In the spring of 2006, I was finally getting an opportunity to sing with a band on the plaza in Kansas City—a big deal to me at the time. I was thrilled… but I had been taking allergy shots and pills for three years and I was still having relentless and intense allergic reactions. For the entire three hours we were on stage that day, my eyes streamed with tears and my nose seemed to drip in time to the blues of the rhythm section. I went through an entire box of tissues. By the end of the performance, my poor eyes were blood red and nearly swelled shut. Needless to say, this put a bit of a damper on the joy of the day.
My ongoing allergy attacks weren’t just affecting my singing jobs; they were also affecting my day job. I was exhausted from sneezing and my immune system was constantly challenged. I became determined to feel better!
My grandmother had been urging me to try nasal rinses for most of my life, but every time I did they were too uncomfortable, even painful. With the hindsight of experience, I know those rinses hurt because I usually waited until I had a sinus infection to try one. So when I decided to try using a neti pot—a small, teapot-like vessel used in Ayurveda and yoga for nasal irrigation—I knew I needed to be more preventive.
I started with using it most days, just to see what would happen. By the time the following spring rolled around, I had the best allergy season of my life—even after giving up those expensive shots and allergy pills! However, I found that daily use of the neti pot was too much, as it dried out my sinuses. Like everything, it took some trial and error to figure out.
I bought this pretty, lead free, made in the US
Neti Pot at Nature's Own, 4301 Main St, KCMO
Use distilled or boiled/sterilized, room temperature water.
These days, I’ve learned to use the neti pot as needed. For me, this means when my sinuses or throat feel itchy or before situations I know might bring on an attack, such as when I drive with my windows down or if I’m going to be outside for several hours and the allergy count is high. I also use it after I’ve worked in the yard or if I’ve been on an airplane or around someone sick. Using the neti pot is still a little uncomfortable (not painful at all), but you get used to it…and it’s way better than a sinus infection and continued allergy attacks.
Traditionally, the neti pot is used in a morning routine, but I prefer to use mine 30-60 minutes before bedtime. That way, I don’t wake up with all the spring gunk in my passageways because I have already removed the allergens the night before. (That’s what the gunk in the morning is….your body collecting the foreign objects, allergens, dust, and pet dander, and flushing it out with mucus.)
My allergies aren’t 100% better, but the neti pot gives my body a huge helping hand by sweeping out the dust and allergens. That means less work for my immune system and more fresh air coming into my body! Peace, Gratitude and Deep Breaths,
There's video on how to use the neti pot on my resource page~