Good Breathing A common slogan among asthma sufferers is”When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters”, alluding to the desperateness of one who can’t inhale the life-giving air. Is life-giving air the entire story on breathing? This report takes common breathing guidance and provides reasons for its efficacy. It goes further and provides essential elements in breathing technique for superior health. Breathing is perhaps among the most centrally integrated autonomous behaviors that reach well beyond a simple filling of the lungs. “Breathing emerges through complex network connections between neurons distributed throughout the nervous system. The respiratory rhythm generating network is made up of micro networks working within larger networks to generate different rhythms and patterns that characterize breathing.” The outworking of Garcia’s study can be observed when a person is affected by strong emotions like fear & anger. Mainstream suggestions for breathing is to reevaluate the autonomous control and consciously inhale deeply through the nose and exhale through the mouth slowly with pursed lips. By remembering to breathe, a space is created to restore calm and reduce blood pressure and stress hormones so creating opportunity of situation control. Professor Konstantin Buteyko (Russia 1923-2003) is credited for a method characterised by slow and decreased breathing combined with spaced pauses of no breathing permitting Carbon Dioxide to build up to bursting point. Breathing is a relevant part of the practice of Yoga. Yoga breathing techniques typically accompany either different poses or some form of meditation. Thus it is hard to separate and ascribe the result to the breathing, poses or the meditation. Pandit JJ, in 2003 tested 3 breathing techniques for optimal Oxygen uptake, as follows: Three (3) minutes of tidal breathing Four (4) deep breaths taken within 30 seconds 3. The Oxygen uptake was the same for Things 1. & 3 and a higher efficacy than for Item 2. His work illustrates that breathing technique is important. In 1998 the Karolinska Institute awarded the Nobel prize to US 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 being a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system. NO relaxes the smooth muscle in arteries supplying a larger flow area for blood, thus reducing blood pressure and deliver more nutrients to where they are needed. The importance of NO in the human bodily functions cannot be overstated. Although 1000’s of research papers have been written, World research goes on. NO is implicated in heart health, lower blood pressure, better quality of sleep as well as erectile dysfunction. NO is produced in the sinuses, the largest being the maxillary sinuses both sides of the nose. They’re closed chambers except for a small soft-tissue opening known as the ossium that’s open the olfactory airways. There’s no right or wrong way to breathe – the autonomous brain work sees to it that you get sufficient oxygen into your system. However, there are ways to breathe to get maximum NO in your system. Here are 7 pointers to help get this amazing gas in your bloodstream. BREATHE IN FAST THROUGH YOUR NOSE. Nose hair and constricted nose ducting ensure there is a negative pressure in the airways. This partial vacuum causes the sinuses to deliver a small amount of NO-laden air into your inhaled breath. The harder you breathe at the longer NO the sinuses will deliver. BLOCK ONE NOSTRIL AND BREATHE IN. Blocking one nostril and consequently the other nostril increases the partial vacuum to cause NO-laden air to be injected into your inhaled breath. 3. Close both nostrils and try to inhale. This creates the best quantity of vacuum in your respiratory system allowing NO-laden air to be sucked in the sinuses. Of course you can just do this for a short time before resuming normal breathing. BREATHE OUT SLOWLY THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. NO needs time to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Accordingly it is good to hold your breath for as long as it’s convenient. Alternatively exhale slowly to allow the lungs time to consume the NO. HUM OR SING Lundberg et al showed in 2003 that humming increases exhaled NO by 700%. Other researcher found an even greater increase in exhaled NO during humming. Problem is that it’s difficult to inhale while stirring. Thus the sequence suggested is to hum for 3 seconds then immediately inhale. . PRETEND TO SNORE To overcome the problem of simultaneously humming and inhaling, it is advised to pretend to snore, which makes the sound like you were snoring. The snoring sound frequencies are in the array of the maxillary sinuses natural frequencies approximately 110 to 350 Hz. Allowing the maxillary sinuses to resonate will pulse NO-laden air to the inhaled breath volume. Since snoring is an inhaling manoeuvre the NO will reach the lungs in greater volume. VALSALVA MANOEUVRE During a descent procedure in an aeroplane headaches are often avoided using the Valsalva manoeuvre. This manoeuvre involves closing both nostrils while trying to exhale until the ear drums’pop’. This has the effect of pressurizing the uterus which upon following inhalation release the pressure and inject NO-laden air into the olfactory airways. FAQ’s A. NO in the sinuses is a finite resource and can be depleted. Eat loads of food rich in Nitrates eg Beetroot, Fenugreek, etc and give your body time to convert the Nitrates into NO. B. Why not breathe in NO gas like they do for infants with pulmonary hypertension? The dose of NO in a medical setting is carefully controlled. Exposure of animals to NO has caused nausea, unconsciousness and death. C. Why don’t you sit in a high traffic area and breathe at the NO produced by automobiles? Motor vehicle exhaust gases do contain NO. But, exhaust gases are a poisonous cocktail of other gases such as Carbon Monoxide. The danger of poisoning far outweighs any benefits to be gained. After about 5 years of buying women’s wear from China, India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Indonesia we found a need to ensure supply is according to the following: • No child labour • No Azo dyes that cause cancer • No harsh processing chemicals that hurt the environment. • Fabric from renewable sources • Natural fire retardant fabric We went a little farther, and asked ourselves the question: What can we add to our range of clothing that enhances wellness in the wearer? We came up with some surprising answers.