CAN INFLUENZA VIRUSES BE INACTIVATED BY A "NOSE-MOUTH-NOSE" BREATHING
Galician Health Service, Primary Care, Sergas, Lugo, Spain.
ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT
Seven years ago, I presented an oral communication “Nasal breathing technique in nasal airway
obstruction. Viral infections in upper respiratory tract”, in the 20th World Congress of the International
Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngologycal Societes, IFOS, Seoul, 2013. This is a technique based on
physiological concepts of breathing, to avoid the use of nasal decongestants in a cold or flu. We have
to breathe the air we exhale. It is air with a high concentration of CO2, but it is not toxic. Inhaling
carbon dioxide in the air we exhale through a nasal mask made by ourselves, using our hands, acts as
a nasal decongestant. I think it is possible that this breathing technique can inactivate the flu virus,
because the people who used it (10 patients), did not develop the flu in these years.
Copyright © 2020, Carlos Sánchez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Nasal airway obstruction is one of the first symptoms of viral
infections in the upper respiratory tract. In this condition, air
goes directly into the respiratory tract without warming up in
the nostrils, and is breathed through the mouth instead of the
nose, causing oropharyngeal discomfort. In order to solve this
problem, we use topical nasal decongestants; they are very
effective and safe, when used for a short period of time.
However, we are aware of its side effects, and it is unlikely that
we will have them on hand, when the first symptoms of a cold
or flu appear. On the other hand, the effectiveness and safety of
nasal decongestants are limited (Deckx, 2016).
Aim: By using a breathing technique, we can improve the
nasal obstruction that occurs as a result of suffering a cold, and
thus avoid the use of nasal decongestants (Carlos Sánchez
Fernández de la Vega, 2013). I try to persuade my patients not
to use nasal decongestants. Moreover, by practicing this
technique, the viruses could be inactivated.
Method: We have to consider the physiological concepts of
breathing (inhalation and exhalation), to explain the nasal
decongestive effect of this technique.
The composition of the inspired air is different from that of the
exhaled air, with the following standard values for respiratory
gases (Gillian Pocock, 2013):
*Corresponding author: Carlos Sánchez,
Galician Health Service, Primary Care, Sergas, Lugo, Spain.
A/ Inspired air: O2 (21 %); CO2 (0,04 %); N2 (78, %); Argon
(0.9%); Water (0.0 %).
B/ Expired air: O2 (16 %); CO2 (4 %); N2 (78 %); Argon
(0.9%); Water (4 %).
The CO2 gas exhaled is about a 100-fold increase over the CO2
inhaled amount. So, the air we breathe out (exhaled air),
contains about 100 times more carbon dioxide concentration,
more water vapor and less oxygen. This fact is important in
explaining the hypothesis I adopted, according to which the
concentration of carbon dioxide in the exhaled air could act as
a vasoconstrictor of the nasal mucosa and inactivate influenza
viruses. On the other hand, nose breathing helps us to use our
own nitric oxide generated in the sinuses. The confirmed
function of the nitric oxide is destruction of viruses, parasitic
organisms, and malignant cells, in the airways and lungs, by
inactivating their respiratory chain enzymes (Chaves, 2010;
Jefferson, 2010). There is a very interesting article “Evidence
for cure of flu through nose breathing”, about how nitric oxide
prepared in the sinuses uses and kills the flu virus to cure us of
the flu (Sana Jamshald,2013). The physiology of the autonomic
nervous system, helps us to understand the decongestant effect
of this breathing technique: General innervation to the nose
involves the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic
and sympathetic nerves. The glands of the nasal mucosa, as
well as the vessels, have a direct parasympathetic innervation,
which leads to a direct parasympathetic increase in nasal
secretions via transudation and exudation (Golding-Wood,
International Journal of Information Research and Review
Vol. 07, Issue, 07, pp.6973-6975, July, 2020
Received 15th April, 2020
Received in revised form
19th May, 2020
Accepted 27th June, 2020
Published online 30th July, 2020
International Journal of Information Research and Review, July, 2020
Obstruction Nasal, Nasal Decongestants,
Virus, Upper Respiratory Tract.
