Whenever I do my weekly Q&A on Instagram, people always ask me for my top wellness tips. And I get it, I’m always doing the next wellnessy thing, so I’m kind of the perfect person to ask.
However, the truth is that true wellness is actually pretty simple. You can read more about my idea of what the heck wellness even is in this post HERE.
And sometimes the tips I have aren’t sexy or beautiful. They might not photograph well for Instagram, or seem to enticing at first glance. But that doesn’t mean they’re not effective.
Today’s post is about my holy grail of wellness practices, which also happens to be one of those non-glamorous things that might surprise you. That’s right, today we’re talking all about why you need to use a neti pot, as well as a round up of my top tips in how to use it with ease.
Why You Need To Use A Neti Pot…Like Now!
Ok, if you follow me on Instagram, then you’re like: “Enough already! We get it, you like to shoot salt water up your nose.”
But the thing is that I’m shouting this from the rooftops for a reason. Trust.
Unfortunately, there’s literally no way to get a perfect, blog-worthy or Instagrammable shot of this- so you’ll just have to deal with the bleak reality that although it’s effective, it’s not exactly the cutest thing in the world.
I honestly just don’t even care, because it’s the top health and wellness tool in my toolbelt.
Watch, I’m about to prove it to you.
Depuffs The Face
Look, I’m all about an ice rolling moment…especially in the morning. But the truth is, if you run puffy, and it’s really not subsiding- it’s worth looking deeper than the surface to understand the WHY.
Now, there’s obviously many reasons you might be a little pufferfish when you wake up, but for many of us- it’s environmental! Whether it’s pollution, smoke, or dust, all those nasties get caught in our nasal passageways, and can cause bags under the eyes.
So, a super simple solution is to wash all that gunk out. I like to do one rinse in the morning, and one in the evening for best results.
Illness And Disease Prevention
I contracted a strain of antibiotic resistant form of Staph years ago when I was living in Asia. This would manifest as large boils or abscesses all over my body. Not only did it impact my self-esteem, but it was also super painful.
Although I already knew that Staph lives in the nose, and tried a few antibiotic treatments through the nose- it kept coming back.
Finally, a doctor suggested the neti pot, and I figured why not? After using it consistently for 4 weeks, I stopped getting infections. And, as long as I’m using it consistently (ideally daily, but I can skip days, or even a week at this point), then I don’t get infections AT ALL anymore.
Staph, like many bacterias and viruses, can stay in the nose for a long time (or even forever, unfortunately). Keeping the area CLEAN is the best way to clear infections, and reoccurring issues such as mine.
Here’s the thing, our noses were meant to filter allergens. That’s why we have nose hairs! Our mouths, on the other hand, were not.
In fact, our mouths are wet and damp and can breed bacteria really easily. So, when our nose is blocked often, and we start mouth breathing- chances are our allergies are going to be worse.
The vicious cycle is that when our allergies are worse, then our nose usually gets more blocked up! This is where our handy dandy friend the neti pot comes into play.
I don’t know about you, but allergies give me a freaking headache. So does a stuffy nose, or blocked sinuses.
When we’re able to clear out the blockages from the nasal passageways with a neti pot, this can really help to reduce headaches and pressure in the face.
Here’s the thing, whenever I have a head cold, allergies, or just a lot of pressure in my face and sinuses- it really impacts my focus.
I can get sleepy even though I’m not tired, just because it hurts to keep my eyes open from all the inflammation in my face. Anyone else relate?
When things are cleared out, I find my focus improves ten-fold. I’m able to work regular hours, and stare at my screen without irritation or pain.
It’s no secret that when you clear out viruses, bacterias, and allergens from your system…you’re going to be feeling pretty dang good.
Reducing inflammation is really the key to our success at feeling good in our bodies. And you’d be surprised how something as simple as cleansing your nasal passageways really will positively impact your energy levels overtime.
You can learn more about what I do to reduce inflammation HERE.
Less Mouth Breathing
Why is this a good thing? Because we get more oxygen when we breathe through the nose! Learn more about the benefits of nostril breathing in this post HERE.
If our nose is blocked, or stuffy, we usually (unconsciously) start breathing through the mouth. This happens when we’re awake, and even MORE SO when we’re asleep.
However, mouth tape will be a lot easier and more comfortable to use if your nose is clean and clear. Otherwise, it
Neti Pots Are Affordable
So, one of the things I love about the neti pot is that it’s super affordable. I love this one personally.
You can also find the salt refill packets HERE for a great deal…and they last forever!
Sinus Rinses Are Easy To Find
As you know, I’m a big traveler. We’re moving around all the time, and if my sinus rinsing device breaks or I simply forget to pack it- then I love that I can buy one at any pharmacy in the world.
Trust me, I’ve put this to test in remote African, Asian, and Central American countries.
Most of them will be similar to this model, but some of them might resemble a little teapot, which is the more traditional aesthetic of neti pots…hence the name.
Electronic Neti Pots
I love this one, because it’s cleaner than the manual neti pot by containing all of the water in one device. I also love that the electronic element of it actually SUCKS stuff out of one side (kinda gross, kinda cool).
The reason I switched to the manual sinus rinse is that the Navage is super wasteful, because you need to buy the plastic salt pods for every use. And, you can’t find these salt pods just anywhere the same way you can find the standard salt packets.
I’d rather have more space for cute shoes, ya know?
How To Use A Neti Pot
Whether you go with the manual neti pot, or the electronic neti pot, it’ll feel super strange the first time you do it. Some people say they feel like they’re drowning, which is a bit much- but also I can relate.
Keep Your Mouth Open
The trick is that you need to keep the most open while you rinse. Look, I know I just went on and on about not mouth breathing, but it’s just a few minutes, okay?
Hold Your Breath
If you really don’t want to mouth breathe, then you can also opt to just hold your breath while you’re cleaning your nose. This might make some of you feel claustrophobic, so I only suggest this to people who are comfy with it.
Unclench Your Jaw
When your mouth is open it’s a lot easier to have a relaxed jaw, but if you’re holding your breath you might tense up your face and jaw. Either way, try to stay as soft as possible in the face.
Do It Over A Sink
If you’re using the Navaga then it’s not as imperative to rinse over the sink, because the device captures all of the water itself. However, it’s nice to blow your nose out in between sides.
Otherwise, make sure you’re doing it over a sink or outside, so that the water can flow out without making a mess.
Rinse Both Nostrils
Yes, even if it feels like just one nostril is blocked, make sure you do it on both sides! You can either split a salt packet between both nostrils, or you can use one full salt packet for each nostril. You do you.
Try to relax so that the water can actually flow with ease. It might feel weird at first, but I swear, if you give it time- it will actually become something you crave. Just wait.