Inner Reflections
November 28, 2022

Why Chronic Mouth Breathing is Harmful

The average person will take 670 million breaths over the course of their lifetime. Unfortunately, the way we breathe has dramatically worsened since the dawn of the Industrial Age.

Scientists estimate 90% of the human population are breathing incorrectly and this, directly and indirectly, is linked to a long list of chronic disease such as asthma, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, psoriasis and many more.

Mouth breathing heightens the likelihood of hyperventilation. When this type of breather encounters stress, they hold the breath. Shallow, fast breathing reduces carbon dioxide in the body, which constricts blood vessels, and slows circulation of blood and oxygen to the body and brain. Oxygen starvation regularly activates the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system and therefore the fight-flight-freeze response. The heart beats rapidly and irregularly causing the person to be forgetful, confused, anxious, fearful, tense, irritable, chronically tired and emotionally drained.

40% of today’s population suffers from chronic nasal obstruction. Nearly 50% are habitual mouth breathers.

Here are some other ways mouth breathing is harmful:

– Changes the physical body and transforms airways, all for the worse.

– Causes the body to lose 40% more water.

– Mouth breathers wake up thirstier and more dehydrated.

– Chronic Insomnia is often a breathing problem.

– Mouth breathing can make you less smart.

– Disturbs the flow of oxygen to the pre-frontal cortex brain, which is like the CEO or conductor for the rest of the brain.

– Contributes to gum disease, bad breath, cavities more than bad diet and poor hygiene.

– Contributes to snoring and sleep apnea.

– When the nasal cavity gets congested, airflow decreases and bacteria grow at a rapid pace. These bacteria can lead to infection, colds causing an endless cycle of congestion.

“The breath inhaled through the mouth is called ‘Ni Ch’i, adverse breath,’ which is extremely harmful. Be careful not to have the breath inhaled through the mouth.”

 – The Tao

Now, let’s explore a good breather who mostly breathes through the nose, otherwise known as nasal breathing.

They breathe slowly, which optimizes the breathing process. The diaphragm moves natural and freely, connected to the entire torso and body.

Breathing through the nose filters and humidifies the breath. Nasal breathing naturally slows the exhalation which gives the lungs enough time to extract the maximum amount of oxygen and energy from each breath.

The perfect proportion of oxygen and carbon dioxide dilates the blood vessels. Blood and oxygen circulate abundantly through the brain and body. The deep diaphragmatic breath massages the internal organs such as the heart and intestines and therefore improves digestion, assimilation and elimination.

This efficient breathing activates the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system increasing the body’s ability to recharge and renew. The good breather feels calm, clear, healthy, energized and happy.

Here are some other ways nasal breathing is beneficial:

– Clears and moistens air for easier absorption.

– Lowers blood pressure.

– Improves and aids in digestion.

– Regulates the heart rate.

– Expands the lungs.

– Develops the diaphragm.

– Forces air against the flabby tissues at the back of the throat causing the airways to become wider and the breathing process more efficient. These muscles and tissues stay healthier and more toned.

– Boosts nitric oxide sixfold allowing us to absorb 18% more oxygen than mouth breathing. Nitrogen Oxide also has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.

In order to ensure we aren’t sabotaging our own health we have to train ourselves to engage nasal breathing over mouth breathing.

Here are some tips to engage in more nasal breathing:

1) Practice yoga. Throughout most yoga classes there is consistent emphasis on nasal breathing.

2) Practice breath work or pranayama exercises such as my 28 Day Breath Work program included in my new 30 hour “BreathWork” training available on exclusively on Inner Dimension Academy.

3) Mouth Taping. Purchase surgical tape like a roll of 3M Nexcare “Durable Cloth”. Cut a postage size piece of tape and place it at the center of the lips with a little space on the sides of the mouth. Try it for 30-60 minutes during the day while you are emailing, reading or watching TV. You can also mouth tape while you are sleeping.

Evolution gifted us with two options to breathe to increase our chance of survival. But, mouth breathing, in most cases, should be the backup plan. If we are interested in optimizing our health, we need to prioritize nasal breathing.

Make sure to check out Travis’ new BreathWork Training available now exclusively on now!

By Travis