5 benefits of open mouth breathing. Nose breathing is only half the story.
Nose breathing is ideal for daily life
If you’re interested in breathwork then you probably already know that nose breathing is far better for you than mouth breathing when you’re going about your daily life. When you breathe through your nose the air is warmed and filtered of pollutants. What’s more, ‘nitrous oxide is created to help kill viruses and bacteria’ says Dr Pippa Wheble, an NHS and BAPAM GP with a special interest in breathwork. Breathing through your nose gives you the opportunity to smell what you inhale too, giving you vital clues as to whether you want to continue breathing in that air!
Chronic mouth breathing by contrast, when it becomes an individual’s primary breathing style for daily life, is associated with many common ailments and medical issues - already extensively documented in the field. However nothing is black and white and there are in fact benefits to breathing through your mouth in certain therapeutic contexts and for certain aims.
This article aims to shed light on this under-reported and frequently misunderstood area of breathwork…
Connected mouth breathing 101
While all professional breathworkers agree that the nose is best for day-to-day breathing, there are important reasons to choose an open mouth breath in a therapeutic context — specifically a mouth breath that is connected. Connected means you inhale and exhale without any pauses, a flowing and circular breathing that never stops, much like an ocean wave; and in the practice I am trained in, Transformational Breath®, connected open mouth breathing is our first port of call because we want to harness its many benefits.
Connected mouth breathing allows more oxygen to quickly permeate the body, which in turn unlocks a host of physical benefits from decreasing heart rate and blood pressure, to healthy cellular regeneration and more.
It is easier to achieve a full, connected circular breathing pattern with an open mouth. Why is that important? Because connected breathing (breathing in and out of the same place) creates an energy circuit which is essential to release old, blocked trauma from your muscle and fascia tissues. The ‘issues in your tissues’ so to speak.
Breathing through the mouth (and faster as we do in Transformational Breath®) ‘creates bigger shifts in our carbon dioxide levels which allows us to access an altered state of consciousness that is optimal for deep psychotherapeutic work’ — Dr Pippa Wheble.
That can sound a bit scary if you’ve never tried Transformational Breath® before but I encourage you to think of it simply as a state of deep relaxation which allows you to powerfully reprogram subconscious beliefs which hold you back in life — updating them with positive core beliefs that better serve you.
Connected breathing through the mouth also accesses the lower parts of the body and its energy centres, specifically clearing and integrating any issues there. There have been many successful outcomes with clients who have used Transformational Breath® to support their recovery from: surgery to their lower body, chronic digestive issues and even infertility where there is no medical cause.
Connected mouth breathing also relaxes the muscles around the jaw and throat, where it is common to hold a great deal of tension. Allowing the jaw to fall open as you practice connected mouth breathing encourages free expression of challenging emotions such as anger and grief, which need an outlet in order for us to remain healthy and balanced.
It’s also worth mentioning that Transformational Breath® should always be practised in safe locations, for example therapy rooms, studios and outdoors in nature far away from pollutants like busy roads. It’s best to avoid burning incense and scented candles when you practice too. Keep the air as clean as possible. You may even like to invest in an air purifier like the one I use in my private therapy room.
When we might nose breathe in Transformational Breath®?
In Transformational Breath® we do sometimes use connected nose breathing, but that tends to be further down the line with clients after we have already helped them establish an open belly breath — a.k.a diaphragmatic breath — which is always our first priority. Whilst it’s not as easy to connect the breath through the nose it is possible, and so we might opt for connected nose breathing with a client who wanted to work specifically with the upper energy centres, or to access states of higher consciousness.
We also sometimes opt for connected nose breathing with asthmatics at the start of their Transformational Breath® journey, until they are ready to explore connected open mouth breathing. Determining the best way to begin is done on a case-by-case basis.
- Breathe through your nose for regular daily breathing.
- If you struggle to breathe through your nose due to small nasal passage ways, allergies etc consider booking a facilitated Transformational Breath® session with a certified professional, to start addressing the underlying issues that may be preventing you breathing through your nose.
- If you want to discover more about the benefits of Transformational Breath® or try it for yourself visit my website, subscribe to my monthly newsletter or book a facilitated session online or in-person.
Further reading —
- ‘Research Links Breathing & Oxygen To Elimination Of Disease’ by Dr. Judith Kravitz (Founder of Transformational Breath Foundation)