You can live only a few minutes without oxygen, but you can go days without water and food. That really puts things into perspective doesn’t it? We talk so much about nutrition, food, staying hydrated with pure water but we rarely talk about oxygen in regards to our health. Why is that? It’s a crucial part of our health and influences our health, sleep, energy levels and overall quality of life, our truest sense of longevity.
The air in our atmosphere contains 21% oxygen, but what may be shocking to some is the measured levels of oxygen in our atmosphere have been dropping over the years, and dropping fast. In fact, that 21% oxygen number has declined that that low already. Professor Ian Plimer of Adelaide University and Professor Jon Harrison of the University of Arizona both concur. Most scientists accept that oxygen levels in the atmosphere in prehistoric times averaged around 30% to 35%, compared to only 21% today.
That means approximately 36% of the oxygen this planet once harnessed is already gone, but it get’s even worse. The large cities carry the brunt in this matter. Some large cities and polluted industrial areas have oxygen levels in the 12-17% range meaning that if you live or work in these areas you’re breathing in more polluted air than anyone.
What’s caused this? We’ve begun burning fossil fuels, Co2 emissions have been and are still on the rise and we’ve destroyed about half (or more) of the forest floor which means a large chunk of oxygen emission from our natural earth is no longer present. All of these factors combined have changed the ratio of readily available oxygen for us to breathe and benefit from.
You may think that this may not be such a big deal. You’re still breathing right? The problem is that over time your body has to work harder to receive the same amount of oxygen and filter through all the pollutants. Your lungs and internal organs are working harder to receive the oxygen it needs while your body has more of a toxic load, a burden that it has to dispose of.
What’s important to note is that at the 12-17% city or industrial area oxygen levels it is difficult for people to get sufficient oxygen to maintain optimal health. It takes a good intake of oxygen to keep the body, it’s cells and organs, and the entire immune system functioning optimally. The levels we have reached today are likely to cause cancers and other degenerative diseases to develop faster and more prominently. At an oxygen level of 6 to 7% life can no longer be sustained.
Thankfully there are a few things you can do to counteract the environmental air pollution. You can control your environment in your home and create a place where pure oxygen is the norm instead of the rare. By changing the way you breathe and modifying several factors in your home you can at least give your body higher quality access to oxygen without pollutants a good 13+ hours of the day, unless you work from home!
You Can Purify Every Breath You Take By:
1. Breathing Through Your Nose:
One of the biggest breathing mistakes most people make is unconscious. We breathe through our mouth. Our mouth is larger than our nose so we feel we can breathe easier this way, and when wintertime comes around that stuffy nose makes it even more difficult. Breathing through your nose has it’s benefits! There is actually a 4-stage air purification system your nose provides. Think of your nose as your own built in bodily air filter. By breathing in through your nose your hairs and follicles in your nose help to purify and humidify the air you breathe.
The reason doctors prescribe nasal decongestants when you are sick is so that you can breathe through your nose again and have the air be filtered. Breathing through the mouth skips this 4-stage filtration process and causes your body to take in more bacteria and germs than are necessary which causes more of an immune load.
Not only this but breathing in through your nose is important because it is mixed with Nitric Oxide (NO) which is a gas that used for dilating your blood vessels. This results in an increase of carrying capacity for your blood vessels. These are enough convincing reasons for me to breathe through my nose!
2. Breathing Deeply & Correctly:
Breathing in through your nose is the first step, to use your body’s natural air filtration mechanisms. Secondly you want to breathe longer and deeper breaths into your stomach. Your stomach should expand and contract when you breathe, expand when you inhale and contract when you exhale. Breathing shallow through your chest only fills the top portion of your lungs with air, so breathing deeply gives your body more pure oxygen to work with. Think of breathing deeply into your stomach through your nose as an actual exercise, because it is! Practicing breathing properly and exercising this habit will benefit your health and vitality long term.
Strategically speaking maybe breathing shallow while in the most polluted areas may lesson the air pollution load on your body, but that’s just an idea I have that’s backed by nothing! Isn’t it interesting that stress levels and shallow breathing seem to be more normal in the city? Yet breathing deeply and in a fully relaxed state seems to be a natural by-product of being in nature? Something to ponder next time you’re taking a hike in the mountains or walking on the beach.
3. Creating The Healthiest Air in Your Home:
This is a big one because according to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment! That means that all that toxic air outside we talked about earlier can be even worse in your home if you don’t follow basic guidelines. One of the most exciting aspects to me is that you can create higher levels of oxygen in your home and reduce that toxic polluted load simply by being a host for those little green pals, you know… guys and gals, i’m talking plants! Plants create oxygen that enriches your air quality. Your home has air pollutants of it’s own. You may not have an industrial manufacturing facility in your living room but electronic devices, chemicals (which I recommend avoiding completely), and other modern day inventions create air pollution of their own right in your home. Furniture such as a couch or mattress, even carpet off-gas pollutants such as formaldehyde and other chemicals which are bad for your breathing health. You can avoid a lot of this by not using any chemical cleaners and going 100% green and natural which does help.
One of the most beneficial things you can do though beyond avoiding chemicals and removing toxic off-gassing mattresses which I have done myself is to have as many air purifying plants in your home as possible. Here’s a list of the 12 most effective air purifying plants to have in your home, some of which you can buy off amazon.com!
4. Using These Essential Oils
One of the aspects I love about essential oils is that certain oils can improve your ability to breathe deeply and fully. They also almost subconsciously trick you into breathing through your nose because your brain triggers go off and want to smell the unique aroma. They are one of the best ways to change your biology to breathe deeper and through your nose almost instantly, plus you get the added therapeutic benefits of that specific essential oil.
Peppermint: According to AltHealthWorks.com the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition did a study on drinking .05 ml of peppermint essential oil in a 500 ml water bottle and found that the athletes “time to exhaustion, work, and power” all “significantly increased” thanks to the support of using peppermint oil.
In addition, those who took the peppermint oil water had a higher VO2 max, which basically means they demonstrated a higher aerobic capacity (more lung strength and capacity to breathe oxygen) thanks to the oil.
Peppermint oil also acts as a great natural decongestant which means it’s going to help you breathe through your nose better and easier which helps enable your body to breathe in air that has been naturally purified. I always have some peppermint oil on hand.
Eucalyptus, White Fur, and Cypress all help improve breathing as well. You can diffuse these essential oils in an aromatherapy diffuser to breathe in and benefit from the aroma in your home. You can also put a drop on your forefinger and rub it on your nose and breathe it in directly, or apply them topically to your chest with a coconut oil to help it soak into your skin. I use doterra essential oils because of their CPTG (certified pure therapeutic grade) quality and use these essential oils along with many others for health and therapeutic uses quite often.
Beyond these ideas you can simply open windows in your home more often to circulate airflow, even in the winter time. My mom would open the slider doors in our home for a good 10 minutes and completely remove all stagnant air and then close everything up again. It would be freezing in the middle of a Michigan winter and she’d do this to get new oxygen in the home.
Environmentally you can plant more plants and trees in your yard or on your land to help the world at large!
Say no to polluted air, and get yourself some pure oxygen today! Please spread the word about this, it needs more attention and awareness because the information is so valuable yet rarely talked about.
Sources: disinfo.com, healthguidance.org, Image: wikipedia.org