“ Isn’t it amazing that there’s air to breathe, a body to take in, and a mind to watch it?” -ED Halliwell.
As we know that breathing is the most basic thing but the most powerful activity for life and once breathing is healthy, natural and raised to optimum level It becomes a therapeutic tool for health.
Nose breathing has many benefits over mouth respiration. Nose breathing is the correct and most optimal way to breathe. Mouth breathing bypasses important stages in the breathing process, which may lead to many health issues like snoring and sleep apnea. Nose breathing, T2R38 gene, that stimulates the nose’s bitter receptors that react to chemicals that bacteria use to communicate. They stimulate nitric oxide that kills bacteria. simple taste tests may eventually predict recurrent infection potential. (Scientific American Sept 2014 page 28.)
“Nasal breathing ( as opposed to mouth breathing) increases circulation, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, slows the breathing rate and improves overall lung volumes” according to Swift Cambell, Mckeown 1988 Oronasal obstruction, lung volumes, and arterial Oxygenation, Lancet 1, 73-75.
Referring to the book “Just Breathe” by Dan Brule, DR. O ‘Hare, who has practiced medicine for over thirty years explains that “Conscious breathing can increase heart rate variability, which improves a range of symptoms such as stress, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, obesity, depression, and aging”.
Breathing gives us a way to hack into our own brain and nervous system!
Our left and right nostrils are connected to the left and right brain activity as per the International Journal of Neuroscience 70;285-298.
One of the most revealing and actually scary facts is that the nose is home to over 50 bacterial species ( some are good and most are not)
But the good bacteria work to kill some of the bad ones and if we bypass nasal breathing, the bad one tends to dominate.
It is very important to know that every physiological, emotional and physiological state is linked with breathing patterns.
The way you breathe, while you are angry and upset is different from a peaceful and calm state. On the other hand, if you are afraid and in pain, it is different than when you are in comfort or pleasure. Thus, when your state changes your breathing pattern also changes likewise if you change your breathing, you change your state.
The real miracle of the breath occurs only when we learn how to turn it on and fire it up, it shakes all the fear and stress and tension from the cells of our body.
As breath is life, breath well for conscious breathing ensures a long life on earth.
This article will be a part of a weekly series on health and wellbeing. This is the first of eight.
Khalid Javed Rizvi, a certified nutritionist and also served nine years as a General Manager of Health & Safety in a multinational firm.