The magical nostril and diaphragm equation
Breathing correctly through your nose is of vital importance not only for you but for those in your environment.
Breathing through your nose, as nature intended, stimulates the sinus cavities to produce Nitric oxide, this molecule helps dilate blood capillaries, meaning more oxygen being absorbed by the body. This increases blood circulation and at the same time lowers blood pressure.
As a bonus, the presence of Nitric Oxide, in the airways, means any air we breathe in, goes through a vapour-like filter that has antiviral and anti-microbial properties.
Now is the time to optimise the body’s natural defenses and improve our overall, health and wellbeing by learning to breathe correctly.
Masks are becoming mandatory and so we need to adapt our habitual ‘sometimes nose, usually mouth’ breathing, to how the body was designed to breathe; through the nose.
Finally, if we want to breathe how nature intended, we also are required to include the main breathing muscle ‘ the diaphragm’. You know when this is being activated because your belly will rise and fall with the breath. The addition of the diaphragm also produces a calming effect via the nervous system.
Breathe right, live well.
Carbon dioxide (co2) has been given a bad rap over the years. Seen as a waste product of breathing, it’s rapidly becoming the hero of breathwork. The understanding of the role of co2 has remained on the fringes. Over the years, researchers have deepened their understanding of this miraculous gas.
When we breathe in air, around 80% is nitrogen, 19% is oxygen, 1% carbon dioxide.
The role of carbon dioxide is vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, the effect of this increases oxygen absorption.
The common misunderstanding is, if we breathe more, we will take in more oxygen. When we breathe fast, we actually offload carbon dioxide, which means we constrict blood vessels, reducing oxygen intake. The need to breathe in is actually created by carbon dioxide, by learning to breathe properly, we can train our bodies to hold more carbon dioxide and not get so panicked by breath hunger.
Yoga and science are now starting to meet. Slow, deep, nostril breathing, allows for oxygen and carbon dioxide to work harmoniously.
Creating a build-up of carbon dioxide stimulates chemoreceptors that signal to the fight or flight area of the brain, to relax. So for those people out there who struggle with anxiety, poor sleep patterns, and low energy, breathing could be a natural option to help improve health and wellbeing.
Research is showing that up to 80% of us, have a tendency to hold our breaths whilst reading emails and texts (exhale !!). When we breathe in, it stimulates a sympathetic response, meaning we go into fight or flight, our heartbeat goes up naturally, then we hold our breathe and begin reading.
I found this interesting as historically emails have made me feel anxious. The uncertainty of what I may find within the messages may be scary or I have been holding my breathe, and my neurology now recognises emails and texts as a possible threat. Whatever, it could be seen as a golden opportunity to breathe correctly, before, during, and after diving into the inbox.
Breathe easy x
3D Medical animation still showing Normal blood vessel (L) Vs. Vasodilation (R)