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    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    Nasal Irrigation: No Watermelons Allowed emails to ask what I think of Neti Pots:

    The practice of nasal irrigation, known as Neti, has been used by practitioners of Yoga and Ayurveda in India for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Neti is one of the six purification techniques undertaken prior to the practice of yoga to help prepare the body for the yoga practice. It is referred to in the original yogic texts known as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Gheranda Samhita. It is described at some length in the Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnu Devananda, published in the USA as early as 1960. Some yogic teachers consider it valuable in cleansing the energy channels and balancing the right and left hemispheres to create radiant, energetic health and wellness, which is the foundation upon which true yogic practice can come to fruition.

    While there are advanced techniques using various herbs and herbal oils, the simplest technique, known as "jala neti" uses water (jala) for the cleansing process. Lukewarm water is used to gently open up the nasal passages. Use of a neti pot or vessel is recommended to ease this process. Advanced practitioners may use this pot also for the herbal or oil administration (referred to as "nasya") as well.

    To tell you the truth, this is the first I've heard of the practice. Irrigating the sinuses with a water solution is probably OK, as long as it isn't done with too much force, (I often recommend a salt water nasal spray for sinus sufferers, and otolaryngologists sometimes irrigate them in their offices) flushing the sinuses with herbs and oils wouldn't be prudent. Our body cavities aren't designed to handle oils and herbs. It seems like a perfect set-up for worsening inflammation.

    UPDATE: From an ENT:

    When otolaryngologists "irrigate the sinuses" it is done by performing a needle puncture into the sinus, or sometimes when possible by cannulating the middle meatus. Your post seems to confuse the sinuses with the nasal passage, which is what I would expect of a lay person, but not of a doctor. I suppose there are a few old timers around who still perform the Proetz maneuver in their offices (which is a form of nasal irrigation), but I haven't seen nor heard of one for more than thirty years. As to nasal irrigation, IMHO, it is highly overrrated except as adjunctive therapy during proven sinus infections and is in the same category as high colonic therapy.

    posted by Sydney on 10/05/2005 08:05:00 AM 0 comments


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