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Your Nose: The Most Underused Organ in Your Body
Your mouth was designed for eating, not breathing.
Likewise, your nose and sinuses were designed to optimize breathing in ways that may surprise you.
Your upper airways are designed to “pretreat” the air you breathe as it enters your body.

When you breathe through your mouth, many of the things that are supposed to happen don’t, because the air bypasses this part of your respiratory system before it enters your lungs. When you take in air through your nose, the following beneficial processes occur:

Air is warmed and humidified before it hits your lungs.

The cilia, or tiny hairs, lining your nose trap pathogens, dust, and other foreign particles, acting as a pre-filter before the air reaches your lungs.

Nerves in your nasal passages (which connect to your hypothalamus) sense everything about your breathing and use that information to regulate it.

Nitric oxide (NO) is made by your nose and sinus mucous membranes, so when you breathe through your nose, you carry a small amount of this gas into your lungs.

NO is a potent bronchodilator and vasodilator, so it helps lower your blood pressure and significantly increases your lungs’ oxygen-absorbing capacity.

NO also kills bacteria, viruses and other germs, so nose breathing helps keeps you from getting sick.

When you breathe through your mouth, NONE of these functions can take place.
Mouth breathing is analogous to expecting your body to make use of food by bypassing your stomach – it would be missing some critical steps in the digestive process, and the end result would not be good.

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meekandmild's picture

unless your a politician because...

it always in somebodies A.

fireant's picture

In my experience, it seems the brain is the most underused organ

Sorry BT...couldn't resist. Informative post.

Undo what Wilson did

The brain is a gland...

more accurately described as a gland as it processes hormones.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Highly recommend using this

Highly recommend using this product to help keep the sinuses clear. It's been much better for me than a nettipot.

The five senses

The say if one were to lose any of the five senses loss of smell has the highest suicide rate?


I have breathed through my mouth my entire life... Doctors tell me I should have surgery due to a deviated septum.... I always shrugged it off but mabes I should listen

proverbs 20:15
There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

I remember hearing in...

some of the buteyko videos that surgery often only helps temporarily if at all. The theory goes that if someone mouth breathes they evacuate too much CO2 from the bottom of the lungs. This CO2 reserve is necessary for a number of processes in the body, one being the transfer of oxygen from the blood hemaglobin to the tissues. So, when we breathe through our mouth, the body compensates and tries to conserve CO2 by narrowing the nasal passages via mucous, nose polyps, narrowing of the airways, etc. When people learn buteyko breathing and begin to breathe gently through their nose 24/7 (reseting their breathing patterns), the airways begin to open up. From what I have read and heard, people have learned to do this even with a deviated septum, or even those who have damaged their nose in the past.

Brian Firth discusses his own history (@ 21:40) in the presentation below:

thanks for sharing!

I forgot to mention that I have broken my nose and ruptured my sinus cavity in the past... Still this is worth a shot! I appreciate the video.


proverbs 20:15
There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

If your mouth isn't for breathing, per se,

then why do we primarily use our mouth to take in air when yawning?

Just a question from a non-MD.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

I don't have a full answer on why we yawn...

,but when people practice buteyko breathing and they increase their tolerance of CO2 and oxygenate their tissues, they begin to yawn less.

Also, in some instances hyperventilation is necessary. NO and CO2 are vasodilators and help thin the blood. When you get a serious cut, it's natural to hyperventilate a bit which reduces the levels of those substances in the tissues. The effect is that your blood clots over the wound more easily.

Because Mercola is full of crap and a snake oil salesman

The product he is selling in this article is the Buteyko method.

Mercola's MO is to take a few interesting and true facts about medicine and combine them with quackery and sell them to gullible layman. It has made him millions.

I've been more conscious of this NO machine since I saw this and

I'm finding that nose breathing does make a difference with recovery after physical exertion.

lots of good details, thanks

"All of these physiological improvements are like putting your circulatory system on steroids – without the steroids!"

Not to be a snout snob, but this makes me snigger...

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

The article is well worth

the time it takes to read it.

Here are some more videos and links on the Buteyko Method mentioned in the article.

The Buteyko Breathing Method & Tissue Oxygenation

Re nose breathing & children,

I love the story of Glasgow's asthma-free schools thanks to Dr. Jill McGowan persevering to have students learn the importance of, for one, breathing through the nose - not that decreased need for inhalers was the only positive effect. Google "buteyko asthma free schools."

It's unfortunate that something similar isn't pursued in America, especially in schools in black neighborhoods; compared to white children, black children are significantly more likely to suffer, and die, from asthma. Here's a no-medicine/no-cost proven help that goes un-utilized because... Why?

BUTEYKO UK: Dr Jill McGowan - Asthma Free Schools

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I'm still taping...

my mouth when I go to sleep at night. It's been about seven weeks. In the past, I pretty much have always breathed through my nose during the day, but at night I've always breathed through my mouth. While I haven't officially started a full buteyko program, I do try to be conscious of breathing less, more slowly and calmly with the diaphram/abdomen, without taking deep breaths. If I do take a deep breath, such as when I yawn, I release it slowly so co2 builds up. I'll probably buy a Frolov breathing device next week and begin to incorporate some of the buteyko lifestyle facters. Then I'll transition to doing more of the buteyko breathing exercises later once my morning CP has plateaued.

