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Old 05-13-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
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Jala Neti - How it Works

The simple, natural, and inexpensive technique of the saline sinus flush originates from within the system of Yoga. Descriptive references of sutra neti and jala neti, sinus cleansing kriyas, are found in the Gherenda Samhita, a classic Yoga text dating from the late 1600s or early 1700s. As Yoga was an oral tradition for centuries, it's unknown just how old the techniques really are.

Jala neti, flushing the sinuses with liquid, is easy to do at home and elsewhere. Traditionally performed with only a cupped hand of salt water and a sniffing action, the technique has evolved for comfort and efficiency. Modern jala neti is performed by using a neti pot, syringes, bulbs or even Water-Pik devices. All these choices are effective.

How to Do Jala Neti


The traditional method of jala neti requires no cup, no pot, no catheter, and no other fancy equipment. It can be done anywhere at almost any time without the need to be carrying anything with you. All you need is your hand and some salt water. It’s simple, and the mechanical force precipitated by the sucking action likely leads to a better debridement of the nasal mucosa than a passive stream of liquid provided by a neti pot.
Simply mix up some saline solution by dissolving ½ teaspoon of non-iodinated table salt or sea salt into 250 ml of tap water (about one cup), and then pour the solution into your rounded hand until it's full. Lower your nose to your hand and breathe in deep. Try to pull as much of the liquid in as possible, letting it drain out your mouth. It won’t hurt to swallow it, but it’s not a great idea.

If sucking salt water up your nose doesn’t really work for you, then try the gentler neti pot version. Mix the saline solution as described above and put it into a commercial neti pot. Then place the spout of the neti pot snuggly into one nostril. Lean over the sink, tilting your head to the other side and bend slightly forward. When tilting the neti pot up, saline should drain from the higher nasal passage to the lower one, coming back out that lower nostril, or sometimes out of the mouth.

How Jali Neti Works

Many people don't understand how something as simple and inexpensive as jala neti can be effective. To figure out how it works, scientists have done some research. Their findings scientifically support the use of jala neti as an effective healing measure.

• Jala neti mechanically flushes out bacteria, viruses, dust, and allergens.

• Jala neti thins the remaining mucus so that sinuses and their ostia (openings) don’t clog leading to pressure and infection.

• Jala neti decreases swelling of the nasal mucosa for less stuffiness.

• Jala neti removes histamine, leukotrienes, and other naturally occurring chemical substances that provoke inflammation and discomfort.

• Regular practice of jala neti increases the frequency that cilia beat to remove mucus, crusty deposits of snot, and dusty debris. Cilia are tiny little hair-like structures that beat back and forth like windshield wipers clearing a windshield.

Medical guidelines in both the United States and Canada are now recommending nasal and sinus saline flushing for a variety of conditions. It's an effective and well-tolerated form of treatment for sinus congestion and nasal drip due to the common cold, allergies, and sinusitis. By using this natural method of healing, people have found they need less medication to control their symptoms. Some are even able to abandon pills and steroid sprays completely.

Beyond alleviating symptoms of sinus congestion and stuffiness, jala neti is a great daily kriya to help prevent their occurrence. It's one of Yoga's many gifts for holistic healing and health maintenance.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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Yogis mastered the technique of controlled sniffing (pulsating) of saline which may prove much more effective than the Neti pot. Until one can master this technique there are several electric pulsating sinus devices on the market (Water-Pik like with nasal attachments) i.e. you may want to get your sinus condition under control while you’re mastering the ancient practice. If toxic, thick, sticky bio film is collecting from bacteria or viral infections the entire mucociliary system (Cilia) may shut down and pulsating will most likely be the most effective way to get things back to normal.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
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Thanks doc, if someone with a sinus condition is not irrigating with saline they are not serious about recovery.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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I started doing the hand-only version two days ago and it does seem to work much better than using a pot. Less stuff to clean and store =
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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I also prefer the hand only version!

And if I can read between the lines a little, it looks like Ray_Killeen does as well.

Anybody else? What's the favorite jala neti method of yogis out there?

Anyone practicing sutra neti?
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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I used to do a lot when I was a kid - usually during swimming, and rather unintentionally

I should give it a go. I suffer from allergy and headache and at this time of the year, this condition drains my energy.

