Two types of equipment may be used:
1. A long, thin, rubber urethral catheter. This can be purchased from almost any pharmacy for a very small sum of money. Catheters come in different sizes, which are assigned different numbers according to the outside diameter. The choice of the size of the catheter of course depends on the individual nasal passage, but sizes 4, 5 or 6 are generally suitable.
This is a modern improvisation which makes the performance of sutra neti much easier and quicker. However, the nasal passages are not cleaned as effectively as when the traditional cotton thread is used. Also, the final stage of sutra neti is virtually impossible if a catheter is used. However, the use of a catheter means little preparation is necessary for sutra neti, which makes it much more convenient than the use of cotton thread.
2. A bundle of cotton threads held together at each end with beeswax. The thread should be soft and of good quality. The method of preparation is as follows:
• Cut a number of strands of the thread to lengths of about forty-five centimetres or a little more. Cut enough so that the diameter of the strands of thread when held in a bundle is about three millimetres. Of course the diameter of the bundle should suit your nasal passages, but on your first attempt this width is sufficient.
- Heat some beeswax.
- Hold the end of the bundle of threads and trim the end so that all the individual ends are in line with each other. Twist the end of the bundle.
- Soak the first twelve centimetres of the trimmed twisted end in the hot beeswax and allow it to harden into a stiff but pliable cord.
- Trim the other end of the bundle of threads to the same length so that the total length of the cord is about forty-five centimetres. Twist the end for about ten centimetres and then soak in beeswax. Allow to harden.
The waxing of the other end is necessary for stage 3 of the practice. The cord (or sutra) is now ready for use. This preparation takes quite a long time and we recommend that a number of such cotton threads should be prepared when you have some spare time and stored in a clean box or tin.