A while back I talked about cleaning your nasal passages with salt water with both a neti pot and the NeilMed squeeze bottles. Today I’m going to cover the next step you can do with a neti pot. What I covered in the previous article is considered Level 1 of jala neti. There are 2 additional levels – Level 2 and Level 3 and this post covers Level 2.
Level 2 – Jala Neti
Level 2 is fairly easy and beneficial and I do this about once a month or so. It takes a little practice and getting used to, but once you figure it out it is simple. All the levels build on each other, so you must always do the previous levels first before doing the next level. So first, do one full pot on each side of the standard Level 1 I covered previously. Next, fill the pot again and start the same way with head tilted to the left and pot in your right nostril. Start letting the salt water flow out the left nostril and then gently inhale through the nose in a slow and steady controlled sucking motion. The salt water should end up in the back of your mouth. Spit out the water – try not to drink it. It won’t hurt you, but drinking the salty water can give you a stomach ache so just try to avoid drinking it. You can’t suck the whole pot in one breath, so do it a little at a time. When you stop between inhale breaths, stop tilting the pot and take a second or two break and then tilt the pot and start sucking again. When you are doing the sucking correctly, it should make a nice regular gurgling sound like when you blow into a straw in your drink. Continue doing the entire pot this way with sucking the water into your mouth and spitting it out. One other word of caution – be careful when you get to the end. As soon as you sense the pot is almost empty just stop there. If you take a big suck in and the water runs out you get a big burst of water and air and it doesn’t feel great if you have any power in it. This cleanses the lower part of the nostril sinuses that connect to the throat. Now repeat with another pot on the left side. So to finish up level 2 you should have gone through 4 complete pots of salty water. Now make sure to dry out your nose well like we discussed before.
There is a final step called Level 3 of jala neti which involves taking the salt water into the mouth first and expelling it out the nose. I haven’t found a good description of how to accomplish this and haven’t tried it myself. What I have read recommended being supervised by a teacher the first few times so it has scared me off up until now. I will work up the courage to try this soon and add another post about my experience. Watch for it soon and be sure to comment and let me know your thoughts about using a neti pot.