The Importance of Nose Breathing

Why Nose breathing?… it’s critical because there are so many functions that the mouth if breathed through cannot do that the nose does. The nose clears, moisturizes, heats, and filters the air we breathe for faster absorption. That means more efficient oxygen exchange. What is surprising is the role the nose plays in erectile dysfunction, lowering blood pressure, how it respond to the menstrual cycle, how it regulates HR, opens the vessels in our toes, and even stores memories. The nostrils of each and every one of us open and close in response to our mood, emotions.

Below are two guided Breathing Meditations using Nasal Breathing: Breathing Coordination and 5 Square Breathing

Throughout our day we go through periods when we are breathing through primarily one nostril or the other.  Breathing through The right nostril activates the sympathetic nervous system which puts us in a state of active alertness, it feeds the opposite hemisphere of the brain (left) which is associated with analyzing, language, and math skills. The left nostril has the opposite effect and is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system which has the overall effect of cooling the body lowering the temperature,  reducing blood pressure, and reducing anxiety. It has control over the right side of the brain which is our side of creativity, intuition, and abstract mental thoughts. 

We typically pivot between breathing through each of these nostrils, seeking a balance throughout the day between action and relaxation. 

The interior of our sinus passages are a maze-like pathway of turbinates that are coiled like a nautilus. The nasal passages are covered by mucous membrane cells that moisten and warm the breath to body temperature and at the same time filter particles and pollution. These are substances we do not want to get into our lungs. The nasal passageway is also lined with fine hairs that carry out wavelike motions that keep the mucus moving. 

Like any other part of our body, if we don’t use it, we lose it. So if you are a mouth breather and do not use the nasal passageway regularly, it will atrophy. When we keep the nose in use, it trains the nasal cavity and throat to stay open. 

When you can, breathe through your nose. Some of us may need training to do so, especially at night. This has huge health ramifications!

The mouth is for eating, the nose is for breathing. 

The benefits of nasal breathing:

  1. Fighting infections
  2. Maintains body temperature
  3. Better lung volume and blood flow 
  4. Improved brain function
  5. Reduces hypertension & stress
  6. Optimizes oxygen absorption by target tissues

Why mouth breathing should be avoided:

  1. Increases plaque with increased dental decay
  2. It causes bad breath
  3. Leads to snoring
  4. Increase the susceptibility of tooth decay
  5. Predisposes a person to more bacteria, viruses, and illness..
  6. Leads decrease in nasal passage tone and structure, narrowing the nasal passages. 

Proverb: The mouth is for eating, the nose is for breathing. Below are two guided Breathing Meditations using Nasal Breathing: Breathing Coordination and 5 Square Breathing, enjoy!