"Remember: always try to breathe through your nostrils, and not through your mouth, because air must contact olfactory nerves to stimulate your brain and put it into its natural rhythm. If you don't breathe through your nose, in a sense you're only half alive."
Robert C. Fulford, D.O.
For many of us how we breathe is something we pay very little attention to. However the mechanisms of breathing are complex, and one of the most ignored areas of breathing is how air is taken into your body. In this blog post we look at the importance of the nose as the principle apparatus of ventilation.
WHY NOSE BREATHE?
Here are 25 reasons that you should be a nasal breather!
Nose breathing facilitates a deep meditation.
Nose breathing reduces anxiety.
Nose breathing reduces snoring.
The nose warms the incoming air to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimal temperature for the lungs.
Nose breathing activates the production of immunoglobulins to strengthen the immune system.
Nose breathing moisturizes the incoming air. With the average person breathing 20,000 times a day, by breathing through the nose, you add one litre of water to your internal environment.
The hairs and membranes of the nose filter the air during inhalation and help to secrete mucous, preventing coughing and throat clearing.
Nose breathing triggers the release of antibacterial molecules helping to clean the incoming air and increase the functioning of the immune system.
Having a clear nasal passage allows light to reach the pituitary gland through the sphenoid sinus to help regulate sleeping patterns.
Nose breathing sensitises us to the quality of the air giving us choices about which air is healthy and which is not, so that we can take action.
Nose breathing increases our sense of smell, linking it to the limbic system, which is the seat of our emotional body. Our, 'gut feel' We can then make more choices on how we feel about things. Smell is a very important environmental factor for our survival.
Nose breathing brings air into the sphenoid sinuses to cool the pituitary gland and help regulate body temperature.
Breathing through the nose keeps the nasal passages open and free of stagnating debris.
Nose breathing activates movement at several head and neck joints. They are the atlanto-occipital joint, the atlanto-axial joint, the sphenobasilar joint and the sutures of the facial and head bones.
Breathing through the nose lightens the head by filling the sinuses with air and keeps the sinuses' membranes lubricated and functioning, lessening the chance of sinus infections.
In children, breathing through the nose helps to form the sinuses by activating their growth with the movement of air. Children who mouth-breathe often have very narrow faces. The sinuses do not start growing until about age 4.
Nose breathing allows the excess tears to have a clear passageway for drainage.
Nose breathing facilitates the production of nitric oxide, which is a bronchodilator, relaxant and sterilises the air in the sinuses on the way to the lungs.
Nose breathing reduces the volume of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) released during exhalation. The sinuses trap CO2 at the end of exhalation. CO2 helps to reduce constriction in the airways and blood vessels and facilitates the release of oxygen from the red blood cells and oxygen delivery to the other cells of the body by helping to balance the Ph of the blood.
Nose breathing adds a huge reservoir of sensation to tap into to deepen your connection to yourself and bring your attention to the present moment.
Breathing through the nose allows the air to pass by the structures that mark the center of the head, keeping your energetic balanced and centered.
Nose breathing helps increase the fluctuations of the cerebral-spinal fluid by activation and movement of the sphenobasilar joint thereby nourishing the central nervous system.
Stimulation of the olfactory nerve stimulates the brain and puts it into its natural rhythm.
Nose breathing, you inflate the entire lungs, including the lower lobes, which are connected to the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system, the branch that calms the body, slows the heart rate, relaxes and soothes.
Through proper nose breathing, you employ both branches of the nervous system.
As you can see there are significant benefits to be had from becoming aware of your habitual breathing pattern. If you are a habitual mouth breather, try to make time throughout your day to become conscious of your breathing. Setting hourly reminders on your phone can be a helpful prompt until nasal breathing becomes the normal for you.