Patrick McKeown, author of the best selling book The Oxygen Advantage shares a very quick and effective technique to unblock your nose. How quick? It takes less than two minutes!
- Block one nostril and breathe through your nose. Then block the other nostril and breathe through your nose.
- Small breath in through your nose and small breath out through your nose.
- Pinch your nose and hold your breath.
- Sway your head side to side while holding your breath.
- When it gets tough, let go of your nose take a breath but only breathe through your nose.
- Wait a minute and repeat.
McKeown stresses to not try this technique if:
- You are pregnant
- Have high blood pressure or have any serious health issues
Full technique – see video here:
Nose breathing is a more effective way to breathe. Chris Grotefend highlights six reasons to focus on nose breathing versus mouth breathing.
- Hydration– When we take in oxygen through the nose, our nasal passages add humidity to the air we breathe, optimizing the way our lungs work.
- Filtration– Inhaling through the nose utilizes the hairs in the nose to filter the air before it reaches the lungs, keeping the bad stuff out.
- Circulation -The circular nature of the way our nose is built creates a spiraling effect as air enters the lungs, optimizing the amount of surface area the oxygen reaches in the base of the lungs.
- Thermo-regulation– By the time the air reaches the lungs it has been warmed, further optimizing the oxygen extraction abilities of the lungs.
- Nerve stimulation– When air passes by the olfactory nerve in the nose it enhances memory and nourishes our brain.
- Parasympathetic tone– The physical effect of deep diaphragmatic nasal breathing tickles the vagus nerve in the base of the lungs, creating a calming effect throughout our nervous system. This is the reason that the exhale of the breath utilizing the abdominal muscles is so important.
Lorne’s Take – As a former mouth breather, I am a huge fan of Patrick McKeown and The Oxygen Advantage. Local fitness guru Alex Nurse introduced me to the Buteyko Breathing techniques recommended in this book and I haven’t turned back.