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Unilateral forced nasal breathing (UFNB)

The ancient yogic technique of UFNB is being studied for more than 25 years. The CNS rhythm of alternating cerebral hemispheric activity and its coupled physiological and psychological correlates are the basis for the use of UFNB. yogis believed that UFNB has effects not only on the brain but throughout the periphery .UFNB selectively stimulates the contra lateral cerebral hemisphere and the ipsilateral branch of the SNS.

EEG studies

Subjects were asked to forced breath through the more congested nostril for 10-20 minets followed by the other side . The continuous EEG recording showed that UFNB increased EEG activity in the contra lateral hemispheres regardless of the phase of the nasal cycle.EEG activity generated by nasal (verses oral ) breathing is produced by a neural mechanism in the superior nasal meatus.this activating effect could also be produced by air insufflations into the upper nasal cavity without inflating the lungs.

Local anesthesia of the nasal mucosal membrane suppressed the cortical effects of airflow stimulation. The yogis postulate that UFNB increases the cognitive performance in the contra lateral hemispheres.

One study showed under resting conditions, that right nasal dominance is coupled to relatively greater verbal performance (left brain activity), left nasal dominance was coupled to relatively better spatial skills(Right brain activity) . Thus it was shown that thirty minets of R-UFNB increased left hemispheric cognitive performance and L-UFNB increased right hemispheric performance Various studies have demonstrated the effects of UFNB on several autonomic dependent phenomena. R-UFNB significantly increased blood sugar level and L- UFNB lowered it. R-UFNB increased HR and BP compared to L-UFNB , which lowered HR and BP. Metabolism – Right and left- UFNB increased metabolism as measured by oxygen consumption.

Skin resistance – L-UFNB increased Galvanic Skin Response indicating reduction in sympathetic activity supplying the sweat glands. Alternate nostril breathing was found effective for treating angina pectoris in an open clinical trial. Two clinical trials have used L-UFNB for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with substantial clinical reductions in obsessions and compulsions measured with Y-B scale leading to reduction or elimination of medication.

Little is understood about exactly how Vagal Nerve Stimulation modulates mood and seizure control. Proposed mechanism include alteration of Norepinephrine release by the afferent vagal projections of solitary tract to the locus coeruleus, elevated levels of inhibitary GABA and inhibition of cortical activity.

Nadishodhan pranayam

This is a simple yoga breathing exercise that can be done by anybody, anywhere ,any place and is dynamic. It is wrongly called Anulom-Vilom pranayam. Lom means hair. When air flows in the same direction of nasal hair , it is called Anulom , that is inspiration. The opposite is Vilom , that is expiration.

Yogis believe that Nadishodhan will clean and rejuvenate your vital channels of energy. When the breath continues to flow in one nostril for more than 2.5 hours, it will have an adverse effect on our health Prolonged breathing through the left nostril only over a period of years will produce asthma while prolonged breathing through right nostril only causes diabetes.

They can be taken care of by nadishodhan pranayam. There are 3 main nadis. Prana or the life force circulates inside Pingla (right nostril or suryanadi) Apana(passive force) is supposed to circulate inside Ida(left nostril or chandra nadi). The third nadi is called sushumna through which kundalini is supposed to flow. The ida and pingla nadis refer to the two hemispheres of the brain. These nadis are said to have an extra sensory function playing a part in empathic and instinctive responses.pingla and ida are believed to be stimulated through nadishodhan pranayam which would stimulate the left and right brain alternately. when both the nostrils are freely breathing, it is supposed to stimulate sushumna nadi bringing calmness of body and mind.
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