Why breathe through you nose? The answer is why not!
These are a quick look at the benefits of nasal breathing:
Nitric Oxide is produced and circulated from the para-nasal sinuses.
Nitric Oxide was discovered in 1992 as a “miracle” naturally occurring substance in the human body that aid in all body function, health and longevity.
The nose has an incredible innate intelligence to ward off and mitigate incoming pathogens (viruses and bacterias) and environmental toxins through its series of channels and membranes before reaching your lungs. There are many envelopes that have a specialized lining to help move and take care of things that come in that are not for you. The passage of air and particulates has a long ways to go before it hits the back of your throat, and is lined with the best defense for your health.
Also your immune system is optimized with the circulation of Nitric Oxide that is produced in the para-nasal sinuses. See Nitric Oxide above for more information.
Hydration is important for a robust immune system. Nasal breathing has its own way of warming and moistening the air coming in. And you don’t get dehydrated as you would breathing through your mouth.
Your diaphragm is a very important muscle. And it is most effective when using the nose to breathe. Mouth breathing is upper chest breathing, where the nose engages the lower ribs and lower lungs.
Lower chest/lung breaths are most important because the majority of the gas exchange of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs in the lower lobes of the lungs. The use of the nose to engage the diaphragm the best also helps to mobilize the tissues and fluids of the lower lung chambers (pneumonia often exists in the lower lobes and is often seen greater in people who primarily breathe in their upper chest).
Not only for breathing, the diaphragm functions as a suspender for all the abdominal organs and tissue below, therefore it assists in:
- optimizing digestion of food and water,
- core strength and spinal health,
- moving fluids back up to the heart (including blood and lymph),
- massaging and mobilizing the organs for proper circulation,
- regulating pressures,
- and more.
Nasal breathing has a calming affect. It reaches the lower lobes of the lungs, often producing a grounding feeling or feeling settled down. And in stimulating the diaphragm, instead of the accessory breathing muscles of the upper chest and neck, a diaphragmatic breath will stimulate the vagus nerve. Stimulating the vagus nerve helps regulate the systems that rely on the autonomic nervous system. The systems that benefit include digestion and elimination, focus and attention, sexual functions and reproduction, and blood and fluid pressures. Your body is connected in more ways than we can even think of.
Mouth breathing creates upper chest breathing. Upper chest breathing is primarily associated with flight or fight responses in the nervous system. This causes an aroused state and overly reactive mental state.
When you breathe through your nose easily you feel begin to feel an downward movement of support. You will feel the lower ribs move as you engage the diaphragm with nasal breathing.
With a downward feeling, it produces a dropping down center of gravity and this has it’s own medicine to support the body’s true sense of support. And this is the best counter-balance to stress, helping you to lessen the tendency to react intensely and uprooted-unsupported feelings that create more stress responses with your life.
Article by Shawn M Flot, MPT. He is now a Certified Oxygen Advantage® Instructor. Combined with his 25year experience in Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapist for health and performance, and a dedicated Yoga practitioner is making for a power-house to help many people succeed in re-discovering their own health, healing and well-being.