The Nose: If we ask you now where you usually breathe, could you answer without thinking? We rarely pay attention to our breathing, and it is something that we often do wrong without even suspecting it.
Breathing is something you do unconsciously, and actually, it shouldn’t be that much. Have you noticed how you do it? Where do you catch your breath each time? Where do you drop it?
Do you think your way of breathing is correct? Analyzing (and consciously practicing ) how you breathe can help you gain health and well-being.
When children are born, they naturally breathe through their noses. Still, as Dr. Alfred Rigau, Otolaryngologist at the Mi Tres Torres Clinic (Barcelona) tells us, in our Western culture, starting with our parents, educators, and many health workers, nasal breathing is underrated.
Many times we are not aware of how we breathe.
In other oriental cultures, great practitioners of yoga, nasal breathing prevails, and the entrance door of the respiratory tract is cared for with daily hygiene measures and nasal cleansing with “lotas,” a utensil that is filled with salty water.
To wash regularly (no need to have a cold!).
1. Breathing Through the Nose is Healthier
The natural and physiological gateway to respiration is the nasal route. Breathing through the mouth should be just an alternative.
We must breathe through our noses day and night, 24 hours a day. Many times we live badly at night while we rest, and we are not conscious.
Nasal breathing has the function of humidifying, warming, and purifying the inhaled air. Therefore, it is the first natural defense barrier.
Regardless of the external weather conditions, the inspired air always reaches the center of our body at the same temperature, 100% humidity, and a maximum sterility level.
For this to be the case, the work is mostly done by the nostrils.
Nasal breathing is innate in newborns, so if the nostrils are obstructed, oral breathing is not spontaneous, with the vital risk that this entails.
That is why, in the past, neonates were spanked upside down to initiate crying and breathing.
The nose has two nostrils, which makes it a peer organ.
Like so many even-numbered organs in the body, it must be symmetrical and work equally. Otherwise, a symptom that the doctor should check.
Asymmetric nostrils can make your nose not work.
For example, they have one leg longer than the other causes a limp. Well, many people breathe “lame” in the nose and are not conscious because they have been used to it since childhood.
We have a neurological respiratory center in the brain (huge, by the way) and neurological reflexes that make us breathe consciously and unconsciously in an innately and continuous way.
Your nose changes throughout the day
During the day, we are standing or sitting without changing the position of the nose. But when we lie down, nasal resistance increases, making nasal breathing more difficult.
Therefore, when we have colds, nasal breathing worsens when we go to bed, and in many people, it can cause snoring.
At rest, mouth closed. In those people who are always open-mouthed, we might suspect they have nasal respiratory failure.
2. How Do You Breathe When You Speak?
Nasal breathing should only have two exceptions: when we speak or when we make a physical effort of a certain intensity, such as during sports such as running.
During intense sports practice, nasal breathing should prevail. But depending on the degree of effort, we will do a collective breath (take air through the nose and release it through the mouth).
As the physical work intensifies, we can move to oral breathing exclusively.
During recovery from such physical effort, we must always resort to combined breathing. We will achieve more leisurely breathing due to increased resistance, which will benefit us from a broader peripheral alveolar breathing.
Immediate recovery is better if we breathe well through the nose, as we use mixed breathing, thus achieving a more elongated and complete lung expansion.
3. Respiration Problems
In an adult person, breathing through the mouth affects sleep performance. Sleep disorders are often related to nasal respiratory failure since oral breathing causes tension or stress that causes us not to get a deep, relaxed and restorative sleep.
Lousy breathing can cause you to sleep poorly.
As a result of this nasal respiratory insufficiency, we can have a superficial semi-wakeful sleep, with nocturnal awakenings or micro-awakenings, restless sleep, nightmares, cervical contractures, bruxism, headaches due to contraction of masseters and temporal bones.
Nighttime recovery can also be affected. It will always be better if we breathe well through the nose because rest and sleep will be more profound and more stimulating.