After suffering from cold and congestion for months, my five year old had forgotten to breath through the nose. I'm against the use of nasal sprays and decongestants to alleviate the symptoms and so my little girl had developed the habit of breathing through her mouth and continued to do so even when her cold symptoms subsided. In my search for breathing right, I came across a lot of information but the technique that I'm going to describe here seems to have worked for both my daughter and me.
Nasal breathing is important for health. Our nose warms the inhaled air far more effectively than drawing it in through the mouth. Air is filtered to prevent pollen. dust and bacteria from entering the lungs. On any one day, a person may inhale from 10,000 to 20,000 liters of air laden with foreign particles. Whereas the nose can remove these deposited particles within fifteen minutes, it takes 60-120 days for them to be removed from the small air sacs (alveolus) within the lungs. Also lungs require a warm moist environment and therefore it is imperative that the air drawn into the lungs meets this condition. The nose humidifies inhaled air by increasing moisture content.
How to Unblock the Nose:
- Sit upright on a straight-backed chair.
- Take a small breath (2 seconds) in through the nose, if possible, and a small breath out (3 seconds). If you are unable to take a breath in through your nose due to congestion, take a tiny breath in through the corner of your mouth.
- Pinch your nose and hold your breath. Keep your mouth closed.
- Gently nod your head or sway your body until you feel that you cannot hold your breath any longer. (Hold your nose until you feel a relatively strong need for air.)
- When you need to breath in, let go of your nose and breathe gently through it, in and out, with your mouth closed. Avoid taking a deep breath when you breathe in, and calm your breathing as soon as possible by focusing on relaxation. Repeat to yourself, "relax and breathe less".
- Continue to do this exercise until you can breathe through your nose fully. If your nose does not become totally unblocked, wait about two minutes and repeat this exercise again. Initially you may need to do this a number of times before your nose is completely unblocked.
After doing this exercise a few times your nose will be unblocked. If you continue to overbreathe, or take a deep breath, you will lose the additional carbon dioxide and your nose will become blocked again. Perform this exercise each time that your nose becomes blocked. Even if you have a cold, make sure to breathe through the nose. You may think you can't clear your nose when you have a heavy cold, but trust me, you can.
It takes just a few days for a habitual mouth breather to change breathing to permanent nose breathing and after the change to nasal breathing has been made, it will become uncomfortable to breathe through the mouth. A few simple steps and you can bid goodbye to uncomfortable, blocked noses which is frequently addressed (usually unsuccessfully) by the use of nasal sprays, decongestants or even an operation.