Why It’s Important to Breathe Through Your Nose

There are several reasons why its important to breathe through your nose.

When you breathe through your nose, the hairs that line your nostrils filter out particles of dust and dirt that can be injurious to your lungs. If too many particles accumulate on the membranes of your nose, you automatically secret mucus to trap them or sneeze to expel them. The mucous membranes of your septum, which divides the nose into two cavities, further prepare the air for your lungs by warming and humidifying it.

Another very important reason for breathing through your nose has to do with maintaining the correct balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. When you breathe through your mouth you usually inhale and exhale air quickly in large volumes. This often leads to a kind of hyperventilation (breathing excessively fast for the actual conditions in which you find yourself).

It is important to recognize that it is the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood that generally regulates your breathing. Research has shown that if you release carbon dioxide too quickly, the arteries and vessels carrying blood to your cells constrict and the oxygen in your blood is unable to reach the cells in sufficient quantity. This includes the carotid arteries which carry blood (and oxygen) to your brain.

The lack of sufficient oxygen going to the cells of the brain can turn on the “fight or flight or freeze” response of the sympathetic nervous system and make you tense, anxious, irritable, and depressed. There are some researchers who believe that mouth breathing and the associated hyperventilation that it brings about can result in asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other medical problems.

And finally, let’s hear what famed osteopath Robert C. Fulford, D.O. has to say in his wonderful book Dr. Fulford’s Touch of Life about nose breathing: ‘Remember: always try to breathe through your nostrils, and not through your mouth, because air must contact the 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.'”

Copyright 2009-15 by Dennis Lewis

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