Time to close your mouth and let your nose do the talking….well, breathing! by Declan Clark.
I moved to Toronto in 2018, having travelled back and forth six times during the year. I have completed my first full winter here. Yes, it was chilly at times, but what makes it workable, is the breathing and movement community.
I’ve specialized in (Buteyko) breathing and metabolism for just under a decade of my 27yrs in therapy. Of course, breathing and metabolism are not external, not modalities, not treatments, but during long damp, or harsh winters, they can suffer. It is remarkably easy for these two vital parts of our bodily functions, to underperform for weeks on end. If we had a headache, or our foot went to sleep and failed to function properly, would we leave it until the following season? If you do happen to answer yes here…….well, no judgment.
Movement is what keeps your motor running. It doesn’t have to be fancy, vigorous, early morning, in a gym, cost anything. You move. It helps if you enjoy it, but that’s not necessary. The hardest exercise is the one you’ve not done before and if you do enjoy it, it’s probably too easy, as you do it often. You’ll note I’m not naming the movement, or calling it exercise. I’m not saying when or how, you should move. What I’ve found over the many years, is we have rather fixed notions about what is ‘good for us’ in terms of ‘exercise’. Sure, these are probably fine, but if you’d like a good workout on a cold and rainy day, when you don’t fancy a run, try a very thorough clean of the kitchen or bathroom, without pausing and without opening your mouth once. Then check your pulse. Have you worked? Is your pulse up? have you moved your muscles? Is your diaphragm moving? If not, frankly, check your cleaning quality.
Here, in the city centre, I don’t have a park handy. It can be -25 with the breeze, so a short, quick walk will do nicely. Walking barefoot in the snow, even for five minutes will massively boost the immune system. No blocked nose. People sometimes complain that their nose is blocked, so they mouth breathe. Your mouth is not a nose and will allow more germs and pollen in than your immune system can deal with. The nose is equipped to filter and deal with all the bugs and garbage in the air. Even on the underground. It takes more than 100 times more virus to infect a human through the nose than it does through the mouth. These experiments were done on US troops in the 60s, to test chemical warfare.
There are a zillion ways to move. It doesn’t matter whether it’s yoga, dance, gym, running or martial arts. Suit yourself. If you do these with your mouth open and place your body under stress to achieve them however, your body will associate it as stress and correspondingly reduce the metabolic benefits. We can all get ill, we are human. We can however mitigate the risks. Use your nose as the body’s proper air filter, especially in Spring. Move as much as your current respiration will allow and this will increase. If you are able to do more with your mouth closed, your metabolism will be increasing in its efficiency and you will be offsetting the effects of winter and spring and all that nature has to offer.
Wellness London is uniquely equipped to deal with the diversity of your movement and metabolic needs. With a large team of experienced practitioners, operating across a wide range of modalities, they have many tools you can access to achieve your objectives. Tell them what you need, or indeed tell them about you and ask them what you need. Between them, the team have may decades of experience to offer.
If you’d like to know more about breathing, specifically, Wellness can put you in touch with me directly and I’ll be happy to guide you.
Mouth closed, chin up and as Wellness London’s Co Founder Phil would say, “Onward”. Have a great Summer!