Nowadays there seems to a lot of confusion and misinformation around nose breathing versus mouth breathing.
Let me explain what I have experienced in my body over the past 46 years of being aware of my breath since an injury affected my diaphragm aged 5.
Firstly, both nose and mouth breathing work… both do amazing things… and both do subtly different things…
I’ve heard a lot of people, often after reading the Oxygen Advantage, say that the mouth is for eating and the nose for breathing – as if mouth breathing is wrong and causes over-breathing. Yes, it is easier to over breathe through the mouth, however, it is also possible to over breathe through the nose.
Breathing through the mouth is not wrong – we wouldn’t have a larger diameter breathing orifice to the lungs than the nose if we weren’t meant to breathe through it…
It is not WHERE we breathe from that is the problem – it is HOW we breathe that makes the real difference.
You can over breath through both nose and mouth and can also access/trigger the parasympathetic nervous system with just 7 mouth breaths – or 7 nose breaths – if you know how to.
In my experience, I have seen that breathing through the nose and mouth each has certain physiological, psychological and energetic effects that are part of their natural law or flow.
Aside from the well documented physical effects of nose breathing, I find that breathing through the nose brings me mental clarity and focus, it brings energy into my mind, it directly cools and activates certain parts my brain, it can induce trance states and is amazing at creating conscious control within the body/mind.
For me, mouth breathing has some similar effects and some completely opposite ones – for me breathing through the mouth brings my awareness deeply into my physical and emotional body, it has the energy of letting go – moving beyond control, it generates physical energy and it brings me into a much deeper embodiment of my emotions than nose breathing.
For me these are not set in stone – it just seems that the body has tendencies and energetic default settings for breathing through these different pathways.
Now, this is not saying that these states and qualities can not be achieved when breathing through the opposite route – energy follows mind and awareness – so if you are focussing on breathing into your emotional body through your nose – guess what – you will make it so… We are the meaning makers and can create so much through the power of thought and belief.
I have spent over four decades exploring and breaking down the mechanics of breathing and have witnessed and coached the breathing of many thousands of people and I often find that people have never really experienced the fullness of their diaphragm and breathing apparatus and therefore do not utilise or even know about the bi-directional reflex of the diaphragm. And I have discovered, through my own practice and feedback from clients, that it is utilising this reflex that sends a pulse of energy and information through the psoas which informs the DNA and nervous system that the body is safe.
Without this understanding often people’s breath uses more force and energy than is necessary – this is one of the reasons why I teach breath mechanics as too often I see breath teachers and coaches from many disciplines breathing poorly or teaching inaccurate information – even those who give breath assessments… The body was designed to breathe in all sorts of ways and each of these different ways brings about a different outcome, state and physiology – even tightening one muscle in, say, the jaw or lip will change the energy of the breath. I’ve seen this a lot – especially recently with the influx of Wim Hoff breathers – so many different things being taught as the same technique – when each variation will bring about a subtly different effect within the body. Just as do you suck the breath in or draw the breath in, is there tension in your lips, cheeks, throat etc – they all set up different frequencies and chemistry.
Through the excessive variations of my breathing explorations that started when I was a child, as a way of dealing with acute then chronic pain, I have discovered a way of breathing where there is as much surrendered release as there is effort and this has a profound effect on the whole being. It can be incorporated and adopted into many other styles of breathing to refine and maximise the efficacy of them – no matter whether you practice Wim Hoff, Soma, Transformational, Pranayama, Holotropic, Rebirthing etc – all of these styles will benefit and become refined by learning my system. And it’s not just about the how of the breath – also what we do with our awareness when we are breathing is of utmost importance.
If you are interested in learning about my Naturally Ecstatic System of breathwork and awakening then look up Naturally Ecstatic on FB or Naturally-Ecstatic.com
Also if you have unique insight, understanding and techniques with breath then let’s collaborate – the more we share our skills and refine the practices then we can create the most cutting edge breath system for optimal health and vibrancy and share it across the world.