Tag Archives: nose

Your nose can smell at least 1 trillion scents

A new study demonstrates that your sense of smell is far more sensitive than you think and the world of scents is infinitely more varied. Scientists previously thought humans could smell around 10,000 different odors.

Human beings tend to think of themselves as visual first, auditory second, then touch and taste. Down at the bottom of the five senses is smell—at least when it comes to how often we’re aware of it. And while we all know how pungent a bad smell can be, and how memorable a good smell is, we probably don’t think our olfactory sense is all that sensitive, at least compared to the rest of our senses—or to the keen sense of smells exhibited in the animal world (Sharks can’t literally smell fear, but they can distinguish the smell of fisheven if they make up only one part for every 10 billion parts in the water).

While scientists estimate that human beings can discriminate between several million different colors and almost half a million different sounds, they have long assumed that we can distinguish perhaps 10,000 different odors. Most of the time humans are barely aware they’re smelling anything at all.

Pranayama: The Nose Knows

The topic of breathing and pranayama (the practice that works to direct the movement of life force) is a fascinating one.

Exhaling through the mouth can be beneficial in that it allows for a greater volume of air to be released at once and may help your jaw to relax. We all do this naturally when we are exasperated, tired, or weary. Take a breath in, then breathe out with a soft, sighing sound: You will feel your shoulders release, and as your jaw releases, your tongue will relax down into the base of the mouth, creating a quieting effect on your mind.16963-122

However, in most instances, it’s preferable to breathe through your nose. There are several reasons for this.

The first reason is that the nose does much more than just let air in and out. There are texts that claim it performs more than 30 functions, such as containing the receptors for smell, filtering out dirt and pathogens, and moisturizing and warming incoming air.

The yogic viewpoint is less concerned with the mechanical functions of the nose and breath and more interested in the process of how our breathing affects the nervous system. The ancient texts describe a network of subtle channels, called nadis, the three most important of which originate at the base of the spine. The ida flows to the left nostril, the pingala flows to the right nostril, and thesushumna is the central channel and balance point of the other two.nadis

The ancient yogis were able to map out thousands of these channels, not through dissection of the body, but through intense practice of introspection and awareness development of both the gross and subtle levels of the body-mind. Current research supports the yogic observations.

The reason that nose breathing is more effective in creating energy changes is that when you breathe in or out through your nose, you stimulate the olfactory nerve; this impulse is then passed on to the hypothalamus, which is connected to the pineal gland, which is associated with the third eye area—seat of the “sat guru,” inner wisdom. Some say the ida and pingala interlace their way up the sushumna and end somewhere in the sinus chambers; others say that they end in the “third eye.” When you breathe through your nose, you are helping to open and balance the sushumna and quiet and steady the mind.

For more helpful information go to the Yoga Journal 

Why are we allergic to pollen?

When pollen spores dislodge from the plant and become airborne, they can enter your nose and throat. In people who are allergic, pollen triggers a reaction in specialized cells known as mast cells. A mast cell or mastocyte contains histamine, which is released into the bloodstream during an allergic reaction. This causes many of the symptoms associated with pollen allergies — such as runny eyes and nose, nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and itching and irritation.

Allergies are sensitivities to certain substances—including foods, dust, animal dander and pollen— that people come in contact with nearly every day. In normal people, such contact has no ill effects. The bodies of allergic people, however, are sensitive to these substances

Individuals tend to inherit the tendency to have allergies from one or both parents. Though specific allergies, such as a pollen allergy, cannot be inherited, the likelihood of having the same or similar reaction is increased.

Pregnancy, viral infections and puberty can also increase the probability of developing allergies because the body’s defenses and immune system are weakened at these times.

Read more @ Ehow Facts