Wellness Pathway #235 Use Your Nose

Did you know that babies breathe almost exclusively through their noses? According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, that’s because mouth breathing is part of the “fight or flight” response learned later in life, as we encounter stressful situations. When we breathe through our mouths, we stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, giving our bodies the idea that there is an emergency. And that causes our blood pressure, along with a host of negative health indicators, to increase.

The antidote is simple: use your nose. Breathing deeply through your nose, all the way in and all the way out, can generate noticeable positive effects. That’s because nose breathing goes right down into the lower lobes of the lungs, stimulating the Vegas nerve, which is the main nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Northrup calls this the “rest and restore” nervous system. Unlike the sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system, which functions like the gas pedal of a car, the parasympathetic system functions like the brake. It slows us down, enabling us to rest and recover. Given the hurry-hurry pace of modern life, we would all benefit from greater use of the “rest and restore” nervous system.

To this end, Northrup suggests that we learn to breathe through our noses routinely. The more we breathe through our noses when we are awake, the more we will breathe through them when we are asleep (and the less we will snore). Breathing aids include “Breathe Right” strips, which athletes use to open their nostrils, as well as “Chin Up” strips, which support keeping our mouths closed. These aids can be worn both during the day and at night to promote optimal nose breathing.

Breathing through the nose while asleep aerates the brain and makes us feel better when we wake up. Breathing through our nose, while exercising keeps us from feeling exhausted by a workout.

Coaching Inquiries: Do you routinely breathe through your nose? How could you remember to practice more regularly? What’s keeping you from taking a few, deep breaths through your nose right now?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

Address: 121 Will Scarlet Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23185-5043
Phone: (757) 345-3452
Fax: (772) 382-3258
Skype: LifeTrek
Twitter: @LifeTrekBob
Subscribe/Unsubscribe: Subscriber Services