Q: As you've mentioned, another lifestyle approach is to "irrigate" the sinuses -- as some cultures have practiced for centuries -- but it tends to turn some people off. What's the benefit of this homespun remedy? You must get a lot of resistance when you first recommend it to patients.
A: I think neti pots are probably the best thing out there for people with sinus problems and allergies and even colds. You can also use a pulsating nasal irrigator or a squeeze bottle. All are easy to use, and the risks are almost zero. It's kind of like taking a shower when you get home.
Patients always ask me, How long do I have to do this? and I ask them, How long have you been taking a shower? And they say, My whole life. Well, that's the answer. You're cleaning out the dirt in your nose and sinuses; why not wash that out?
At first some people are a little afraid, and some people think it'll be too cumbersome. But almost all of my patients come back very positively and say it makes a difference. My 6-year-old is doing it, my 5-year-old is starting, and we're trying to get our 2-year-old to do it. Whether you're 2 or 92, this is good for everybody.
A lot of yogi's regularly practice cleaning out their sinuses with a neti pot. You don't have to go out and get a ceramic one. Go on down to your local Walgreens and pick up a neti pot.