Can Nasal Breathing Help?: This is... - AF Association

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Can Nasal Breathing Help?


This is fascinating stuff:

"How Breathing Through Your Nose Will Change Your Life with Patrick McKeown"

I know that some of us have been concerned that our breathing can be too fast or shallow. Well, here Patrick McKeown explains how this may well be true and that mouth breathing often equates to chronic over-breathing. He describes how breathing through the nose rather than the mouth can:

relax us - mouth breathing stimulates the fight or flight/sympathetic nervous system because we take fast, shallow breaths when under threat; while we breathe gently thru the nose when relaxed. So by nasal breathing as much as possible we give the brain the message that we are calm.

alleviate sleep apnea by not breathing through the mouth at night.

allow us to take slower more satisfying breaths as it far more natural to breathe using the diaphragm with nasal breathing.

enable a healthier cardiovascular system as nitric oxide (which enables blood vessel dilation) is produced in the sinuses and therefore much more readily available via nose breathing.

I've certainly noticed I'm dropping off to sleep far more quickly after trying this for a few days.

9 Replies

Amazing, would recommend everyone watch this and listen to every word.


Very interesting

That’s why learning breathing exercises eases anxiety - and therefor AF. Anything that teaches breathing such as singing in a choir, yoga, relaxation techniques, Pilates etc all help SO much and is therefore first thing to focus on.

Interesting about the teeth and skull development - I certainly had crooked teeth as a child - one grandmother did nothing but fed me ‘sweets’ whilst the other banned them. I have sleep apnea and chronic inflammation.

Certainly one for the library! Thanks for posting.

Really interesting , many thanks for sharing,

Thank you so much for sharing this. Really interesting and so useful to me as an asthmatic. This morning since listening to the podcast I have been trying to nose breathe, quite difficult for me when walking outside but I will persevere. Because of my asthma i cough a lot which is embarrassing when I am out and about or in a meeting etc. So I hope nose breathing will help. I have now downloaded Patrick's book about asthma which includes many of the exercises he talks about in the video.

Barny12 in reply to LilsM

Glad you enjoyed it. I have the Oxygen Advantage out from the library at the moment. Be aware, though that some of the breath holding exercises are not recommended for us with high blood pressure/cardiovascular issues.

LilsM in reply to Barny12

Good point. Thanks.

Hello Barny :-) may I add to your nasal breathing article by adding a recommendation for Diaphragmatic breathing which is thought to lower the heart rate among other things . The moment I go into P-AF I begin employing this technique and return to it througout my episode which lasts many hours.

One article about it here

Quote ''Diaphragmatic breathing has loads of benefits for your body. It’s widely used in meditation, which is thought to help manage the symptoms of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety.

Here are more benefits this type of breathing can have:

Helping you relax, lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body.

Lowering your heart rate and helping to lower your blood pressure.

It improves your core muscle stability and your ability to withstand more exercise.

It slows your rate of breathing to expend less energy.

Improving mood and energy levels.

Minimising pain.''

I also use it during daily stretching excercise and when walking..

Brilliant Barney thank you for posting. I look forward to listening to this and other I have on breathing. Another example of a simple thing (like 30 mins walking per day) that helps out of all proportion to the effort.

It's early days but already some simple deep breaths whenever I remember in the day helps to feel well and during the night when I wake up helps going back to sleep.

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