· By Lauren Lapoint
An Unlikely Love Affair - Nose & the Heart
February is the month of love - Valentines Day is right around the corner, we’re well into our New Years resolutions, we’re starting to move into the blossoming season of Spring.
In the spirit of this high vibration, we wanted to dive into some data around the heart, and why breathing can directly influence the health and function of this beloved organ.
For most young, healthy women we tend to not think about the health of our hearts. Why would we? It’s voluntarily doing its thing, beating and pumping strongly, and if we’re feeling good, then everything must be a-okay right? Well kind of.
It’s important to highlight that even though all may be well in our bodies, it’s vital to begin as early as possible to incorporate heart healthy habits to prevent future issues and live as optimally as we can control. The same goes with our parents and grandparents. At OI, we believe that it’s never too late to turn your health around. And it doesn't need to be an arduous process either.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and around the world. If you turn on a television (granted, that is if you still have cable) you’ll notice the number of commercials surrounding the news that address heart health for American, especially seniors.
So, now let’s shift to explain how breathing, specifically through the nose, impacts our heart health. According to an article by the ClevelandHeartLab, taking deep breaths through your nose stimulates your body to release nitric oxide, a chemical that has been shown to:
- Increase blood flow
- Expand blood vessels
- Reduce stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Prevent build up of plaque (that clogs the arteries)
Have you ever seen in a movie or experienced in your life, someone having a heart attack and immediately taking a pill to find relief? This person is suffering from angina, and that pill is typically nitroglycerin which help to rapidly release nitric oxide into the bloodstream.
Interestingly, in the late 1970s, a group of scientists discovered the power of nitric oxide and how it works to dilate vessels that carry blood to and from the heart. They also discovered how we could in fact create and release this chemical on our own - through breathing.
In addition to our breath, the American Heart Association recently added sleep duration to its list of essential lifestyle habits that lead to a healthy heart.
Adequate amounts of sleep and high sleep quality are key to keeping our heart beating strong. As we have learned, nose breathing is a means to longer, high quality sleep and other health benefits such as managing weight, improved dental hygiene, and increased immunity.
Some simple practices to further improve our sleep and increase our level of nitric oxide in our blood are:
- Practicing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing techniques
- Moving our bodies with regular exercise
- Mouth taping at night, during light exercise, and at times of rest to promote nose breathing
Optimal Intake (OI) Tape was designed to be worn not just when we sleep, but at any time during the day, to practice training our bodies to breath through our nose.
Building healthy wellness habits is a form of self-love, and with February as the month of love, trying incorporating mouth tape into your routine, to not only sleep better but to take care of your heart.