Breathing - something we think of as automatic and simple, is proving to be much more complicated than we ever thought. With the growing popularity of breath work for easing anxiety and stress, its time to reveal breathing as affecting our biology much more than we actually think.
Our bodies are actually designed to breathe through our noses, not our mouths. This is why nasal breathing is considered healthier than mouth breathing. When we breathe through our noses, air is filtered and warmed before it reaches our lungs, which is important for our health and comfort. Additionally, the nose is lined with special cells that produce nitric oxide, which helps keep our airways healthy.
Mouth breathing can have a significant effect on our dental health. When we mouth breathe, we are more likely to develop dry mouth and bad breath. Additionally, mouth breathing can lead to the development of cavities and gum disease. Mouth breathing can cause the teeth to be misaligned, which can lead to an overbite or underbite.
Mouth breathing can lead to the development of a condition known as “tongue thrusting,” in which the tongue is constantly pressing against the teeth. This can cause the teeth to become misaligned.
The nose has tiny hairs that help trap dirt and pollen, which can be harmful to our lungs. Mouth breathing, on the other hand, does not provide the same advantages that nasal breathing does. Instead, it can lead to dry mouth, bad breath, and even snoring.
The air that enters our lungs when we mouth breathe is not filtered and warmed, which can lead to respiratory problems. Finally, mouth breathing can have an adverse effect on our mental health. Studies have shown that nasal breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety via activation of the vagus nerve, while mouth breathing can have the opposite effect. The vagus nerve is an important part of the autonomic nervous system, which helps regulate the body's involuntary functions and stress response. It also plays an important role in our mental and emotional health. It has been found that nasal breathing activates the vagus nerve, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. The Vagus nerve can help improve concentration and alertness, as well as reduce inflammation.
Nasal breathing can also help improve cardiovascular health, as it can help reduce blood pressure and heart rate. It can help improve digestion and reduce pain by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce stress and relax the body. Additionally, nasal breathing can help release endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
SO what do you do if you are a mouth breather? How can you train yourself to breathe nasally? Meet the new darling of the health and wellness world: Mouth Taping.
Mouth taping is a technique used to help people breathe through their nose. It involves taping the lips together, which helps keep the airway open and encourages nasal breathing. Mouth taping has been shown to be a safe and effective way to improve nasal breathing during sleep and wakefulness. It can help reduce snoring, improve sleep quality, and even reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, it can help reduce the chances of developing respiratory problems and other health issues associated with mouth breathing.
If you’re interested in trying mouth taping, it’s important to consult with an experienced wellness professional first. They can help determine if mouth taping is right for you, as well as provide tips and advice on how to do it safely.
Oxygen Advantage is an education company that provides excellent information about the advantages of nasal breathing and if you’re looking for a great place to start you can go to their website and have a look at their resources, take an online course or order the ground breaking book by Patrick McKeown.
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