Neti Neti

There’s a lot of buzz out there right now about the neti pot, after the recent article in the New York Times entitled The Claim: Nasal Irrigation Can Ease Allergy Symptoms. YAWN. Nasal Irrigation?? Yes, that is the “technical” term, but couldn’t the NYT have jazzed that title up a bit? Furthermore, the article is lukewarm (note: same temperature of the water used in neti). I mean, if I was considering trying a neti pot, this would not cause me to rush out and buy one. I may be entirely wrong, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the author probably doesn’t use one. Because if I wrote it, I would be raving. I am a neti pot addict. This very small thing has changed my life in a very big way. Since childhood, I had suffered from debilitating colds. Like stuck-in-bed-for-a-week colds. When we moved to Montana in early 2007, I was less than thrilled to experience that the über-dry climate here made that worse, and I was getting colds and worse complications from so many colds way too often. As husband put it to me then, how does someone so healthy keep getting so sick?! Indeed. After multiple visits to an ENT and one very uncomfortable procedure, I learned that I had a deviated septum. Alright, I thought, sign me up for that neti pot thing. As I’m sure those of you who haven’t ever tried it can attest to, the thought of the neti is pretty much less than appealing. Perhaps disgusting? Well, I am here to tell you that it is actually less disgusting than brushing your teeth. I neti every morning now, and very rarely get sick or even sniffle. And if I do get a cold, I can function through it, unlike before. It’s cheap, easy, and takes about 2 minutes. Morgane often tells me she needs to neti too when she feels like she has “boogers in her nose”. As soon as her nose is big enough, I’m getting her one. I think it’s cool that she views it as a normal part of our preventative daily health care. There are three things I must do to start my day, before anything else can happen: wash my face, brush my teeth, and neti. I am willing to rave about the benefits of the neti pot to anyone who will listen; I even did a neti demo on our last retreat. So if you suffer from allergies, what have you got to lose? Would love to hear your neti stories (seriously) or answer your neti questions. Btw, don’t try that squirting up the nose technique and tell me that it works. You pour water in one nostril and it comes out the other (vs. staying up there for awhile), and brings yucky stuff with it. And that’s why neti works. Lastly, neti neti does not mean the neti pot times two; it translates to “not this, not that”. It’s actually an ancient meditation that focuses on identifying everything that you are not so you can figure out what you are. And that is a lot harder than using your neti pot, believe me. More at Yoga Journal’s blog that I like, Ancient Wisdom, Modern Life.