Here are some breathing initiatives we propose as public-health priorities.
- Breathing education should become as common as nutrition counseling. Just as certain illnesses are linked to how or what people are eating, other illnesses are linked to dysfunctional breathing and that association is just as important to publicize.
- Doctors and dentists should do a routine breathing assessment at checkups for babies, children and adults, using symptom checklists and taking standard measurements that were developed decades ago to measure breathing fitness and health. (This was actually just recently proposed by the Britist Lung Foundation!)
- Preschool teachers could mentor families on how they can practice healthy breathing together — while talking, eating, exercising, resting and sleeping. Preschools are a tremendous resource to facilitate healthy family habits in a gentle, fun and positive way.
- Elementary school could add curriculum of breathing games and training, including screenings for early signs of co-morbid conditions with mouth-breathing like ADHD, snoring, learning difficulties and behavioral challenges.
- PE teachers and team coaches should guide players to nose breathe during sports.
- Breathing education should be a standard offering at integrative-health clinics.
- As breathing education becomes standard in schools, a special effort should be made to offer it too to mature adults who have never considered the quality of their breathing and how it may affect their life and health.
- We should broadcast public-service announcements on social media and other outlets for how people can best protect themselves against breathable germs and pollutants, including wildfire smoke, through defensive nasal breathing.
If you have other ideas, write a comment and let us know!