The study was performed by Drs. Richard Ravizza and John Fornadley of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania. They divided 294 college students into three groups: one group performed daily nasal irrigation with saline, one took a daily placebo pill, and the third group was left untreated. The doctors found that the group who irrigated with saline experienced a significant reduction in colds compared with the placebo or untreated groups.
While this study of cold prevention is new, Ravizza pointed out that nasal irrigation has been a part of yoga health-oriented ``cleaning rituals'' for centuries. Ravizza said that it has not been determined precisely how nasal irrigation protects against viral infection. ``At a physical level, just cleaning it out, irrigating it, is probably helpful,'' he was quoted as saying by Reuters Health. ``At a molecular level, at a cellular level, I have no idea.''
When Ravizza was asked about whether few people might enjoy water up their nose, he replied that after an initial week-long adjustment period, ``50% of the subjects who formed the nasal irrigation group characterized (the procedure) as pleasant. Many said it was soothing, others said it was comforting.'' A remaining 21% said they had ``neutral'' feelings regarding the procedure, while 29% did not find it comfortable. Ravizza said that most people who perform nasal irrigation required, "good instruction,''. He suggested that interested persons should contact a local yoga center or similar organization, such as the Himalayan Institute.
The benefits of pulsatile irrigation include:
Use very low pressure. This makes irrigating pleasant and easy, avoiding any uncomfortable sensation of pressure in the head. I find that my patients readily treat themselves, and are less likely to skip treatments than with other methods.