Your First and Last Breath

The first thing you did at birth was inhale and the last thing you will do at death is exhale. How many times this simple but extremely complex exertion is repeated will be the parentheses of your life span. Do it right and you live a vibrant healthy active life, but do it wrong then illness, inflammation, and inactivity will take years off your allotted time on earth. As much noise as there is about nutrition, diet, and exercise; nothing comes close to the importance of real food for the mind, body, and soul- oxygen. Unless you are breathing right, slowly and effortless through the nose where the air is purified and filtered from all noxious inflammatory irritants and combined with the perfect pressure of carbon dioxide necessary to offload oxygen from the blood into hungry, thirsty brain and muscle cells every minute of every day, your breathing is severely compromised and your body will suffer the consequences.  We all take breathing for granted never giving thought to a right or wrong way and we wonder what is the big deal.

The big deal is that your physical performance and endurance is greatly enhanced, your mental acuity and focus is sharper, voice quality (singing) and musical quality of wind instruments improves, your sleep is sound and refreshing, your health is superb without medication, you don’t get COVID because your unclogged sinuses producing nitric oxide kills all air-born viruses, bacteria, and fungi spores.

Breathing wrong is mouth breathing- throwing every chemical and facial muscle balance out of harmony, severely limiting the amount of oxygen transported into the awaiting cells needing fuel. The result is over-breathing, reducing the higher pressure of carbon dioxide so that less oxygen is delivered, breathing dirty unfiltered inflammatory air, raising your blood pressure and pulse rate, sleepless nights, snoring, clenching and grinding teeth, feeling awful, nerves in a state of stress, the face becoming unattractive and getting dumber each day. That is a big deal!

This ancient knowledge first recorded on papyrus long before the Old Testament was written by Moses, who again emphasized that God ordained the breath of life is through our nostrils. This has been practiced by Chinese and Eastern Yoga masters for centuries. Why it is not mainstream health practice is a sad commentary on ignoring the obvious proof experienced trainers, coaches, and scholars have demonstrated with the fit and unfit. Correct breathing has curative power!

Orthodontists have known for over 100 years that mouth breathing is the number one cause of malocclusion and that facial structure suffers poor development and high relapse even after correction if the breathing malfunction is not corrected. It is not a well-kept secret but has never gotten any traction until medical institutions awakened to the serious consequences of sleep apnea which traces its origin to dysfunctional breathing at night only because breathing is dysfunctional during the day.

The bottom line is that if sound sleep without snoring and dental/facial beauty and harmony have any merit to your enjoying a vibrant life then get the help and coaching for a realistic path to lengthen the time until your last exhale. Stop mouth breathing and snoring!


Orthodontists are part of the solution!  Call (727) 822-3156 for a consultation


John B. Harrison DDS, MSc


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