Jump to content
Cultural Healing and Life
Sign in to follow this  
JJ the Gardener

02 - Personal Energy - Energy and Stress Management - Breathing Part 1 - Understanding Breathing and Breathing Test

Recommended Posts


Personal Energy - Energy and Stress Management - Breathing Part 1

Understanding Breathing and Breathing Test



Medical Disclaimer



Understanding Breathing

Managing energy and stress through breathing is not a new practice.  This practice started in ancient times and is even used in the military today.  We also do it everyday without realizing it.  When our physical and mental activity change our breathing patterns do the same.  In the following we will discuss the types of practices that can increase energy or to reduce stress working towards relaxation and clarity.

The following techniques can assist greatly with our day to day energy and stress but I recommend using them in conjunction with other practices such as:

  • correct sleep patterns,
  • meditation,
  • nutrition,
  • a general positive and happy state of mind

These are keys that help unlock a healthy life controlling stress by enabling our bodies and mind to serve us well by working in tandem and in support of one other.  Think of each aspect as spokes on a wheel.  They all serve a purpose and are very important to the strength and longevity of the wheel!


Oxygen Advantage


When we think of breathing we think of oxygen but the regulator in breathing is not oxygen.  It is carbon dioxide that regulates our breathing reflex and it also plays an active role in how well our cells work.  We think of carbon dioxide (co2) as a waste gas but this is not necessarily the most accurate way to understand carbon dioxide.  We need to understand how it affects the process of breathing.

It is the level of carbon dioxide that triggers our breathing and this level can be adjusted.  As carbon dioxide increases in our bodies a message is sent from the brain to inhale.  Exercise and stress can increase carbon dioxide and thus increases our breathing rates.

  • In this manner, carbon dioxide is a regulating factor.

Generally our modern lifestyles works against us in breathing healthy and we tend to breath hard/faster.  However the key is to healthy breathing is to slow breath.  Our modern life has worked to set our brains to activate our breathing points on a lower level of carbon dioxide which reduces the functionality of our cells while at the same time not having an effect on oxygen in the red blood cells. 

  • We essentially bring in more oxygen than we need and by doing so we remove too much carbon dioxide that it unbalances our cells from functionally optimally and this can cause a domino effect of other negative issues.

It is interesting to note, when we hold our breath we think we reducing oxygen to our cells but in reality we are not making any real differences.  What is affected is our "breath hunger" and this is a behavior that can be trained and changed for better or worse.  This level of breath hunger can be altered by slow breathing and we will discuss this further in this compilation. 

  • For now, it is important to understand, that when we hold our breaths and feel the need to inhale, that is breath hunger and not a true indication of a lack of oxygen.



Mouth Breathing and Nasal Breathing

Mouth breathers are those who breathe through their mouths instead of their noses. Breathing through the mouth has negative health implications. There are those who breathe with their mouths only when they are asleep and those who do even when they are awake.

Those who wake up with dry mouth, they mouth breath during sleep.


Mouth breathing can be is as a result of either one of these:

  • Nasal obstruction: There is resistance to the smooth flow of air
  • It can also be habitual where you formed a habit of breathing through the mouth since you were a child
  • In the third trimester of pregnancy, mouth breathing is common. However if you are not a mouth breather this will stop.


Associated mouth breathing symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Snoring
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Dark circles beneath the eyes
  • Slow growth in children


If you typically breathe through your nose, you should be enjoying these benefits.

  • Less anxiety and stress
  • Healthier blood pressure levels
  • Increased endurance during physical activity
  • Improved lung function


Anatomical mouth breathing causes:

  • Obstructions: Nasal obstructions are a common cause of mouth breathing. These can be foreign bodies, a deviated septum, or large adenoids.
  • Facial deformities: Both lip incompetence and a cleft palette can force mouth breathing.


Infectious mouth breathing causes:

  • Viral: Both the common cold and sinus infections are examples of viral infections that can make it difficult to breathe through the nose. In these cases, mouth breathing is typically temporary and resolves after the infection is eliminated.


Medical mouth breathing causes:

  • Pregnancy: Women who have never snored can suddenly find themselves being woken up by angry partners when pregnant. Additional blood flowing through the body causes blood vessels to expand and nasal membranes to swell.
  • Sleeping disorders: Mouth breathing is a common first symptom in those diagnosed with sleep apnea. If a diagnosed patient wasn't always a mouth breather, CPAP treatment can usually revert the patient back to breathing through their nose.
  • Tumors: Though incredibly rare, the location of an undiscovered tumor can affect breathing. This shouldn't be the first cause of mouth breathing you consider but if all common causes have been ruled out, it should be explored.


If you need help diagnosing your condition, schedule an appointment sooner than later, especially if you're experiencing the following.

