Which Of The Following Blocks The Smooth Flow Of Traffic 7 Keys to Good Health by Good Breathing

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7 Keys to Good Health by Good Breathing

A very common slogan among asthmatics is “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters”, alluding to the despair of one who cannot breathe life-giving air. Is the air that gives life the whole story of breathing? This article takes common breathing tips and gives reasons for their effectiveness. It goes further and provides essential elements in the breathing technique for better health.

Breathing is perhaps one of the most centrally integrated autonomic behaviors that goes far beyond simply filling the lungs. Garcia AJ writes in 2011:

“Breathing occurs through complex network interactions involving neurons distributed throughout the nervous system. The respiratory rhythm generation network consists of micronetworks that function within larger networks to generate the various rhythms and patterns that characterize breathing.”

The results of Garcia’s study can best be observed when a person is affected by strong emotions such as fear and anger.

The main advice for breathing is to override autonomic control and consciously inhale deeply through the nose and slowly exhale through the mouth with pursed lips.

Dr. Carla Naumburg of the ‘Ready, Set, Breathe’ series suggests that breathing exercises bring mindfulness into everyday life. By remembering to breathe, space is created to restore peace and reduce blood pressure and stress hormones, thereby creating the possibility of controlling the situation.

Professor Konstantin Buteyko (Russia 1923-2003) is credited with the technique, which is characterized by slow and reduced breathing combined with spaced breathless pauses that allow carbon dioxide to build up to the point of bursting.

Breathing is an important component of practicing yoga. Yoga breathing techniques are usually accompanied by various poses or some form of meditation. Therefore, it is difficult to separate and attribute the result to breathing, poses or meditation.

Pandit JJ, 2003 tested 3 breathing techniques for optimal oxygen intake, as follows:

1. Three (3) minutes of tidal breathing

2. Four (4) deep breaths within 30 seconds

3. Eight (8) deep breaths within 60 seconds

Oxygen uptake was the same for items 1 and 3 and greater efficiency than item 2. His work illustrates that breathing technique is important.

Enter nitric oxide (NO), a colorless gas with a half-life of only a few seconds. In 1994, Science magazine named nitric oxide (NO) “Molecule of the Year”.

In 1998, the Karolinska Institute awarded the Nobel Prize to American pharmacologists Robert F. Furchgott, PhD, Ferid Murad, MD, PhD, and Louis J. Ignarro, PhD, for their discoveries of the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.

NO relaxes the smooth muscles in the arteries providing a larger area for blood to flow, thereby lowering blood pressure and bringing more nutrients to where they are needed. The importance of NO in human bodily functions cannot be overstated. Although 1000 research papers have been written, worldwide research continues. NO is involved in heart health, lower blood pressure, better sleep quality, and even erectile dysfunction.

NO is produced in the sinuses, the largest of which are the maxillary sinuses on both sides of the nose. They are closed chambers except for a small opening in the soft tissue called the ossicle that opens the olfactory airways.

There is no right or wrong way to breathe – autonomic brain function makes sure you get enough oxygen into your system. However, there are ways to breathe to get maximum NO into your system. Here are 7 tips to help you get this amazing gas into your bloodstream.

1. BREATHE QUICKLY THROUGH THE NOSE.

Nose hair and narrowed nasal passages ensure negative pressure in the airways. This partial vacuum causes the sinuses to deliver a small amount of NO air into your inhaled breath. The harder you inhale, the more NO your sinuses will deliver.

2. BLOCK ONE NOSTRIL AND BREATHE.

By plugging one nostril and then the other, you will increase the partial vacuum to cause NO air to be injected into your inhaled breath.

3. CLOSE BOTH NOSTRILS AND TRY TO BREATHE.

Close both nostrils and try to inhale. This creates the greatest amount of vacuum in your respiratory system allowing air with NO to be drawn from the sinuses. Of course, you can only do this for a short time before you resume breathing normally.

4. EXHALE SLOWLY THROUGH THE MOUTH.

NO takes time to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Accordingly, it is good to hold your breath for as long as is convenient for you. Alternatively, exhale slowly to give your lungs time to absorb the NO.

5. SING OR SING

In 2003, Lundberg et al showed that humming increases exhaled NO by 700%. Other researchers have found an even greater increase in exhaled NO during humming. The problem is that it’s hard to breathe while you’re humming. Therefore, the suggested sequence is to hum for 3 seconds and then immediately inhale.

6. PRETEND TO SNORE

To overcome the problem of humming and inhaling at the same time, it is suggested to pretend to snore, making a sound as if you are snoring. The frequencies of the snoring sound are in the range of natural frequencies of the maxillary sinuses from approximately 110 to 350 Hz. Allowing the maxillary sinuses to resonate will pulsate NO-rich air into the inspiratory volume. Since snoring is an inhaling maneuver, NO will reach the lungs in greater quantity.

7. VALSALVA MANEUVER

During the landing procedure in an airplane, headaches are often avoided by applying the Valsalva maneuver. This maneuver involves closing both nostrils while trying to exhale until the eardrums ‘pop’. This has the effect of pressurizing the sinuses, which release pressure upon subsequent inhalation and inject NO-rich air into the olfactory airways.

FAQ

A. NO in the sinuses is a limited resource and can be depleted. How can it be supplemented? Eat lots of nitrate rich foods eg beets, fenugreek, etc. and give your body time to convert nitrates to NO.

B. Why not inhale NO gas as is done for babies with pulmonary hypertension? The dosage of NO in the medical setting is carefully controlled. Exposure of animals to NO caused drowsiness, unconsciousness and death.

C. Why not sit in a high-traffic area and breathe in the NO produced by cars? Exhaust gases from motor vehicles contain NO. However, exhaust gases are a toxic cocktail of other gases such as carbon monoxide. The risk of poisoning far outweighs any potential benefits.

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