Sounds pretty gross, right? If not gross, at least painful. It’s certainly no fun to get water up your nose, so you might wonder why you’d purposefully pour it up your nose. But even Joseph Pilates advocated nasal cleansing. He suggested cupping your hand filled with water during the shower, snorting the water up your nose and then blowing it out. That tactic doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried it, and perhaps I’m a bit of a baby but it’s not comfortable.

Here’s what I suggest and think works well. Purchase a neti pot. You can definitely get one online, but I believe Walgreens even sells them. In fact, I ordered mine from Walgreens online for under $20. The trick is to find what balance works for you–how much salt do you need to add to the water? how hot do you need your water? The salt makes a big difference. It’s the lack of salt that makes Pilates‘ version uncomfortable for me.

The first time I used a neti pot was at my sister’s suggestion. I didn’t like it, but she mixed the water at a temperature and salt amount that she uses. She uses colder water and less salt–apparently, I’m more hot-headed than my sister. I use pretty warm water and a heaping scoop, which is provided with most neti pots, of salt–sea salt.

Sometimes when you have a cold or are really stuffed up it will take a couple tries to get the water to pass from one nostril to the other. Some days, I can’t make it work. Don’t use a neti pot when you have a sinus infection.

The best place to drain your nostrils is over the bathtub. This space provides ample room for the water to drain out your nose and allows you to blow your nose like crazy afterwards without worrying about snot flying around like a Saint Bernard’s saliva, which it very well might.

When it comes to nasal cleansing, the hard part is getting over the fact that is seems awkward to have water in your nose. We aren’t typically aquatic creatures. You can breath through your mouth the entire time. Before you you try breathing out your mouth with water in your nose, try it without water. Plug your nose and breath in and out your mouth. Piece-of-cake, right?

Trust me, if you can develop a comfort level with the process, I suspect you will enjoy it. It can unblock my ears and clear my passage ways. I find it’s especially helpful during allergy season. When you have a sore throat, you always hear to gargle with salt water, well, that’s good for your nose too, whether you have a cold or not.

If you decide to try it out, good luck, take it easy, try to stay relaxed and be open minded. You might just fall in love. I’ll admit I was very closed minded about it the first time I did it, and it took me about six months to try again, when the process really took.