  • You're receiving complaints of sudden or loud snoring
  • You never feel rested, even after a full night's sleep
  • You're experiencing persistent bad breath or dental problems
  • Even if you've been a mouth breather your entire life, you should still take positive steps to reverse the condition.


The following mouth breathing treatment suggestions can help.

  • Practice: For some, mouth breathing is a habit. Breaking a habit takes consistent practice. Whenever possible, focus on breathing through your nose.
  • Elevate your head: This can especially help when pregnant or suffering from a sleeping disorder. Propping yourself up with an extra pillow can discourage mouth breathing.
  • Exercise regularly: Similar to elevating your head, exercising on a regular basis can improve breathing in those with sleep disorders.
  • Remove allergens: Even slight allergies can cause serious nasal inflammation. Focus on making your bedroom an allergy-free area. Keep pets out, purchase bedding made from safe materials, and keep windows closed.
  • Breathing aids: If congestion is behind your mouth breathing, a nasal strip can help to support nasal passages and encourage nose breathing.


What I've Learned

Tanveer Abbas


The normal anatomical function is to breathe through your nose. And there are good reasons why you should maintain this natural provision.

  • Breathing through the mouth reduces the oxygen absorption capacity of the lungs. As you breathe through the nose, nitric oxide gas is produced by mucus in small levels. This gas increases the lung’s oxygen absorption capacity. Prolonged oxygen inadequacy has detrimental long term effects to your overall health.
  • Air breathed through the nose is cleansed of harmful microbes and other impurities. As the air travels through the hose, they are filtered in the mucus lining of nose. This mucus lining also moisturizes and warms the air.
  • Breathing through the mouth is detrimental to your oral health. It dries out gums and promotes acidity increasing the risk of cavities and plague. It also increases the risk of gum disease.
  • Research has proven that mouth breathing at night worsens snoring.
  • As absurd as this may sound, breathing through the mouth can lead to facial deformation. This mostly happens in children.


Buteyko Clinic International


How to stop mouth breathing in five easy steps.

Sarah Hornsby


The Breath Test

A measurement of how long we can hold our breath can be indicative of our overall health.  Since we are all different we will discuss the breath test which will allow us to uniquely understand our personal breathing as it relates uniquely to us.  The following tests will assist in determining what our breathing illustrates about us and will give us a starting point in seeing how our breathing affects us uniquely.


Oxygen Advantage


Breath Test, Sitting Instructions

  • Mouth is always closed.
  • Step 1 Sit down in an upright position, with your back straight, and relax for a couple of minutes. Take a small breath in and a small breath out, in a calm way through your nose (approx. 2-3 seconds on inhalation and approx. 2-3 seconds on exhalation.)
  • Step 2 Pinch your nose after the exhalation is finished and hold your breath and start the timer.
  • Step 3 When you feel the first urge to breathe, let go of your nose, stop the timer and breathe in and out calmly through your nose, in the same way as in step 1.


Chad Moreau

Breath Test, walking instructions

  • Mouth is always closed.
  • Step 1 Sit down in an upright position, with your back straight, and relax for a few minutes.
  • Step 2 Stand up and take a small breath in and a small breath out in a calm way through your nose (approx. 2-3 seconds on inhalation and approx. 2-3 seconds on exhalation).
  • Step 3 Pinch your nose after the exhalation is finished and hold your breath and start walking while counting the number of steps you take.
  • Step 4 When you are not able to hold your breath any longer, let go of your nose, inhale and exhale calmly through your nose and note how many steps you took. Try to wind down by breathing calmly as soon as possible.


Mim Beim


Interpretation of Breath Test

Health status Hold breath                                          sitting Hold              breath walking

No symptoms, optimum health                                                         60 seconds                     120+ steps

Very good health, most symptoms are completely gone              40 seconds                     80-100 steps

Good health, symptoms present when exposed to a trigger        30 seconds                     60-80 steps

Symptoms are often present                                                              20 seconds                    40-60 steps

Many different symptoms always present                                       10 seconds                    20-40 steps

Medications, diseases, very heavy breathing                                   3-5 seconds                  10-20 steps



Understanding Breathing and Breathing Test Summary

By understanding breathing and how carbon dioxide and oxygen affect our bodies we can begin to institute various breathing exercises and even the retraining of our breathing for optimal oxygen absorption for our cells giving our bodies the opportunity for optimum health.

By understanding how we uniquely rate in the breathing test we can establish a personal base point so that we can understand our personal starting points and chart our growth.  In addition the breathing test is a generic test of overall health and thus this measurement holds a larger significance.

In the next compilation we will discuss various breathing techniques and breathing retraining.  The good stuff!






~A Cultural Healing and Life Compilation.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Breathing threw my nose , I would never have thought such a simple thing would have such a positive affect on me , it is very calming . This should be taught to us from a young age , at least I know better now 

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...