Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sinus Enema Anyone?

Recently I got a cold. It's the second cold I've gotten this year. I think it's because I started two small reading groups with students. We share a round table. They sneeze, and I sometimes feel the breeze. (That can't be good.)

My colds used to progress into bronchitis. I seem to have halted that progression, but these last two colds have progressed into sinus infections. My body eventually fights these off, but the healing process is painfully slow: three to four weeks.

Some of my co-workers just say, "Do the drugs, Don."

But I'm a bit stubborn. I'm saving anti-bacterial medications for when I really need them.

One co-worker quietly recommended a Neti Pot. What's a Neti Pot? It's the equivalent of an sinus enema.

WebMD puts it this way, "If you're one of the millions of Americans dealing with chronic sinus problems, you know how miserable the headaches, facial pain, and clogged nasal passages can be. In their search for relief, many sinus sufferers have turned to nasal saline irrigation, a therapy that uses a salt and water solution to flush out the nasal cavity."

"Although several methods of nasal irrigation exist, one of the most popular is the Neti pot -- a ceramic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdin's magic lamp. Although nasal irrigation using the Neti pot has been around for centuries, its use is on the rise in the U.S., thanks to an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show and a fair amount of news coverage. The Neti pot originally comes from the Ayurvedic/yoga medical tradition."

Being fairly miserable, I decided to build my own Neti pot before I bought one. eHow told me how. I fashioned on out of a mid-sized, empty mustard squirt bottle. The nozzle-to-nose fit was not quite optimum, but it worked well enough to win me over.

I order a Neti pot called Rhino Horn via It looks like this:

I've been using my Blue Rhino Horn for about two weeks. My sinus infection is 95% gone. Woo-hoo!

My nasal passages have never felt so clear. Once my infection is completely gone, I'll probably use the Rhino for general maintenance. It's great to have a tool to use once allergy season strikes me next October.

It's amazing what you can learn from people if you just listen to them. My co-worker quietly mentioned the Neti pot, and I'm so glad she did.

(Someone else mentioned ear candling, but that turned out to be a bad idea. I wasted a bit of money, but stopped short of using them. I should have done my research before I made the purchase. Oh well.)

So if you have sinus problems, I recommend a sinus enema, aka nasal saline irrigation. Whatever you call it... it rocks!

(I almost forgot. There are YouTube videos that show you how to use the Neti pot. I just found this one... note the wall behind them!)