Breathing is one of the most vital functions of the human body. Every breath we take can have a positive or negative impact on our bodies depending on how it is performed; and it has been well established that normal breathing should be achieved through the nose. However, it may be detoured to the oral cavity in the presence of an airway obstruction.
During normal breathing, the abdomen gently expands and contracts with each inhalation and exhalation. There is no effort involved, the breath is silent, regular, and most importantly, through the nose. Abnormal breathing or mouth breathing on the other hand; is often faster than normal, audible, punctuated by sighs, and involves visible movements of the upper chest. This type of breathing is normally only seen when a person is under stress, but for those who habitually breathe through their mouths, the negative side effects of stress and over-breathing become chronic. Habitual mouth breathing has serious implications on an individual’s lifelong health, including the development of the facial structures. This article explores the benefits of nasal breathing over mouth breathing, and provides a self-help exercise to help decongest the nose.
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