Overcoming the Fear of the Neti Pot

Christina Souza Ma

Using Neti PotSo I’ve finally done it. I am very happy to say that I finally took the plunge!

As you know from my last post, for weeks after buying my Neti Pot, I just stared and stared at it. Well, finally – I think out of desperation for comfort – I made my first attempt.

Believe me, even with all the meditating I’ve done in my life, it took every ounce of my courage, plus a lot more meditation and breath work, to make that very first attempt to pour water up my nose. I constantly had to tell myself that I had full control of the situation (didn’t I?), so what was there to be scared of (let’s not go there)? I could start and stop at any time during the process (breathe, Christina). I alone held the pot in my hand (breathe again). I controlled the flow (deep breath). If it didn’t work this time, I could try again another day (or another…or another….)

There wasn’t a single moment that the fear left me. I read the instructions over and over. I practiced holding the pot and experimented with various angles. Then, finally, having run out of excuses, I gathered my courage and added 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt, although the instructions actually say to use ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized salt as sea salt would be very strong. However, sea salt was all I had at home so I used half the suggested portion. I then filled the pot up with bottled water that had been warmed slightly, stirred up the mixture, took a deep, calming breath – and began.

I tilted my head, placed the nozzle to my nostril, and began to tilt the pot, all the time focusing on my breathing. I felt the warmth begin to flush into my nasal passages. YOOWZAAAAH! Immediately, I felt an intensity that made my eyes water and my ears plug up, and mucous started flowing out of my other nasal passage – gross. I stopped for a while because it took my breath away. “Intense” didn’t even begin to describe it! When I forced myself to resume, my eyes began to tear again, but this time it wasn’t because of the fear or the intensity. It didn’t feel the same as the first time, so I knew that detoxification was taking place because of the flushing.

Wow. Okay, I’d begun and I had to persevere to overcome my fear. I repeated the process three times on the one side, gently blowing my nose in between as there was so much mucous. Then I actually turned my head and repeated the process three more times on the other nostril. Each time, I had to refocus on my breathing and gather myself together before repeating the process.

For several hours afterwards, I felt completely stuffed up. My nose continued to run the whole day and I found myself sneezing at the strangest times. It didn’t feel the same as when I had a cold – instead, I could feel myself being cleansed of all the mucous that had been clogging up my system. Interestingly enough, the next day I sneezed even more, so again, out of desperation, I repeated the process. This time, however, I used much less salt than before, as I’d been informed that the amount I had used the previous day was too much – hence the high intensity that I’d felt. I couldn’t believe it – my sneezing stopped immediately and for hours my nose didn’t run. I felt an incredible sense of relief.

Even though this cleansing process brought me some relief, I am still not fully comfortable with my Neti Pot, as I have yet to find the right angles to hold my head or the pot.

Thank you for the feedback provided by a reader on my last post – your comments and encouragement were really appreciated and I may consider trying your suggestions at a later date.

Stay tuned for more adventures on my love-hate relationship with my Neti Pot.

Part I: Fear of the Neti Pot
Part II: Overcoming the Fear of the Neti Pot
Part III: Advice on the Neti Pot

[tags]neti-pot, water up nose, nostrils, cleansing, overcoming fear[/tags]

Author: Christina Souza Ma

Christina has lived many lives – from professional Cosmetologist, L’Oreal’s Technical Commercial Director of South East Asia, Hair and Make-up designer behind the camera, to Actor and Body worker. Many years ago, Christina had a vision to create an entity that would

4 Responses to “Overcoming the Fear of the Neti Pot”

  1. allen says:

    I follow the instructions found at the Himalayan Institute.

    I always use coarse kosher salt, though from some other source (I don’t recall where), I’ve sometimes substituted baking soda for some amount of the salt.

    Also, be sure to do the “exercises” described in the video at the above link or at this one – I didn’t do that the first time or two and was surprised when water came pouring out my nose when I picked something up from the floor!

  2. James says:

    Congratulations! As an Australian friend of mine would say: “Good on yer”!

    I applaud your courage and focus and I hope you continue to get more and more comfortable with your neti pot and that it helps.

    Congrats again!


  3. Hi Christina,

    Yup, that “watering can” for the nose works wonders! It’s odd how these simple, old techniques work, even though they go against the social norms of how we were brought up.

    I got a kick out of my children’s response to Mom’s weird Neti pot experiment. They went screaming out of the room shouting “Oh, that is SO gross!” Well, darling kiddo, I remember using the rubber bulb the doctor gave me when you were a baby to suck that nose stuff out! A gentle rinse beats a vacuum anytime in my book. Either way, it’s all for the greater good of clear sinuses:-)

    Breathe on,


  4. faith barr says:

    Namaste. I love Neti and have very fond memories of my mom snorting salt water through her nose as a little girl. I wanted to suggest trying it while you are in the shower after a nice walk…this has become my favorite Neti time because the breathing is nice and open plus the steam is a great aid to the flow. And I totally agree with Allen about the exercises, they are a huge help!
    Best wishes,

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