Real facts about your respiratory system and lungs
Imagine the creation of Almighty Nature. Humans can survive without water for many months. But without oxygen, no more than three minutes. Yet it varies from person to person. Yoga and meditation specialists may hold the breath for a longer time. But these are rare events. An absence of oxygen makes brain cells begin to die, and the process is irreversible. And this oxygen is supplied by trees and plants. Grand creation by Mother Nature. But we unfortunate humans totally massacred the forests, and claim it as development. Our Respiratory System is an emergency department for our health, well-being and survival. Those who live in a natural environment near forests and mountains, their longevity increases due to fresh air and oxygen. On the other hand, those who live in polluted cities, not only their longevity declines but also, suffer from numerous derivative diseases due to impure air and respiratory problems. Most importantly, our immunity also declines due to insufficient and impure oxygen. The best preventive cure for making your Respiratory Systems and Lungs remain strong is to resort to Yoga and Pranayama.
Respiratory organs are one of the most vital organ systems in our body. There are three major types of breathing troubles. The first type is structural, that is genetic, or inherited. It can happen to any person anywhere. It is also called structural and systemic problems by birth. There is another major type: that is caused to persons living in polluted cities where the supply of oxygen in the air is less than the medical limit, and the air is filled with various pollutants as well as carbon monoxide, methane, ethane, carbon dioxide, etc. As a result, the lung gets less than desirable oxygen. If a person with structural Asthma or breathing trouble lives in a polluted region, she/he will be in double fault regarding respiratory problems. There is still another type that is allergic. Some persons suffer from particular allergy elements such as flowers, food, psychology, etc. This also creates Asthma or Breathing problems. Let us understand the Respiratory System and Breathing problems medically.
The air we inhale is mixed with mucus and pollutants thereby lowering oxygen content in the air. When we inhale such air, our respiration is obstructed. As a result, we suffer from dyspnoea or breathing problem. The air goes through the nose to the trachea, the narrow bronchi and ultimately to Lung Cells. If there is obstruction, we feel a spasm of the chest, we cannot work, breathing is incomplete. This seriously affects the supply of pure blood to the heart. Then a series of problems begin. This bronchial attack normally intensifies during the latter part of the night and during Sunset.
As we know, all the organs of our complex body function with the help of numerous nerves. If these nerves become weak, the bronchial tubes cannot freely expand, rather remain contracted. According to Yoga Science, Asthma gets kick start from the weakness of glands called Vayu including Tonsil, etc. As a result, respiration gets shortened, cannot exhale carbon dioxide at the required speed. These poisonous gases eventually cause higher toxins in body, asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and lung cancer, indigestion, acidity, anemia, colic pains and many more.
Imagine the creation of Almighty Nature. Humans can survive without water for many months. But without oxygen, no more than three minutes. And this oxygen is supplied by trees and plants. Grand creation by Mother Nature. But we unfortunate humans totally massacred the forests, and claim it as development. Our Respiratory System is an emergency department for our health, well-being and survival. Those who live in a natural environment near forests and mountains, their longevity increases due to fresh air and oxygen. On the other hand, those who live in polluted cities, not only their longevity declines but also, suffer from numerous derivative diseases due to impure air and respiratory problems. Most importantly, our immunity also declines due to insufficient and impure oxygen.
Actually, the respiratory system facilitates the exchange of gases between the air and the blood and between the blood and the body’s cells. It is done through breathing- inhalation and exhalation. Our respiratory system serves us by doing the following five key functions.
1. Pulmonary Ventilation & Inhalation & Exhalation, i.e., Breathing
What is pulmonary ventilation? It is breathing through the respiratory system. By this process, the air is inhaled through the nose (nasal cavities) and mouth (oral cavities). Apparently very simple and so, we remain very casual towards such great creation by Almighty Nature. What and how it operates? It interchanges through the pharynx, larynx, and trachea into the lungs. After inhaling, we exhale air (i.e., carbon dioxide), the reverse process. When we normally inhale, the diaphragm and external intercostal muscles contract, as also the ribcage elevates. When the volume of lungs increases i.e., expands, air pressure drops and air rushes in. When we normally exhale, the internal muscles relax. The lungs become squeezed or smaller, the air pressure rises, and air is expelled, i.e., goes out.
