Breathing is something we seldom inspect or associate with immediately influencing our health and wellbeing. It is the unsung hero as there are no bells and whistles, no products to buy, nothing to invest beyond awareness and willingness to explore our own physiology and restore a major important component for our health and well-being.
Due to many factors we tend to breath incorrectly and our culture now teaches and accepts as normal less than optimal habits:
Genetically we are designed to breath through our nose.
When we inhale this way the air is prepared for the lungs: It is heated, moisturized and cleansed from bacteria and other particles before travelling down through the airways to the lungs.
On exhalation, the nose is reheated and re moisturized because the air coming up from the lungs is body-tempered and 100% humid. The particles that got trapped on inhalation follow the air out again during exhalation.
When we breathe through the mouth we absorb air that is cold, dry and full of particles, making the airways irritated, inflamed and narrow.
Mouth breathing can lead to many physical, emotional and mental states of dis “ease” which can look like:
· Life seems to be more of an uphill struggle
· You make more simple mistakes
· You are in flight or fight mode
· Immunity is lowered
· You wind up in conflicts more frequently
· You feel tired, and your cravings for fast carbs, sugar, coffee, and energy drinks increase
· You may feel you need alcohol to be able to relax
· Your heart works less efficiently
· Your body and muscles become a little more tense
· You may experience more pain
· You are more likely to feel worried or afraid
· Your sleep quality may suffer
Many surprising benefits can be gained from relearning to nose breath:
PLEASE START NOTICING HOW YOU BREATH!
All change starts with awareness.
Relax and practice nose breathing: ideal breathing is 8-12 breaths a minute. If you are breathing more than this you are in stress mode.
Small breath’s – A normal breath, at rest, contains only about 0.5 liter of air, equaling a respiratory volume of about 3-6 liters per minute (6-12 breaths per minute and 0.5 liter per breath). Since many of us have a tendency to both take bigger breaths and breathe faster, it is common with a breathing volume of 10-15 liters of air per minute, which exceeds our body’s need by 2-4 times. This creates an imbalance between oxygen and carbon dioxide since it gives us too much oxygen and too little carbon dioxide. (This un-discussed detail causes less oxygen to go to the brain) When we have more carbon dioxide in our bodies the brain gets more oxygen!
POSTURE – being slumped or collapsed in our ribcage means the lungs do not have the full space the body was supposed to provide for them and breathing is forced and faster. Over time there is an increased risk we open our mouth, which in turn makes us push the chin slightly forward and upward in order to keep the airways open
A great way to retrain yourself is to tape your mouth shut when you sleep. If you are nervous to do this then tape your mouth shut for 10 – 15 minutes during the day, to figure out what it all feels like and to build up your familiarity with the sensations.
GENTLE PAPER TAPE is a medical tape you can be purchased in the pharmacy. (or amazon)
SLEEPING TAPE (brand version of this concept can be purchased from the conscious breathing website.
You can find much more information about this:
For athletes, physical challenges, general health and more.
Breathing tips for protection against the Corona virus: