My head feels like an alien life form invaded it. The pressure in my sinuses builds to a painful crescendo, and memories of John Carpenter’s The Thing panic me. Something sinister is crawling in my throat. I look in the mirror to see just how far things have gotten. I recoil in horror. It’s my eyes. The Thing has taken over my eyes. They’re so red I could co-star in the next Harold and Kumar movie.
Yep, it’s allergy season again. I could take an OTC allergy cure if I had the time to be drowsy and unproductive, but—hello!—I’m busy here. I’m trying to be a quasi grown up for Pete’s sake.
This sounds like a job for the neti pot…or nose douche, depending on your sense of humor.
What the hell? That’s what I thought the first time I saw one of these babies. The neti pot is a little, well, pot that looks sort of like a gravy boat. You use it to wash out your sinuses.
The Neti Pot has been used for sinus irrigation for hundreds of years. Folks who meditate claim it helps with the deep breathing. It has health benefits, too, though. Sinus irrigation is said to help with headache, halitosis, cough, allergies, and to reduce the need for medication associated with sinusitis.
Sinus irrigation is also referred to as a nose douche. Now, who wouldn’t want to learn more about that? “Nose douche” wins The Catie for most humorous euphemism relating to sinus irrigation.
See it in action:
They make it look so easy, don’t they? Hear the way the narrator’s sort of giggling, though? She knows the hijinks in store for the first-timer.
The first few times I douched my nose, the salt water ran down the back of my throat. I learned to keep my head tilted to the side, but, at the same time, lean forward so the water would go where it was supposed to go. I can only imagine the way I look while I’m doing this.
Of course, when I finished using the neti pot for the first time, I looked like I’d been in a water balloon fight and ended up on the losing end of things. I guess this is one of those things where practice makes perfect, huh?
For all the weirdness, though, it really has helped. I used to get those white patches—I called ’em ulcers—in my mouth and throat during allergy season. Since I started using the Neti Pot, I haven’t had a single one. I haven’t been to the doctor for a cold or allergies, either. Seriously. Not even once.
Note: This does not take into account my myriad other health issues, for which the neti pot didn’t do crap. I still have to go the doctor all the time for those. My sinuses, however, will be clean. Maybe it counts like having clean underwear does.
If you’re brave enough to try a Neti Pot, I got mine at Walgreen’s. It’s plain, ugly plastic, but it sure was the right price. Walgreen’s had some sort of instant rebate on them. I got the pot and about 30 envelopes of the salt solution for around $5.
Other than the Neti Pot, I eat local honey, which is supposed to help with allergies. I am not completely certain the local honey helps with my allergies. It sure does taste good, though. I use it in my tea instead of using sugar.