other nostril, tilting your head to the opposite side this time.
  7. After you have irrigated both nostrils, bring your head forwards and then to the left and then to the right, so thatany remaining fluids can drain. If this does not help, put your hands on your knees to support yourself and let your head hang down and turn it to the left and to the right.
After some practice you will find the irrigation pleasant if you do it daily. In times of concentrated pollen in the air or while experiencing colds or problems with the sinuses, you can perform irrigation several times a day. In that way the nose will always be cleansed and free from secretions. The salt in the water makes the mucous membrane less sore and will support its function as part of the immune system so it is important to use salt when you irrigate.

Keep your irrigator always clean and free of dust, using only filtered water will help prevent any deposits of limescale or calcium.

Health Advice

If you have severely damaged your sinuses, or you have an accute illness or inflammation, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor before attempting to use a Neti irrigator.
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