Infinity Spine Center Blog

Part ✌️: Another Underrated Indicator of Your Health

Stop whatever it is that you are doing and answer this one question. 

Keeping your mouth closed, plug your right nostril. Take one breath in and out.

Now do the same but this time plug your left nostril.

Does each side feel the same and stuffiness or restriction? 

No need to close your eyes like her. She so serious about her BRAC.

You just did one of the most sophisticated diagnostics in modern medicine called the Booger Restrictive Airflow Check (BRAC). It’s a medical diagnostic tool created by some dude out of a Southwest desert in the United States.

Founder of BRAC (Booger Restrictive Airflow Check). 

If you have too much stuffiness on one side compared to the other when doing the BRAC, there’s a good chance that you have some inflammation on the restricted side. This is your boogers telling you that something isn’t right–decades before any “state of the art” medical equipment helps doctor dude(tte) come to a diagnosis. 

Slight BRAC on one side can be part of the normal “nasal cycle.” The nasal cycle is a 1-5 hour cycle of congestion and decongestion alternating between your right and left nostril.

Guess what the nasal cycle is controlled by!!

Your suprachiasmatic nucleus

Your suprachiasmatic nucleus

What controls your suprachiasmatic nucleus?

  • Timing and type of light 
  • Timing and type of electromagnetic fields
  • Timing and type of your activity 
  • Timing and type of your food 

No need to get caught up in all the details. All you need to know is that what you do and when you do it controls your nasal cycle. If you’re crushing a large Barro’s pizza at 8:30 at night you’re gonna jack up your circadian rhythm and nasal cycle. 

Why do we have the nasal cycle?

It’s thought that one benefit of the nasal cycle is to prevent bedsores during sleeping and another to olfaction (smell) benefits. One of the critical things to know about the nasal cycle is that the congestion on one side should be nearly imperceptible and definitely not cause you to breathe from your mouth.  

Restricted breathing on both sides during the BRAC, is no bueno and probable inflammation in your nasal tissues or sinus. If this congestion causes you to breathe through your mouth, it’s similar to a type 1 bowel movement on the Bristol Stool. 3 and 4, we adore! Type 1 bowel movement nothing like our friend the Poopie Policeman. 

The Poopie Policeman has mad skillz on the court too. 

If you have any restriction, whether one-sided or two, and it causes you to breathe through your mouth, you’re losing out on your body’s ability to create the antibacterial powerhouse and oxygen enriching substance called nitric oxide. 

You may remember our discussion on nitric oxide from red and near-infrared. Nitric oxide is the same stuff that’s released from your cells when exposed to red and near-infrared, that travels to your blood. Cells that are exposed to red and near-infrared release nitric oxide into your blood to do some dope stuff via increasing the size of your blood vessels. Larger blood vessels mean that your cells are getting more nutrients and getting rid of more waste.

Scientific name for trachea is lung tubes. Nice tatt, bruh!

After nitric oxide has taken care of the bad dudes in your sinuses, it travels down the tubes that connect your nose to your lungs called the respiratory tract. In these tubes, nitric oxide stimulates surface cells to promote further enhancement of your body’s immune system to protect it from the bad guys trying to get into your lungs. 

But wait, we ain’t done yet! Nitric oxide does more! 

Once nitric oxide reaches your lungs, it causes your blood vessels to dilate, which increases oxygen in your blood.  Don’t forget when you take that Cornerman recommended long and full exhale you start dumping oxygen off to your cells.  At this point, your cells start functioning like a free galloping unicorn near the Pulvar River in the ancient Persian capital of Iran. 

Testing your BRAC

It’s essential to test your breathing throughout the day. One of the most valuable times to check is in the morning as soon as you wake up. But, also be sure to test it throughout the day. A quick inhale and exhale on each side will suffice. 

If you have too many boogers, in one nostril or both, stuffing up your breathing mojo, take the following steps to get things flowing. 

Stuffy on both sides

If you’re stuffy on both sides, take a 20-minute walk outside with your mouth closed. Do this every day until your nose clears on both sides. This could take months or years, depending on how long/much healing needs to happen. Healing takes time and deliberate effort.   

Stuffy on one side

If you’re stuffy on one side, take a 20-minute walk outside but at every 5-minute mark, plug your better nostril. This will force you to breathe through your stuffy side 10 times. The air going through your stuffy nostril will increase nitric oxide, to help prevent further sinus inflammation and stuffiness. 

No stuffiness

You get major benefits from plugging one nostril no matter what your BRAC is like. Single side nostril breathing helps stimulate certain brain areas. If you’re an athlete before a competition or need to increase alertness, try plugging your left nostril. If you need to chill out, do some art, or get some sleep, try plugging your right nostril. More on this in a future piece. 

If you wake up stuffy and full of boogers–even if it improves after you blow your nose, do these 3 things: 

1. Get a check on your dinner time. If it’s after sunset, move it to before sunset.
2. Avoid eating a huge dinner. After you eat a meal you get “postprandial inflammation.” This simply means after you eat your immune system goes to work increasing inflammation in your body. This inflammation is normal, but when not kept in check can jack you up.  If you’re throwin’ down hotdogs like Joey Chestnut on Coney Island to close to your bedtime or all day long by snacking between your meals, this can lead to chronic inflammation. Some inflammation is your friend and normal. It’s when the inflammatory process gets out of control that it’ll lead to a bunch of boogers, mouth-breathing, brain fog, fatigue and autoimmune immune dis and dat.
3. Monitor what foods you are eating. If you’re chowing down on Quest protein bars, they can jack up your immune system. Other “healthy” foods that may not be healthy for you to pay attention to:  

  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds
  • raw vegetables
  • feedlot or caged animals
  • the obvi: processed foods. Ditch ALL of them.

Important note!!

Poor dude’s gonna have a poor BRAC score. Just crushed a half box of Cheerios.

You don’t have to have gobs of boogers to indicate a chronic sinus infection. Restriction of airflow is like a type 1 bowel movement and jacks up your body’s ability to handle the bad guys and limits oxygen consumption. 

Have an awesome weekend!

Your Cornerman with love,

Dr. Thoma

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