As we shall see below, maintenance and improvement of the respiratory system is a perfect candidate for Yoga and Meditation.
2. Exchanges Gases Between Lungs and Bloodstream
Through the process of external respiration, oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide waste inside the lungs. Here hundreds of thousands of microscopic sacs called Alveoli help maintain the respiratory process in highly complex ways. Here inhaled oxygen gets into pulmonary capillaries surrounding them. It binds to hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells, and pumped through the bloodstream; no man-made machine can match such complexities ever. What a grand creation: carbon dioxide from deoxygenated blood diffuses from the capillaries into the alveoli, is expelled at this point through exhalation.
3. Internal Respiration
What is Internal respiration? This process exchanges gases between the bloodstream and body tissues. Oxygen and hence fresh air by the way play so fundamental role for human (animal) survival that there is no substitute. Bloodstream delivers oxygen to cells, while removing waste carbon dioxide through internal respiration. In this respiratory process, red blood cells, that is, red blood corpuscles, carry oxygen absorbed from the lungs around the body. As oxygenated blood reaches the narrow capillaries, these red blood cells release the oxygen. It diffuses through the capillary walls into body tissues- a highly complex amazing highly automated process. By this time, carbon dioxide diffuses from the tissues into red blood cells and plasma. Interesting, it is as if a dual transport system, the deoxygenated blood carries the carbon dioxide back to the lungs for release as we exhale.
4. Vocal Cord, Air Vibration, Voice & Sound
Not only we humans create sounds while cry, shout, talk, lecture and quarrel, but all animals also do. We have written languages; other animals do not have. It is highly likely that their communication is better. Imagine ants, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc. We create various sounds including singing by structures in the upper respiratory tract of the respiratory system, particularly during exhalation. When we exhale, air passes from the lungs through the larynx, or “voice box.” When we speak, muscles in the larynx move the arytenoid cartilages, which push the vocal cords together. As the vocal cords are pushed together, air passing between them makes them vibrate thereby creating sound. The more the tension in the vocal cords, the more the rapid vibrations thereby creating higher-pitched sounds. The less the tension, the slower the vibration and hence a lower pitch.
You can check and compare some real-life situations regarding the great functions of the vocal cord in our life. For example, a successful teacher has to give many lectures in classes, and as a result, the vocal cord may be chocked for some period. The present author had to suffer for a long period for this and moved from one hospital to another. At last, allergy from seasonal flowers and pollution were identified. Successful vocal musicians also suffer the same fate. Politicians before the election also widely suffer from this. Medication may give temporary support, but Yoga and meditation as well as foods are the best medicines in the long for such problems.
5. The Sense of Smelling
The capacity of smell or the sense of smell is medically called Olfaction. This process of smelling begins with olfactory fibers that exist in the nasal cavities inside our nose. This is also an inseparable and unique and extraordinary part of our grand respirator system. As air enters the nasal cavities, some chemicals in the air trigger our nervous system receptors on the cilia. This impetus sends signals to the brain as in all other actions. Then the neurons take the signal from the nasal cavities through openings in the ethmoid bone. Then it goes to the olfactory bulbs. These signals then run from the olfactory bulbs, a long cranial nerve 1, then to the olfactory area of the cerebral cortex. Then we judge the nature of smell. Unfortunate humans, we claim that I have got the smell 1st, none has yet. Actually, we do not do anything in our personal Conscious mind, the miraculous body system does it. Receptors of some people are strong by birth, for others weak. We have nothing to do personally. Human ego claims so many things, falsely.
Therefore, we have to employ our wisdom for maintaining balance in our complex and grand Respiratory System. Let us begin the preventive cures for this vital organ system.
Treatment Respiratory System through Yoga, Pranayama & Medication
Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation as well as Food are an integral system for remaining fit and healthy throughout the year in almost all situations and anywhere.