Have you ever heard of mouth and nose breathing? Do you naturally breath through your mouth or your nose?
Did you know that our bodies are designed for nose breathing? Air goes in your nose, through your sinuses, gets warmed and humidified for when it reaches the lungs to exchange gases and send oxygen around the body. This process provides rich oxygen to the brain, plays an important process in the immune system and in children is essential for proper facial bone development (meaning straight teeth!).
When you breathe through your nose, the air is mixed with nitric oxide which kills deadly bacteria. This nitric oxide also acts as a vasodilator which increases the surface area of alveoli (the area where gas exchange takes place in the lungs) which means your body is absorbing oxygen more efficiently.
Mouth breathing is common in people who have blocked nasal passage and kids who have frequent colds or swollen glands. But why is this such an issue?
Mouth breathing in children can create a high and narrow palate, leading to dropped cheek bones, droopy looking eyes and a long shaped face. The jaw generally tends to displace backwards, creating an unstable platform for teeth to grow and leading to crooked teeth. As we get older, this can turn into snoring and sleep apnoea.
So here’s an exercise to help with getting some rich oxygen through your brain via your nose! You may have seen it lately on our whiteboard at the clinic, or even done it whilst you wait for your appointment!
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and relax your jaw
Breathe in through your nose for 5 second and stick your tummy out
Breathe out for 8 seconds, squeezing as much air out as your can
Repeat 5 times!
Feeling calm and relaxed?
This is because this style of breathing helps to calm down your fight or flight (sympathetic) system and make you feel more peaceful and at ease :)
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