Level of perceived air movement when breathing


An obvious way to judge the rate at which air is moving into or out of your lungs is the sensation of it's passage through the nose and throat -- the sensation of coldness from evaporative cooling and the sound caused and force exerted by turbulence, these being roughly proportional to the speed of flow of air through these organs.

The speed of flow of air may be increased by:

Often when people try to take a deep breath, they do both these things, thus producing most impressive gasping and snorting. Even in normal breathing both are used. I have observed this in myself, and it is also something that Mathias Alexander and Catherine Sadolin note.

The second method of increasing the speed of flow is rather counter-productive when trying to increase the rate of flow, and should be eliminated.

One might also judge the rate of breathing by the sensation of vacuum in the chest. This is wholly misleading. By constricting your nose and/or throat you may create an impressive sensation in the chest. If this is made a habit, it will quite possibly harm various internal organs. It will also make your ribs show as the flesh about them is sucked inwards, making you look scrawny. If the nose and throat are not constricted there is almost no such sensation, despite a larger amount of air flowing.