OK, the holidays are over. The New Year’s resolutions have come and gone. So let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about that cold of yours.

The stuffy nose, the sinuses full of whatever, the miserable feeling when you know the cold has taken over your body. We’ve all had it. We all get it, except for the favored few.

Every time someone comes into my office with it they say, “It’s the worst cold I’ve ever had. I’ve never felt as miserable. This is serious. I don’t have time for this. Make it go away.”

Believe you me, I would make it go away if I could. You need Harry Potter’s magic wand to get rid of this stuff. Time, hydration, chicken soup, vitamin C, zinc all work to alleviate symptoms.

But my friend Joe’s “saline solution for the ages” is dynamite. Every year at this time, I edit and repeat his advice. Why? Because it’s timeless — as timeless as viruses themselves, which by the way, are millions and millions of years old.

So to get the junk out of your sinuses you might try the neti pot. You fill this nifty Aladdin-lamp-like device, or squeeze bottle, with a saline solution, tilt your head sideways and pour.

The result is a slow cleansing in the back of your nose, irrigating the opening of your sinuses, letting the mucus flow. Just like you clean your floor with a mop, this mops up the mucus you don’t need back there.

But for many people, this is not enough. It’s wussy. It’s not Badger strong. You need to supercharge it. That’s where Joe’s dynamite technique comes in.

He’s used it for years, and he swears that his sinuses have never been better since he’s used it on a regular basis. His life has improved now that he can breathe oxygen without mucus.

For years, Joe suffered from congestion and a chronic post-nasal drip that made his life miserable. Doctor after doctor couldn’t offer him a remedy that would fit the bill. And that’s when Joe’s creative entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. If they couldn’t solve his problem, he’d try to solve it himself.

And with that — drum roll, please — I present Joe’s fix for all you sinus suffers out there.

First, grab some salt — preferably kosher salt. You can use Morton’s salt but it contains other ingredients to make it flow, calcium silicate, which you don’t need.

Take a half teaspoon of salt and put it in two to three ounces of water, about a quarter of a cup. Swish it around to dissolve, then fill your cupped palm with some of this high-dose saline mixture.

Now, here’s the key: Put your cupped hand, with just a teaspoon of the saline solution, up to your nose and vigorously and aggressively snort it up into one nostril. Suck it up with as much strength as you can muster. Snort in more air repeatedly.

Your natural nasal-sinus reflex will be to snort it out, expelling it into the sink — did I mention to do this over the sink in the bathroom? You are clearing your entire throat. Expect expectoration — voluminous as it may be.

Don’t be afraid of the sound you make, which will be similar to a rutting wildebeest (Joe’s words, not mine). Anyone who might be listening at the bathroom door will think something awful is going on. Make sure you tell them before you start that you are not dying.

Now repeat the process with the other nostril.

According to Joe’s cure, you need to do this several times on each side — bending a bit differently with each nostril suck — so you clean the entire sinus cavity. Side to side, back to forward, left to right.

Whew! What’s happening? You are scouring the back of your nasal passages with a high-pressure salt solution dissolving the gunk, allowing you to breathe free and clear.

This self-management of sinuses has made many a Joe better, including the Joe I know. Since he started his daily turbos, his life has improved immensely.

With Joe’s turbo neti, a new day has dawned in the natural treatment of sinus aliments, acute and chronic. Anyone with a drippy nose might want to try it. Stay well.

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This column provides general health information. Always consult your personal health care provider about concerns. No ongoing relationship of any sort is implied or offered by Dr. Paster to people submitting questions. Any opinions expressed by Dr. Paster in his columns are personal and are not meant to represent or reflect the views of SSM Health.


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