Monthly Archives: November 2014

About Nasal Breathing

I’ve finally decided to write about what I’ve learned about proper breathing. Starting here with nasal breathing, I’ve dug into the importance and ramifications of breathing via the nose:
Today I plowed through some books I had on breathing mechanics and have some references. The best book i found so far is “Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. It is a clinician’s guide, but I read this stuff to gain clues into helping my swimmers. Some quotes and references:
“Finally there is a common association of mouth breathing with chest breathing.” pp. 83
Cites Barelli, Nasapulmonary Physiology, in Behaviorial psychological approaches to breathing disorders. 1994.
This quote basically says that you see mouth breathing as a symptom of chest breathing, which is not a desirable breathing pattern. When you breathe correctly via the diaphragm, you should not need to use your mouth to breathe. But chest breathing results in less air taken in, and therefore you reflexively open your mouth to get more air in.
“Nasal breathing is involuntary. Mouth or voluntary breathing occurs when there is difficulty breathing through the nose, such as in exertion, under stress, and in particular when cardiac, pulmonary, or other illness hampers supply of oxygen to the tissues.”
Again from Barelli above.
These next two quotes are most interesting:
“The nasal route adds at least 50% more resistance to air flow, so one might think that lowered resistance by bypassing the nostrils is a good thing. But pressure rise in the lungs during exhalation makes the air denser, simulating a lower attitude where the air is richer in oxygen per unit volume, and this improves perfusion into the alveoli. Also the increased resistance introduced into the system by nasal inhibition increases the vacuum in the lungs, resulting in a 10-20% increase in oxygen transported.”
“…slowing down the expiratory phase of respiration and ventilation, and the interposing of resistance to both inspiration and expiration which in turn helps to maintain the normal elasticity of the lungs, thus assuring optimal conditions for providing oxygen and good heart function.”
Citing Cottle, The work, ways, positions and patterns of nasal breathing (relevance in heart and lung illness), 1987.
so good things come from nasal breathing both inhalation and exhalation!

Swim Pro at Menlo Swim with Team Sheeper

After months of searching, I finally found a new home with Team Sheeper at Menlo Swim. I now coach Total Immersion swimming as a Swim Pro (click on Meet the Pros) at their Belle Haven pool.
What happened? I was coaching at another pool but apparently the managers there were way too lax and let me coach there against their rules. New management came in and began to enforce the real rules, and I had to leave.
Swim coaching must be one of the hardest to break into – you have a limited set of places to coach in, and they often have swim staff there already whose business they want to protect. I became a coach without a previous swim coaching staff job anywhere and found out firsthand how difficult it is to find a position as a coach.
However, I am very thankful that Tim Sheeper is taking a chance on me and offered me the position. I am looking forward to continuing TI coaching there.
If you want to sign up, go to Menlo Swim’s Mind Body Online page, click on Belle Haven, and look for times there. See you soon!