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  • Writer's picturesarah young

A Nose Knows Breathing Reset

Your nose knows about breathing. After all, it's designed to.

Your nose is designed to humidify, filter, and adjust the temperature of the air you breathe in. That's why you have hairs in your nose and mucous -- to purify the air you take in.

Another way your nose cleans up the air you breathe in is by your nasal passages producing nitric oxide (NO). NO follows the airstream down into your lungs. Why is this helpful? NO helps to debug (it has antimicrobial properties) the air you breathe in.

And NO also acts a vasodilator. This means it helps to relax and widen blood vessels which helps maintain healthy blood pressure. NO also promotes the health of blood vessel linings. which supports cardiovascular function.

Nasal breathing also makes it easier for your respiratory diaphragm to engage more fully.

It also helps the tiny air sacks (alveoli) in your lungs to balance out the exchange of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in your bloodstream.

Breathing through your nose helps to deliver air deeper into your lungs -- the lower lobes. This stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system which helps to keep you more relaxed and resilient.

Nasal breathing also helps to keep you hydrated.

All of the above and more are healthful reasons to breathe nasally.

Now does that mean mouth breathing is bad and you should never do it? Not necessarily. Mouth breathing comes in really handy when swimming freestyle or when you're running all out towards the end of a race. It also comes in handy when your nose is plugged up do to a bad head cold.

But if you want to tap into more of the health benefits of nasal breathing simply make mouth breathing the exception rather than the rule.

And yes, it make take a bit of practice to return to your natural (nasal) breathing design but that's ok.

Simply Press Reset on your breathing by gently placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Now smile (it helps) and breathe in slowly through your nose. Feel the air as it swirls into your nose and dances down your airways into your lungs. You don't have to force a big breath in. That actually gets in the way. Just trust the process. Trust your design.

Now after you've inhaled slowly -- exhale slowly through your nose. Take your time with your exhale and savor it. Your body will tell you when to breathe in again. Inhalation is simple a reflex that happens when you allow your exhale to happen and don't rush or force it.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

It really is that easy.

And one more crazy nose fact for you -- did you know your nostrils naturally take turns as you breathe throughout the day? Your nostrils work as a team and trade off on the workload. It's part of your breathing design. How cool is that?

*And btw: Resonant Breathing can be helpful in Pressing Reset on your breathing design.

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