Last Updated on November 30, 2023 by Boko Digital
Breathing is a fundamental aspect of life, yet many of us take it for granted. One aspect that often goes unnoticed is how we breathe, particularly when we unconsciously breathe through the mouth. In this blog, we speak to Kate Kendall, Breathwork Facilitator, Yoga Teacher and co-owner of Flow Athletic about why breathing through the nose may be more beneficial for our long-term health and wellbeing.
What happens when we breathe through the mouth?
While being a chronic mouth breather might not be inherently ‘bad,’ it may lead to various oral issues, including crowded teeth, cracked lips, cavities, and gum disease. Beyond oral health, research suggests there is a link between mouth breathing and conditions such as ADHD, asthma, and anxiety-related disorders.
What are the barriers some people face when breathing through the nose?
There are a number of common obstacles that prevent individuals from breathing correctly through the nose, including allergies, asthma, stress, anxiety, poor posture, and, ironically, mouth breathing.
What are the benefits of breathing through the nose?
Breathing through the nose isn’t just a natural reflex; it’s a key element of optimal respiratory function with a number of health benefits, ranging from improved focus and productivity to better posture, digestion, and sleep. Additionally, correct breathing can enhance energy levels, boost immunity, and support various physiological functions.
How is breathing through the nose more beneficial to our health?
- The small hairs in the nose act as a filter for unwanted particles.
- The nasal passage humidifies the air to prevent your lungs from drying out.
- The nasal passage releases nitric oxide into the body to improve blood flow throughout the body.
- Improves oxygen uptake by sending more oxygen to the lower respiratory system
- It activates the diaphragm to promote its proper function.
- Regulates carbon dioxide levels by preventing over breathing which often happens when we breathe through the mouth.
- Stimulation of the vagus nerve which is a key component of the nervous system.
- Support for dental and facial development.
- Enhanced brain function through increased oxygen.
- Promotion of relaxation and mindfulness which is valuable for managing stress and anxiety.
How can we breathe effectively through the nose?
The key to mitigating the effects of chronic mouth breathing lies in cultivating a practice of nose breathing and adopting a low, slow breathing technique. Closing the mouth gently and breathing deeply into the belly can help promote better oral and overall health.
Why is correct breathing during physical activity so important?
Breathing correctly during physical activities like yoga and exercise is also important. While nasal breathing may initially feel challenging during high-intensity workouts, the long-term benefits include increased energy, focus, and sustainable vitality throughout the day.
By understanding the impact of chronic mouth breathing and the benefits of correct breathing techniques through the nose, you can make positive changes to your overall health and wellbeing. Breathe easy, breathe consciously, and embrace the transformative power of mindful breathing in your daily life.
To learn more about one on one breathwork sessions with Kate, please click here.