breathing profundity

This would be a slice into the Ponder Series

“Breathing Profundity”

When I say that we’ve a lot of blessings that we don’t notice, it might appear poetic & looks like another philosophy post blooming. I would like you to think with me on breathing. Have you thought deeply and consciously about what a great blessing it is. I had been hospitalized with situations where it was difficult for me to catch my breath. I had put a note on that day in my diary to write about it many months later when I’d be fine and this is the day & boy I’ve thought a lot about it in depths through which I want to take you now : )

I’m not an expert to expound professional biology here, but the intention here is to unravel the magic happening inside you on a layman terms.

Try holding your breath for about 40 seconds. The beauty of breathing is that if you or me are put in a situation that we can’t breathe for more than about 40 seconds, we would give up everything we have just to breathe again. After a minute or so of not being able to breathe, we would be losing consciousness. Brain death would follow in about 3 minutes after that.

You’d have taken approximately about 7 breaths by the time you have reached reading till this line of my post with you not needing to do anything to facilitate it. Have you thought about the marvelous system within you enabling you to breathe. The air entering your lungs has been cleaned and a humidity regulation happens within your windpipe. Blood circulation from the lungs enables it to be conveyed to cells and are used for their nourishment and vital functions. Carbon Dioxide is received as a waste material and when we expel the breath, it is pushed out. We know the science, but have we thought about it and how fortunate we are to take a breath through this state of the art system inside. Breathing is a key to many important things happening within our body such as cell division, beating of our hearts, movement of muscles, thought etc. This process that we often relegate as a simple one represent the source of life of about 100 trillion cells in our body.

The gateway to the entire system is the nose. We often think of nose as the organ for detecting odour or smell. But they serve important functions such as making the air we breathe suitable for lungs. The nose has a perfect aerodynamic design and is a marvellous air conditioning system within itself. Nose has special filters inside in the form of hairs. Even its curvature has its design intent. The nasal mucus warms and moistens the air we intake. After the first level of filtration, the second filter it passes through is the mucus. Dust, bacteria and pollen are trapped. There are mobile propellants carrying mucus and they get swallowed in reflex and gets destroyed by stomach acids. Alternatively, they could be expelled by coughs. A pretty decent vigorous cough has a speed of 960 Km per hour. Have you thought about this safety precaution within you ? Hairlike structures called cilia line the mucous membrane and move the particles trapped in the mucus out of the nose. The tiny hair like structures called cilia on deeper examination is an engineering marvel. It forms a cylindrical rotor with nine different protein chains. It’s internal components resemble an engine. The next component is the windpipe.

Respiratory System – Artistic Illustration

The walls of the windpipe are supported by C-shaped rings of cartilage.If the windpipe had been made from flesh alone, the ensuing softness could result in regular blockages. That could make it not possible for us to breathe.
If it had been made from some thing as hard as bone, then our actions could be to a huge volume restricted. Yet the cartilaginous shape which makes up the windpipe is ideally fitted to all varieties of movement, and it continually stays open because of its flexibility. There is a small flap of elastic cartilage referred to as the epiglottis proper at the doorway to the windpipe. This flap routinely closes the doorway to the windpipe at some stage in swallowing. During all of the hundreds of food you’ve got got eaten, from babyhood right as much as the present, you have swallowed tens of hundreds of times. And each single time this little flap has closed the doorway for your windpipe at precisely the proper moment. Although we are ignorant of its presence and may exert no control over it, this little flap has saved your life via way of means of closing the doorway for your windpipe at simply the right moment.

Body tissues produce carbon dioxide due to their daily functions. This carbon dioxide is carried away from the tissues through the blood. This blood, loaded with carbon dioxide, is dirty blood. In order for the blood to be wiped clean it needs to make touch with the air. The oxygen in the air and the carbon dioxide withinside the blood will as a result be exchanged. There are round five litres of blood inside the human body. In order to be aired, this five litres of blood needs to unfold over a place of around 100 square metres. That is equal to the area of a tennis court. Everyone reading this blog post now has a place the scale of a tennis court squeezed into his lungs. Think about it!

The lungs consist of bronchia divided into hundreds of various tubes.
At the end of every any such bronchia are the alveoli, or air sacs, the size of a pinhead. There are about three hundred million of those air sacs in a healthy lung. Their general floor region is equal to that of a tennis court. The air passing via the bronchia fills the alveoli. The alveoli are blanketed with a dense community of capillaries, the smallest of the blood vessels. The alveoli and capillaries are separated from every different with a skinny membrane. This membrane allows an alternate of gasses among the blood and the air. The carbon dioxide inside the dirty blood and the oxygen in the air are exchanged here. And the dirty blood is cleansed in the alveoli. The device which permits your blood to be cleansed with each breath you’re taking is constructed on an air sac no large than a pinhead. Alveoli has a thin water layer inside and this creates surface tension. This could cause the alveoli to collapse on exhalation, but it does not happen when we breathe due to surfactants produced by Type II cells. These surfactants reduce the surface tension of water inside the alveoli.

Now, the oxygen which enters the alveoli interacts with cells that’s in charge of transportation, the “red blood cells”. Haemoglobin, a special protein is present inside the red blood cells. There are about 250 million haemoglobin molecules in every single red blood cell. They contain iron items and they bind to oxygen like a magnet. When it reaches the relevant places, some internal mechanisms within the body reduce this binding power of haemoglobin and thereby aiding release of oxygen. The by product carbon dioxide is also transported similarly. There’s a very delicate and balanced plan in place here.

The role of brain in this process is also worth pondering. The muscles around the ribcage are sent commands from the nerves in the medulla to fill the lungs with air. This signal is cut for 3 seconds which aids to the muscles to relax enabling exhalation of air. This is not in our control and we don’t think consciously about it.

The brain – artistic illustration only.

To summarize it, we have the marvellous air conditioning process in the nose, the safety measures in the respiratory tracts, the functioning of cilia and mucus, the special design of the windpipe, the flap openings, the tennis court area squeezed in our lungs, the alveoli of size no more than a pinhead, interacting cells, haemoglobin, the special nervous system directing a sophisticated transportation network. And the magic happens without you expending any effort or thinking about it.

It took me a hospitalization to ponder deeply about it and feeling grateful for this. Don’t we need to be filled with gratitude & awe to Almighty when we take a single breath. Think about it. For something as effortless as breathing, there’s an entire world working inside us aiding it and it’s too sophisticated to be an accident or co-incidence. It’s tailor designed on purpose for you. They’re working in the background to be known & discovered by you. To be aware of it is key to many enlightening delights. It’s another moment where we discover extraordinary systems within what seems ordinary. God bless!

You’d have taken roughly around 36 breaths by the time you’ve finished reading this article : )

Some of the other chapters from the Ponder Series that you can read on :

Perceiving Time
Ornate Blossoms
Visual Narrative – Ponder Series
Reflecting on Shadows
Stumble over Pebbles
Ethereal Quality | Petals
Golden Ratio
Vision – Pondering on the intricacies
Ruminating on Bird Nests
Living Embellishments
Pondering on Birds 

If you are reading this series for the first time, have a look at the intent post.

When we think about the world around us and also when we look within, it might seem usual and ordinary. But ponder series, as you might have already guessed, is all about thinking deeply and delving into the details by going beyond the ordinary perceptions. It’s a very humble endeavor towards unlocking extraordinary in the ordinary by opening our eyes of wisdom and insight. Hope you enjoy reading them. God bless friends : )

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