Neti means cleansing and clearing of the nasal passage.. This is of two types: Jalaneti and Sutraneti. Before doing Jalaneti and Sutraneti, a few drops of warm ghee should be put into each nostril while in the supine position. This lubricates and eases elimination of mucous through the nostril. The face should then be covered with a folded towel and pressure should be applied around the area near the nose.
It is known as the nasal douche, Jalaneti is another technique for nasal cleansing, the only difference being that the cleansing is done with salt water. This is done with a special kind of vessel with a spout called Neti Lota. Boiled water should be cooled until it is lukewarm and should be mixed with a teaspoonful of salt. The concentration of salt and the temperature of the water should be maintained throughout the practice. Thereafter, the person has to stand erect, stoop forward and insert the spout gently into one of the nostrils; tilt the head slowly to the other side so that the water runs into one nostril and comes out through the other. The nozzle should not be pushed into the nostril as this can cause damage. The person has to breathe normally through the mouth (inhalation through the nose will propel water into the mouth) and allow the water to flow freely through the other nostril continuously like a stream. The process should be repeated for the other nostril. This process can cause itching or an irritating sensation. But these symptoms will cease with repeated practice. Jalaneti should be practised in the morning daily or more often if one is suffering from cold or stuffy nose.
It cleans the upper respiratory tract by removing mucosal secretions, making it easier to breathe. It also improves the functional efficiency of the mucous membrane and smelling sensation. It provides relief from sore throat, nasal catarrh, cold, cough, sinusitis, migraine, headache and inflammation of the nasal membranes.
Traditionally, a cotton string stiffened with wax is used for this purpose. Currently, this has been replaced by a thin rubber catheter. The string or tube is inserted gently and slowly through one nostril down the throat and pulled out through the mouth with the help of the first and middle fingers (finger nails should be short) of the left hand. Both ends are then pulled to and fro. This is done 15-20 times. The string is then removed through the mouth and the procedure is repeated for the other nostril. During this procedure, spectacles (if any) should be removed. During the first few sessions, when the thread or catheter is introduced into the nose, there could be an itching or irritating sensation in the nostrils. This can cause sneezing. The eyes could also water, but these symptoms will subside with regular practice. Persons suffering from hemorrhage in the nose and acute cold should not practise this kriya without proper guidance. This kriya should be done once in the morning daily and, after three months, two-to-three times a week.
Sutraneti opens up blocked nasal passages and provides relief from throat ailments. It toughens the nasal mucosa and renders it less sensitive to irritation from dust particles. It is very useful in cases of migraine, sinusitis and asthma. It increases the supply of oxygen to the lungs and improves the functioning of the respiratory system.