Health is a precious asset that must be protected day after day, ensuring a healthy and varied diet, an active lifestyle but also small gestures that may take us away a few minutes a day but which have great benefits. Like yoga breathing techniques based on the emission of a buzz, similar to that of the bee. In fact, these breathing techniques, as we will see, help protect the health of the airways, counteracting the proliferation of viruses, bacteria and fungi and helping to breathe better. This emerges from a very recent review published in The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice by an Indian team (Panta et al, The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, 2021).
Yoga breathing techniques and the importance of humming
The yoga tradition includes various practices based on the emission of a hum through the nose with the mouth closed or half closed. For example, one of the most famous yoga breathing techniques is bhramari pranayama. You sit cross-legged with your shoulders wide apart. The inhalation is normal, at the moment of prolonged exhalation through the nose the mouth remains closed while a hum similar to that of the bee is produced. Or, we can also mention the moment in which the mantra OM is chanted. The inhalation is normal then, with the exhalation, the sound OM is emitted with the letter M prolonged and vibrating. But why all this importance to the vibrations emitted through the nasal cavity? Well, as the review shows, humming has the ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the sinuses and nasal cavity. Studies have found that the amount of nitric oxide emitted following a breathing technique that includes prolonged vibration is also 15 times higher than the normal condition.
The benefits of breathing techniques against viruses, bacteria, fungi and asthma - The endogenous nitric oxide, produced by our body, can really be a valid ally for the well-being of our respiratory tract. In fact, nitric oxide stimulates the ciliary movements and therefore the cleansing of the nasal cavity, what experts call nasal clearance. It should be emphasized that effective nasal clearance not only removes allergens but also pathogens. In fact, several pathogens, including the new coronavirus, target the ciliary bodies to proliferate and progress. And that's not all, endogenous nitric oxide also has an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral action against influenza viruses, rhinoviruses and coronaviruses, including the new coronavirus. Science has reported cases in which the humming emission during exhalation helped treat sinusitis caused by a fungal infection. Given its anti-inflammatory action, the nitric oxide produced by our body also helps to keep excessive inflammation under control, protecting the tissues from the damage that an excess of pro-inflammatory substances could cause. Finally, nitric oxide is also a bronchodilator, capable of stimulating the relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles and thus providing help to those suffering from asthma.
Thanks to today's article we have understood the importance of small gestures, such as dedicating a few minutes to yourself throughout the day and in order to make yoga breathing techniques, especially those that involve the emission of a hum during exhalation. These vibrations, in fact, can help increase the defenses of the respiratory system through the production of endogenous nitric oxide. With this, however, we do not mean that it is enough to dedicate a few minutes to pranayamas to counteract viruses, asthma and bacteria that can affect the airways, but only that these breathing techniques can be considered as extra allies to gain health.