My Turn: Combat the coronavirus through breath

Published: 4/27/2020 2:00:26 PM

First, we must always breathe through the nostrils up from the diaphragm, allowing the rich blood that rests in the bottom of our lungs to circulate throughout our cells via our breath. It is the diaphragm that breathes the lungs, not the chest muscles. If we do not breathe, slowly, deeply, our lungs are not fully activated.

Research was done in 2004-5 during the SARS virus (which is in the same family as coronavirus, COVID-19) looking at nitrogen oxide and how it could inhibit the replication of the SARS virus. Look at research by Professor John Lundberg from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. This study proved to be vital and important information for us as human beings to help keep viruses away. Nitrogen oxide helps keep viruses away. It is also a component used in nitroglycerin, which is used for people who have heart disease.

Nitrogen oxide is released by nasal breathing. Nostril breathing helps protect people from this dread disease because the nose acts as a filter to pathogens. It is also important to understand that breathing in and out through the nostrils lightly, slowly, and deeply will release nitrogen oxide into the air we breathe into our bodies. In the research cited above, it was found that nitrogen oxide is formed and released in human sinuses. Further, they showed that the nitrogen oxide concentration in the nasal cavity increases as much as 15 times if you make a humming sound. Humming creates vibrations which mix air from the sinuses with nasal air.

It should be mentioned that nitrogen oxide has many other beneficial effects. It has a strong antibacterial effect and can kill both bacteria and viruses.

Correct breathing is an art. This is how it is done: Place your hands on the sides of your body at the last two ribs, breathe in from the nostrils lightly for 4 slow counts. You should feel your ribs push out. Breathe out through the nose lightly for 6 slow counts. You should feel your ribs pull in.

Never breathe through your mouth, especially at night during sleep. Mouth breathing robs the body of carbon dioxide. The body needs a balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen to thrive. Carbon dioxide is another antiviral substance available in the body if we are breathing correctly. We should always wake up with a wet mouth. Saliva has a lot of good bacteria.

If you are a mouth breather, understand that it takes practice to bring your breath down to the diaphragm and out through the nostrils. We must be patients with ourselves. Also, you can purchase a mouth tape at any pharmacy which will, comfortably, cover your mouth during sleep. This is the kind of tape that will not hurt when you pull it off.

My husband and I are certified and trained specialists in Coherent Breathing. We can be reached at for more information.

Our body was designed as an internal pharmacy. However, we have forgotten how to use it.

Can we breathe to help protect ourselves from coronavirus? Yes.

Carol McConnell is a resident of Shelburne Falls.

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