How does breathing deliver oxygen to your toes? It all starts with your mouth and nose. When you breathe in, a muscle under your lungs contracts, the diaphragm. This pulls air through your nose or mouth, where the air is warmed. This is important because if the air is too cold or too dry, it can irritate your lungs and cause problems when you try to breathe.
From there, air travels down your windpipe through two tubes called bronchi into your lungs. In the lungs the bronchi branch into smaller and smaller tubes, the smallest of which are called bronchioles, which are about as thin as a piece of hair. Air travels through these tubes into small sacs at the end of each bronchiole called alveoli. The alveoli are surrounded by tiny capillaries that are so small that blood cells can only travel through them one at a time. From the alveoli of the lungs, oxygen passes through these capillaries where it attaches to blood cells that are then pumped by the heart and travel throughout the body.
As the blood distributes oxygen to your cells, it simultaneously takes carbon dioxide, a waste product of your body’s natural processes, and returns it to the lungs. The carbon dioxide then makes the reverse journey of the oxygen and is exhaled. This is how carbon dioxide leaves the body. This happens when the diaphragm relaxes, which pushes the air out of your lungs. This process happens thousands of times a day, usually unnoticed unless there is a disturbance such as coughing.
It’s important to keep your respiratory system healthy. Regular exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep each day – these are the keys to helping your respiratory system to function properly. Essential oils can also support feelings of clear airways and easy breathing.* If you’re looking for a good way to support the healthy function of your respiratory system, try oils like Peppermint, doTERRA On Guard® Lemon or Cardamon.* You can also use doTERRA Air on the skin or Eucalyptus (diluted with fractionated coconut oil) for a cooling, soothing sensation.
If a change in season can bring you trouble, try TriEase® Softgels Seasonal Blend daily to support your respiratory system through the seasons.