Without fancy toys however. Old school.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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@Yogadr: How would you say this method compares to using commercially-available saline nasal sprays and the like (the ones you squeeze and snort)? My sinuses are a bear, and I just can never seem to make the neti pot option a regular practice even when I get to doing it for a good week or so at a time. I'm not sure I would regularly do the hand practice either.

If I had a spray bottle around all the time, I would be reminded to do it more often. Is it worthwhile?

@Ray: link to an electric saline device to really clean things out? They're thinking about surgery for me.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by theYogadr. View Post
I also prefer the hand only version!

And if I can read between the lines a little, it looks like Ray_Killeen does as well.

Anybody else? What's the favorite jala neti method of yogis out there?

Anyone practicing sutra neti?
I practice Jala Neti, using a pot. And yes, I practice Sutra Neti using a rubber tube (catheter.) I used to be constantly prey to nasal allergies and colds. But (touch wood), after starting this practice, the problem has vanished.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:30 AM   #9
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HighWolf, please keep us posted. Let us know how a week of daily jala neti works for you.

Cydrtha, those commercial saline spray bottles really aren't the same. A quick snort wets the mucosa and helps a little, but it doesn't give a good flush.

Reaswaran, am curious if you've always done them both together. Have you tried jala neti alone to see if it would be enough to manage your symptoms?
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:00 AM   #10
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HighWolf, please keep us posted. Let us know how a week of daily jala neti works for you.

Cydrtha, those commercial saline spray bottles really aren't the same. A quick snort wets the mucosa and helps a little, but it doesn't give a good flush.

Reaswaran, am curious if you've always done them both together. Have you tried jala neti alone to see if it would be enough to manage your symptoms?


Yes I have done them together. Actually I also do Vaman Dhauti- the internal water wash - in plain english -drinking eight glasses of tepid water (one spoon of salt) and vomiting it out by tickling the throat. Plus the Vastra Dhauti- swallowing of a thin strip of musline cloth -about seven to eight feet and then pulling it out. These two plus the Jala Neti and Sutra Neti form my Kriya done approx once every three weeks.

I have tried Jala neti alone and it did not work. The Sutra works I think because the rubbing action not only cleanses the mucous membrane , but the regular rubbing action of the catherter desensitises the membrane to some degree so that it does not give an allergic reaction so easily.

The Vastra dhauti, for some reason, triggers exit of phegm from the lungs.. (I Know -not connected etc but this is my experience-probably sympathetic action ??). I am inclined to think the set of four is what is keeping my asthma in check ( Ah yes I had severe ashtma before I turned to Yoga !!- I used to inhaler asthalin + steroid ..6 to 7 times a day and still was never clear of wheezing. In fact it had become so bad, that on a good day, I realised that I was not carrying the inhaler, it was enough to trigger an attack.
Now I dont carry an asthma medicine even when I travel (though I have an inhaler at home - insurance ??).
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by reaswaran View Post

The Vastra dhauti, for some reason, triggers exit of phegm from the lungs.. (I Know -not connected etc but this is my experience-probably sympathetic action ??). I am inclined to think the set of four is what is keeping my asthma in check ( Ah yes I had severe ashtma before I turned to Yoga !!- I used to inhaler asthalin + steroid ..6 to 7 times a day and still was never clear of wheezing. In fact it had become so bad, that on a good day, I realised that I was not carrying the inhaler, it was enough to trigger an attack.
Now I dont carry an asthma medicine even when I travel (though I have an inhaler at home - insurance ??).
How inspiring! I love it that you've healed yourself with Yoga! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Ultimately, Yoga is about the mind, and I see that your practice has helped your mind to heal as well. (On a good day, if you realized you weren't carrying your inhaler, you'd then have an attack.) There is certainly a mind component to this disease. Our minds are intricately linked to our immune systems, and asthma has at its base an immunological response. That's also why jala neti works for asthma, it clears allergens and material triggers from the upper respiratory tract before they make it lower into the lungs where they can trigger wheezing.

As far as the dhauti, I have some issues with it. See here. If it works for you, I'm surprised, but of course there are always things we don't understand. I can't say I recommend it, but forced vomiting once every three weeks isn't likely to hurt too much.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:37 AM   #12
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s far as the dhauti, I have some issues with it. See here. If it works for you, I'm surprised, but of course there are always things we don't understand. I can't say I recommend it, but forced vomiting once every three weeks isn't likely to hurt too much.
Thanks for sharing the URL. I am not a doctor , so I cannot comment on the blog. However, I am a trained yoga instructor (Sivananda) , though I learnt the Kriyas several years earlier at Kaivalyadham. I know several people whose acidity has been cured completely by the practice of Vaman and Vastra Dhauti.

