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Breathing has a direct mechanical effect on the brain

The 3 years since this MRI was published by scientists at Stanford Medicine and the Stevens Institute of Technology on brain movements during nasal breathing have brought many exciting and actionable findings. Here are a few:

• Inhales increase heart rate.
• Exhales slow heart rate.
• Physiological sighs (double nasal maximum inhale, followed by full mouth exhale) are the fastest way to calm.
• A single (!) 10 min breathing session can rewire vagal tone.
•Nasal breathing is best almost all of the time for health, performance and aesthetics of the face. (Of course, there are times when mouth breathing is better- in certain sports, etc.)
• Cyclic hyperventilation (deliberate) can raise stress threshold and potently reduce inflammation via adrenaline.
• The utility of breath holds is still debated, although it may just be useful for enhancing diaphragmatic mind-muscle control.

Breathing has a direct mechanical effect on the brain

Source: Terem et al. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (2021); Abderezaei et al. Development, calibration, and testing of 3D amplified MRI ……Brain Multi-physics (2021).

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