You can experience the difference nasal breathing makes at home with a simple and fun exercise.
What is the Breathing Triangle?
The Breathing Triangle, developed by Dr. Kandula, represents our airway, that is, the 3 holes in our head. 2 nostrils and one mouth. If any one of those holes is closed or compromised, we are suffering. If all 3 are closed, we die. By design, humans are nose breathers. However, there is an epidemic of mouth breathing, which is contributing to a variety of poor health consequences, ranging from dental malocclusion, behavioral problems and mental disorders to sleep disordered breathing, obstructive sleep apnea, and heart disease. Mouth breathing can be the root of the problem in allergy and stuffy nose.
What can you do? Shut your mouth and save your life! In other words, nose open, mouth shut (and I like to add, bugs out).
But what if I have nasal obstruction and can’t breathe through my nose? Many people suffer from nasal obstruction related to their anatomy or allergies and inflammation, or a combination of both.
The Breathing Triangle Challenge is the following:
Perform and exercise with tape over your mouth (ie- jumping jacks, jumping rope, jogging in place. If you are otherwise healthy- this activity should not pose struggle. This activity can help in 2 ways- it will provide you feedback about nasal obstruction. If you have any restriction in your nose breathing due to anatomy, allergies, inflammation, polyps, a cold- this activity will feel more difficult. It’s likely that you ordinarily mouth breathe at times or frequently to adjust for your compromise. This activity can also train you to nose breathe, reduce mouth breathing, and increase respiratory efficiency. By restricting yourself to nasal breathing while exercising you can even improve sport performance.
Second, perform an exercise while mouth breathing only. Close your nose with a closepin and perform an exercise. What happens here? Mouth dries out, allergies and irritants go direct to lungs (bypassing the filters and humidifiers of the nose, and breathing efficiency reduces. Have you been mouth breathing while exercising? I’m reminded quickly of my mouth breathing on bike rides or runs when bugs inevitably find their way to my mouth. Endurance athletes who suffer nasal obstruction have additional challenges trying to fuel and hydrate. Your nose is clogged and you can’t breathe well, meanwhile, trying to exercise and take in water and nutrition during your endurance event.
Try the breathing triangle challenge, and stay tuned to learn more about the essentials of nose breathing and how we at ADVENT can help.