And I can say without any doubt that the Kriyas work wonderfully for me and for several others who trained along with me. Incidentally the Kriya training is one hour every day for several month. So during the training I as well as other trainees practiced the Kriyas (all four) once a day for three to four months without ill effects.

As in any practice, there are dangers if learnt inadequately or practiced wrongly. And as you wisely say (and all who train for yoga seriously realise quickly) , there are many things which we do not (yet) understand....
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:13 AM   #13
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this totally helps with hayfever! and clears the mind xxx
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:55 AM   #14
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During my Childhood i had sinus problem very much then my uncle learned to me how to do Jal Neti, Really it's very effective for Sinus problem .
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #15
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Thanks I shall start on Jal Neti as soon as possible along with therapeutic vomiting.

Good day to you all.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:02 PM   #16
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I have been using Jala Neti for about 2 weeks now - and I'm not sure whether it is a problem or not - about half of the water I pour in one nostril goes out from the other, and the other half goes through the mouth. Isn't almost all the water supposed to go through the other nostil? At the beginning when the flow was mostly through other nostril, it seemed stronger. I would really appreciate any answer.

Thank you, Janis
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:31 AM   #17
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Jala Neti

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_dcx View Post
I have been using Jala Neti for about 2 weeks now - and I'm not sure whether it is a problem or not - about half of the water I pour in one nostril goes out from the other, and the other half goes through the mouth. Isn't almost all the water supposed to go through the other nostil? At the beginning when the flow was mostly through other nostril, it seemed stronger. I would really appreciate any answer.

Thank you, Janis
The angle at which you hold your head (the tilt) will influence the flow of water. And yes, all the water should be going out the other nostril. It is normal at any one time for one nostril to be clearer than the other , so the flow of water appears stronger in one nostril. Nothing to worry about.
Try doing the Jal neti while you are sitting on your haunches-it helps you tilt your head more.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #18
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I actually tried Jala Neti and the irrigation process usually went well, but some of the water would remain stuck in my sinuses and nose would become blocked my nose before I could perform any drying techniques. I would often end up with an all-out infection when I was just trying to get rid of some simple congestion.

I'm considering trying out a similar device to a WaterPik soon.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:27 AM   #19
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^^ edit: I meant "my nose would become blocked before I could perform any drying techniques", apologies for the jumbled wording
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:28 AM   #20
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Isn't the WaterPik for your teeth? or are there other uses?
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:33 AM   #21
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Isn't the WaterPik for your teeth? or are there other uses?
Water Pik actually makes water pulsators for nasal irrigation as well. The one I'm actually considering is actually from a company called "SinuPulse".
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:41 AM   #22
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Are you familiar with "Kapalbhatti" ? Ten rounds of 50 pumpings each should dry the nose effectively.


Quote:
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^^ edit: I meant "my nose would become blocked before I could perform any drying techniques", apologies for the jumbled wording
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:42 AM   #23
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Thanks will check it out.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:13 AM   #24
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For this technique, lukewarm isotonic salt water is poured into one nostril, so that it leaves through the other. The procedure is then repeated on the other side, and the nose is dried by bending forward and by rapid breathing.
It is also possible to sniff the water in so that it runs into the mouth, and to spit it out. In a more advanced reverse variant, the water is taken in through the mouth and snorted out of the nose.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #25
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I just recently got rid of what was promising to turn into a full-blown sinusitis thanks to some salt, water and my cupped hands, so this is definitely an effective practice. I'm trying to make it into a more regular habit now after I saw how tremendously it can cure and, more importantly, prevent unwanted sinus and respiratory conditions. Simple and brilliant - and you really don't need any fancy equipment!
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #26
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I'm doing Jala Neti daily and Sutra Neti on the weekends. I used to get sinus infections and blocked nose ('the snuffles') all the time, i.e., once a month from Sept - April - and have been CLEAR of any symptoms since started doing Jala Neti daily. I do find that Sutra Neti adds to clearing as more mucous comes out although I can also go without.
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