The Joys of Nasal Irrigation

It’s astoundingly simple to convince oneself that one’s bodily crevices are merely homes for filth and decay, that one’s blood is laced with poison or one’s sweat is made of weakness. This is a cross-cultural habit; last night I postulated that body-hate is in fact a basic human instinct, and then I turned that instinct on my nose.

Let me tell you, pore paranoia strips have nothing on the ancient yogic practice of jala neti – especially not when you’ve got a cold. Neti, for those of you too lazy to click the link, is the practice of pouring warm saline solution through one nostril and out the other, thereby flushing out loads and loads of watery snot clumps! Even on a good day, there is way more snot in my sinuses than there is mysterious fatty goo in my nose pores, and last night I nearly ran out of handkerchief. Yogic wisdom 1, Bioré 0.

The creepiness doesn’t particularly diminish with time, but it sure works better and faster than commercial decongestants. And it only feels a little bit like drowning, hoorah!


  1. harvestbird wrote:

    how do you get it to go out the one that isn’t the one that it went in? Inquiring minds need to know, but are too lazy to investigate the links on the linked site.

  2. yami wrote:

    You cock your head and lean sideways over the sink. It’s a bit dribbly at first.

  3. harvestbird wrote:

    I would have to put the dog pen up around me to stop the dogs from performing their standard manoeuvre of waiting to grab from the floor anything that falls near the sink. It’s usually food, you see.

  4. yami wrote:

    Oh, well, snot, isotonic saline, food, I’m sure it’s all the same to dogs anyway.

  5. Rana wrote:

    Alas, the last time I tried this, I made things worse, and it hurt! I am not a creature made for water in the sinuses, methinks.
    I _have_ been curious about ear candling…

  6. yami wrote:

    Supposedly the hurting means you’ve mixed the wrong concentration of saline. But last night’s application helped almost not at all, so my enthusiasm is also waning.
    If someone sends me some ear candling candles I’d be happy to turn this blog into a review of nutty decongestive therapies – I’ve certainly no shortage of congestion! But on the other hand, the first thing I googled about ear candling notes that you might have itchy ear canals for a day or so after… eeeee! No thanks!

  7. peter wrote:

    And this is better than capsaicin why?

  8. yami wrote:

    Saline is messy and somewhat discomfiting, but capsaicin is yucky and bad! Shouldn’t you know this by now?

  9. BG wrote:

    Ugh! Didn’t you promise a while back _not_ to explain what you did with your sinuses?

  10. yami wrote:

    BG: I did mention my lack of enthusiasm for such a post, but I try not to make promises I can’t keep.

  11. Emma - Aqua Viva Health wrote:

    I’ve never heard of itchy ear canals after ear candling – and as a therapist I’ve done a fair few candling treatments! Mind you, itchy ears sounds preferable to salty snot…urgh!

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