A lot of good intention goes towards breathing but there are still some major players being left out of the conversation..
Today I’d like to shout out a few of the key players.
Carbon Dioxide has gotten a reputation as purely a waste product of metabolism. While it is a byproduct of metabolism it is also the chief regulator of blood pH. Blood pH has very specific parameters to maintain balance in the body and this makes Carbon Dioxide absolutely essential. Elevated levels of Carbon Dioxide will lead to vasodilation, lower heart rate and blood pressure.
Without Sufficient CO2 oxygen has too great an affinity with Hemoglobin and cannot dissociate freely into the cells. In plain voice, without enough CO2 oxygen is stuck in the car when the party is inside the house.
The Sinus cavity does a lot for our breathing and makes nasal breathing superior over mouth breathing. Inside of our Sinus the air is warmed, filtered, humidified to be conditioned for absorption. Nitric Oxide is produced in the sinus cavity as well and can travel down to the lungs with the breath.
Nitric Oxide is available as a supplement and is loved by all as the “Miracle Molecule”. NO is a powerful vasodilator meaning it can also lower blood pressure and heart rate. It helps to distribute air evenly throughout the lungs as well as maintain the airway open with it’s smooth muscle dilation effect.
The diaphragm gets plenty of love when it comes to breathing, as it should. Today I’d like to shout out the diaphragm as an unsung hero of posture. The forces produced by this muscle are as central to our posture as they are to our breathing. Using the diaphragm properly draws air to the lower part of the lungs where gas exchange occurs more readily.
Partner in crime to the diaphragm is the Transverse abdominis. This is the muscle wrapping around our abdomen like a corset. Using the TVA potentiates good breathing mechanics as it puts the diaphragm in a better position. Try belly breathing with your navel drawn in to note the difference..
Possibly the most underrated player in the breathing is the tongue. Putting the tongue on the roof of the mouth and creating a light pressure changes the position of the body significantly in some non obvious ways.
The tongue is part of the deepest layer of myofasia, the deep front line. We’ll speak more on DFL in future writings.. For now know that having the tongue in proper resting posture will put you in a better position to breathe and move effectively.
Finally we come to the other two diaphragms of the body. The throat and pelvic floor diaphragms. These are also dome shaped and will help to regulate the pressure for upper and lower extremities. Since breathing is fundamentally a changing of pressure inside the body learning to coordinate these diaphragms will show great benefit as well.
All of these players make for a pretty stacked team but even the best team can fall apart without good coaching. You are the coach of the team, the mind behind the body. Keep the morale high and make sure everyone plays their part. Be there for them, give them your attention…
Breathe Intentionally Not Habitually..
Shouting out the unsung heroes of the breath,