I've also been oil pulling for about five weeks. One thing I can say is that I think a combination of the two has helped my teeth. It's always better for the teeth if the mouth stays moist at night when shut. The oil pulling has definitely firmed up my teeth so I can chew on harder things (like turkey bone joints) than I normally do. Oil pulling is also supposed to help clear the sinuses. I plan on getting a tongue scraper next week to enhance the process.

Lately, my focus has been on researching inexpensive habits that almost anyone can include in their daily routines. I believe these can have a powerful effect on one's health. They just take time, patience, and maybe an initial investment to purchase the required materials.

I've watched many videos

but it seemed to me as if the "full buteyko program" is something they don't divulge publicly - meaning you're more or less forced to attend one of the conferences to learn all the exercises. I got the gist that KEY is nose breathing - and I've been conscious of that now for weeks, not that I've dealt with the issue of nighttime nose breathing. I also do need to be more aware insofar as getting Co2 to build up. Anyway, in terms of exercises to do to, I didn't find much. (On videos of the classes, it seemed to be a rather intense regimen of breathing exercises that participants would practice in between the daily meeting times. What it was they were practicing, though, they didn't say.) Also, what did you mean by "CP" - "...once my morning CP has plateaued." Well, I think it's great that you've been so diligent about this. As to "oil pulling," I guess that's something in your new section re dentistry, which I haven't gone over yet. That's pretty amazing that you notice a difference. Thanks. I need to check it out.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

"CP" stands for.... *Edit*

"Control Pause". It is the exercise Dr. Buteyko devised to give an idea of the level of tissue oxygenation. You can have 96 or 98% arterial oxygenation, but if you don't have enough CO2 the hemaglobin will not release oxygen to the tissues because the O2 is bound tightly to it.

Buteyko relates CP to physiological symptoms and different levels of health. As you practice buteyko breathing exercises, the CP gives an objective measurement of your progress. The morning CP is taken in the morning right when you wake up and tells you how well your automatic breathing patterns were at oxygenating your tissues during the night. It typically will be much less than a CP taken during the day, though I think they also take if before and after a breathing session to measure progress.

Buteyko practitioners don't give you a lot of breathing exercises online because they believe it should be learned from a qualified teacher, especially if you have a severe health challenge. There are some exercises that are not appropriate and may even aggravate certain conditions and may only be introduced once one's morning CP is consistently higher (25 or 30 seconds).

The main exercises are the following:
- Exercise to unblock the nose
- Reduced breathing exercise (typically 95% of a normal shallow breath (not deep breath)) --- (this is one of the main exercises)
- Short breath holds (about 5 second duration) with a break in between. These breath holds are on exhilation not inhilation, like the beginning of a CP but you're only doing it for 5 seconds.
- There are other exercises but I don't remember what they are. Some are techniques to help you with different health situations that come up.

I plan to follow Artour Rakhimov's instructions to more rapidly increase one's CP initially by using the Frolov breathing device (or BreathSlim prototype in USA). He incorporates some buteyko exercises and lifestyle factors along with the Frolov device initially with his students. I think once your morning CP gets to around 30 seconds, you are able to benefit more from doing some of the main buteyko exercises such as "Reduced breathing" and "Small breath holds". When I say "plateau", I'm referring to when my weekly CP increases start to slow down by primarily using the Frolov device. That's when I'll start incorporating Buteyko exercises more.

Arturo has many of the basic buteyko exercises on his site in "Modules" but I plan to buy Patrick McKeown's book and DVD instruction later as well. Who knows, I may take a 5 session class at some point if things go well.

Thanks for the reminder of

those other exercises. And right, Control Pause. I'm afraid mine wasn't too good. And yes, Artour Rakhimov from Russia. I forgot about him. I need to go back and listen to those videos again. I've just been focused on (and telling everyone) about breathing through the nose. But it's really more than that. I was glad to see this post - a nice ad for your own. :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Artour isn't mentioned...

in the OP other than one video reviewing the Breathslim device ... and of course a couple links I included in a discussion we had about Frolov in the comments. I wanted to try out his approach before posting too much about it in the OP.

Just looking at his site, I think his page formatting is off. Everything is pushed to the right on my screen with a blank spot in the middle. He must have messed it up while updating.

On a side note, I think mouth taping at night might be difficult (or not advisable) by itself for some people unless they are doing the breathing exercises along with it during the day... especially for those with sleep apnea. Just my own observation.

From the videos you had posted

I ended up going from one to another of those listed on the side (You-tube's recommendations of related videos). Really, I listened to dozens. I guess that's how I came to hear so many of Artour's. I liked the way he described things. I don't seem to have that same issue with the page formatting:

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I meant some pages on

his website didn't display properly.

The main page on his website below is messed up on my screen.

Here is the page with the learning modules which seems to be displaying properly. I haven't compared it to other buteyko materials so I can't say which is better.

I went through many of his videos as well. He seems to be very knowlegable.

I s'pose

the nose knows