Since I have been sick for the past THREE days, it is probably an appropriate time to talk about my new neti pot.
I definitely did not think I would ever have a neti pot. I had no doubt that they worked. Everyone I know who has tried them told me they were the best thing ever for colds, allergies, and general sinus unhappiness.
But you see, I had a problem with the idea of pouring salt water into my head. I don’t like the sensation of water up my nose. I always hold my nose going underwater when I am swimming. I do not like to be dunked unexpectedly. I blame this on my grandfather throwing a much smaller me into a lake (after he promised he wouldn’t) to “teach” me how to swim. Needless to say, the only thing I learned from that incident was not to trust adults.
But I have been having low-grade sinus issues for months. There was stuff in my head, just enough to be bothersome, but not enough to make me definitively sick. I didn’t have an infection or a fever. It was just annoying. So I decided to try the neti pot.
The idea behind a neti pot is that you pour warm salted water into one nostril and it COMES OUT THE OTHER NOSTRIL. I don’t have a good grasp of cranial-facial structure, so this seems almost miraculous.
You can see an illustration here. This woman looks entirely too happy to be performing this process. Trust me, when I do it, there is a lot more dripping and coughing and swearing.
I even had to buy special neti pot salt, since you need un-iodized table salt. I don’t have any table salt – just kosher and sea – and neither of those would work.
So my verdict is, yes, the neti pot is unpleasant when you are actually doing it. It is hard for me to get the angle of my head right so the salt water doesn’t trickle down the back of my throat. However, it is incredibly effective. I have been using it to combat this cold, and I think it is even more effective than the pseudophedrine at clearing my head so I can breathe. It is not fun, but it does work.