We all know the importance of breathing, but do you know that how we breathe can have a major impact on our health? Are you looking for useful things you can do to help yourself in the current situation? Our leaders are giving us much good advice and, in my opinion, there is more we can do to help ourselves.
In the 6 Steps to Improve the Wellbeing of your Airways, I mentioned the role of Nitric Oxide (NO). I now want to dig a little deeper, with the help of an invaluable post and video from Patrick McKeown, of the Buteyko Clinic, entitled Is Nasal Breathing Your First Line of Defense Against Coronavirus? This is a most important 30-minute read and video.
The gas NO is excreted contiguously into the nasal airways of humans. This means, in simple terms, that as we breathe in through our nose the air is mixed with NO and the higher the proportion of NO the better. Most research has been around how NO is beneficial to your airways, lungs and heart. And the immunology community has also done much on Nitric Oxide and Virus Infection. Of course, we don’t know the specific effect on Covid-19, but at worst it will help airflow into your lungs and maybe even neutralize a few of these pesky viruses.
So let’s explain what you can do, right now:
- Learn to keep your mouth shut when not talking or eating. When you are talking slow down and leave short gaps where you can nose breath. The extra benefit is that it also gives the audience time to process what you have said.
- Breath in and out gently through your nose. If this is difficult, just be kind to yourself and take it gently, it needs practice and like me, you may have been a mouth breather for decades.
- You can increase your Nitric Oxide generation by humming whilst you are nose breathing and creating gaps after your out-breath. There are yoga practices that include humming and chanting when you will notice movement in your nasal cavity.
- As you nose breath, let the air pass right down into your belly, which you will find moves your diaphragm, massages your internal organs and is more relaxing.
- If you are unfortunate enough to be in a Covid-19 environment, gentle nose breathing will reduce unfiltered breaths that may attract a high viral load, which is known to increase dangerous symptoms.
- Do share this information with others.
Do go to Patrick Mckowen’s Buyeto web-site where you will find much more detailed information with research references, about all aspects of this.
Olive Hickmott is a Health and Learning Coach from the UK, who would be delighted to hear your questions and comments. You can mail her: firstname.lastname@example.org.