Breath through the nose as a habit
Happy New Year to all of you that read this post, I sincerely hope it is a wonderful time for you all.
I am writing here to reinforce and enhance your understanding, which will hopefully motivate some you to make a positive impact on your own self, just by remembering to breathe through your nose.
Breathing through your nose is very important for various reasons, and it is one of the most powerful and quickest way to influence your nervous system naturally if done well, and it applies to everyone, everywhere, all of the time.
The reason many people fail to make good practices in to sustained habit, is partly due to them not realising the reason or benefit of continuing to practice the behaviour until it becomes automatic, or habitual, meaning that we don't have to consciously remember to keep doing it anymore. So a few physiological reasons for you to learn to breathe well and keep it up as a consistent practice for good:
A study in the Karolinska Institute, Sweden (one of the world's foremost medical universities and Sweden's single largest centre of medical academic research) showed that blood is oxygenated 10-15% more, when you breathe through your nose compared to breathing through your mouth.
This is because Nitrogen Oxide (NO) from the sinuses (released through small openings in the nasal cavity) flows with the inhaled air into the lungs, where it makes blood vessels in the alveoli expand. The expansion allows allows a greater volume of blood to pass, meaning more oxygen can be taken up in to the blood stream feeding your muscles, nerves, brain (everything).
This widening of the blood vessels has huge benefits for people suffering from common chronic problems such as high blood pressure, pulmonary problems including asthma and others, cardiovascular diseases, people who have suffered stroke, the ill effects of stress etc.... NO is also used in medicines that help the blood vessels in the heart expand and relax.
The effect on the immune system is also great as NO has a strong antibacterial effect and can kill both bacteria and viruses, including some of the bacteria from the terrible effects of smoking.
Further, NO has the amazing property of reducing Oxygen consumption in the cells without compromising the overall energy produced, which is amazing for everyone from people suffering illness to professional athletes looking gain more energy and power from the muscles.
Used in a focused way, the breath is the quickest and most powerful natural way to activate activity in the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response) which in itself naturally restores balance in the mind body system. This can be practiced with simple, instant, and effective meditation practices, mindful and many other useable and practical methods.
In a proactive way, you can systematically train the brain and nervous system to be more relaxed, throughout your waking days (we are breathing on average 20000 times per day), as well as setting the conditions fro sleep to naturally occur. Many high performing people use breathing as one of their 'circuit breakers' which supports high performance.
In a reactive way, if you develop the focused and proactive use of the breath, you will have at your disposal a very powerful reactive tool to restore balance in stressful situations.
Breathing is unequivocally supported in East and West philosophy with practices such as Pranayama, which uses the breath as a focus to still the mind and achieve balance, and is a key part of the Ayurvedic system, the ancient Hindu art of medicine and prolonging life.
For a more in depth understanding of the Art of Conscious Breathing, get a copy of 'Breathology' by Stig Severinsen PhD (also 4 times world champion free diver), or look for other sources of information that will help you.
A caveat - there are many breathing practices that I have witnessed that I would consider as less effective than others, and the main thing to look out for is anything 'strange' complicated' or that exerts too much 'effort' to achieve.
I will be speaking on numerous occasions throughout 2019, and breathing will usually form a part of the discussions if you are interested in hearing my thoughts and experiencing my method of using the breath effectively and it would be wonderful to see you.
A few dates that are already in the calendar are 13 Mar, 22 May, 11 Sep, and 27 Nov 19 at The Metropolitan by COMO, Park Lane, London as well as a transformative and immersive retreat based retreat in the world leading wellness COMO Shambala Estate, Bali in Oct 19. I am also planning to do a similar series of talks to raise money in support of the amazing North Devon Hospice throughout the year.
If you are interested in finding out more about these events and/or other opportunities to work with me, please get in touch.
Have a wonderful day.