Science is now showing that lungs have contributions to the body’s immune system as well as blood clotting platelet production. In the past, science showed that the bone marrow was responsible for this, but new studies are showing that is not the case. Lungs are also a significant contributor to platelet cell production and help complete production of other blood cells related to the immune system in the bone marrow.
Lungs are a part of our respiratory system allowing us to breathe in the air and obtain oxygen to keep our bodies functioning normally. Armed with the above new information, and knowing we all need to breathe, let’s discuss why nose breathing is so important and how it can help you.
Our lungs primary responsibility is to convert carbon dioxide, CO2, into oxygen, which helps our bodies to function normally, right down to the cellular level. We all maintain a certain range of CO2 in our bodies that we are able to tolerate. What makes our bodies exhale and inhale is a build-up of CO2 in the body that needs to be expelled. The alveoli, responsible for gas exchange inside the lungs also contain macrophages that, like the immune system, help remove foreign bodies from the lungs.
Breathing exercises have been used over the years to help soothe a variety of ailments such as asthma attacks, anxiety, shortness of breath, meditation, stress reduction, relaxation techniques, panic attacks, as well as during exercises to increase endurance and slow heart rates.
Nose breathing has proven benefits in numerous studies as well as being recommended by a variety of health professionals over the years. The following list will speak of the benefits for you and your health related to nose breathing.
- The lungs in their entirety are used thereby pushing more oxygen throughout all of the lungs instead of just the upper areas, which happen with mouth breathing.
- The lower areas of the lungs are considered “gravity-fed” and have more blood supply. Nose breathing allows the lungs to expel more CO2 than just with mouth breathing.
- Since nose breathing utilizes all fields of the lungs, this type of breathing also allows the lower parts of the lungs to stimulate and exercise the diaphragm which helps increase the amount of air inhaled and exhaled.
- When deep breathing via nose breathing is done correctly, the diaphragm stimulates and exercises the stomach, which can decrease heartburn episodes and prevent hiatal hernias from occurring.
- Nose breathing allows for broader and more effective breathing patterns, which in turn uses all 12 bones of the rib cage. Instead of the ribs confining the heart and lungs, the better expansion allows the ribs to stimulate and exercise the heart and lungs.
Effective nose breathing increases the flexibility of the spine, head, neck and lower back region. This will prevent less strain and injury on the spinal cord itself.
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Nitric oxide production is increased with nose breathing. This is beneficial to the body by way of improving blood flow, expanding blood vessels and better protection for the organs from damage.
- Nose breathing is better for biofeedback exercises, which are geared toward lowering breathing and heart rates.
- Nose breathing promotes increased alpha wave production in the brain that is produced during relaxation or meditative states.
- Nose breathing requires less effort from the body than mouth breathing does.
- After any physical exertion, nose breathing is proven effective in faster recovery times.
- Nose breathing is measurable in the galvanic skin response, indicating it’s less stressful for the person.
- Nose breathing allows the body to stay in a neutral state instead of activating the flight-or-fight response that mouth breathing causes.
Breathing affects not only the body and lungs but also the heart. Effective breathing promotes better circulation, improved vein and artery function, less stress on the body and better health.
Foot zone therapy is a great way to help activate your respiratory system. Upon completion of a full foot zone, your foot zone practitioner can do a foot zone tune-up on the respiratory system as often as needed up to two weeks. The acupressure points for the respiratory system include the following:
- Medulla oblongata, which detects carbon dioxide levels
- Nasal bone and concha nasal to warm and humidify the air before passing into the lungs
- Glossopharyngeal nerve, which senses carbon dioxide levels
- Vagus nerve unfolds the larynx during inhalation, and constrict bronchi when needed
- The respiratory canal which includes the pharynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs
- Diaphragm muscle for contraction and expansion of the lungs
- Intercostal muscles for forced inhalation
Some of the above signals are advanced and newly discovered. Wellness Life Zone and Foot Zone Academy has well-trained foot zone practitioners who know the advanced foot zone technique. To find one of our practitioners near you, or for more information visit our directory at Wellnesslifezone.com.