Several co-transmitters were detected in the nasal respiratory
mucosa (Baraniuk,1998). Parasympathetic neurons mainly
have a vasointestinal peptide (VIP) as co-transmitter to
acetylcholine (Figueroa et al., 1998). VIP stimulates secretions
(more serious than mucous) and vasodilation in the arterial and
sinusoidal vessels (Knipping, 2004). Sympathetic neurons
contain the neuropeptide Y (NPY) as a key co-transmitter for
noradrenalin and predominantly innervate arterioles and
arteriovenous anastomoses. Release of NPY results in
prolonged vasoconstriction, along with decongestion of the
venous sinus vessels (Baraniuk,1992). Therefore, the activation
of the sympathetic nerves leads to a decrease in blood flow and
a remarkable vasoconstriction, and the activation of the
parasympathetic nerves leads to an increase in blood flow and a
remarkable vasodilation. Stimulation also occurs during each
cycle of breathing. Inhalation stimulates sympathetic activity
and exhalation stimulates parasympathetic activity. Nasal
breathing can alter metabolism and autonomic activities. This
increase in metabolism may be due to increased sympathetic
discharge in the adrenal medulla (Telles,1994). Carbon dioxide
activates the sympathetic tone, thus increasing adrenaline
levels. Stimulation of the sympathetic system decreases nasal
congestion and discharge (Fig.1). This could explain the
decongestant effect of this technique. It is suggested that both
sympathetic and parasympathetic components, play a role in
alternating symptoms of unilateral nasal obstruction This could
explain the decongestant effect of this technique. This way, it
could be explained the decongestant effect of this technique.
Both sympathetic and parasympathetic components are
suggested to play a role in alternating unilateral nasal
obstruction symptoms (Sarin, 2006).
How is this technique used?
We have to make a nasal mask with our own hands. It is very
simple. (Fig. 2).
Fig 2: The nasal breathing technique using the left hand
A/ Put your hand in an upright position, as shown in the
B/ Place the palm of your right hand under the chin, in contact.
This serves to create a cavity between the hand and the mouth.
C/ Flex your fingers and touch the tip of your nose.
D/ With your left hand, raising your elbow 90 degrees, grasp
the fingers of your right hand to bring them together.
You now have a mask! You just inhale the air you exhale
through your mouth.
Fig. 2. The nasal breathing technique using the right hand
Fig 3. We have made a nasal mask to breathe the air we exhale. It
is air with higher concentration in CO2 than normal air, and with
a decongestant effect in the nostrils.
Fig 4. A nasal mask
The activation of the alae nasi will decrease nasal and total
airway resistance during voluntary nasal flaring and during
CO2 inhalation and thus should be considered in any studies of
upper airway resistance (Strohl, 1982). I think when we get a
cold, the first symptom is often a sneeze, that no one attributes
to exposure to respiratory viruses. For this reason, I
recommend my patients do this breathing technique for 45-60
seconds, every time they sneeze. It is difficult to appreciate the
difference with the sneezes of other aetiologias. This simple
technique could inactivate respiratory viral infections. Another
significant clinical fact that we have observed, is that the cough
disappears if we use the technique for several minutes. This
can be explained by a fluidification of the mucous membranes
of the respiratory tract. Nasal congestion is relieved by the use
of this technique, if practiced for a short period of time
(between 1-1.5 minutes), 3-4 times in a row, several times a
day when the first symptoms of a cold appear. It is necessary to
6974 Carlos Sánchez, Can influenza viruses be inactivated by a "nose-mouth-nose" breathing technique?
make a brief pause between them (about 30 seconds), because
otherwise we will get tired. At first, we hardly observe any
changes in nasal obstruction, but each time that we practice the
technique, the nasal decongestant effect is greater and we
It takes me a few minutes to train patients in this breathing
technique, explaining them its therapeutic benefits. Elderly
patients may find it difficult to perform, in which case, a nasal
breathing mask may be helpful (Fig 4). We have observed that,
10 patients that did use this breathing technique correctly, they
did not develop symptoms of flu viruses over the years. They
did not come to my office because of symptoms of a cold,
saving themselves by means of using this respiratory
technique. Some of them, they didn't get a flu shot. Of course, I
recommend that all my patients get a flu shot, but I also
recommend that they practice the technique for 60 seconds,
every time they sneeze. I don't know exactly why this happens,
but I think this theory might be correct. It's just another
This is a safe, efficient and effective technique to reduce the
use of nasal decongestants in nasal obstruction by a cold or flu
virus. Finally, I transcribe some paragraphs from WORLD
HEALTH ORGANIZATION about: Instructions for storage
and transport of samples of human and animal cases and
suspected or confirmed isolates of influenza A (H1N1). Date
Posted: May 20, 2009 "Specimens should be collected and
transported in a suitable transport medium, on ice or in liquid
nitrogen. Specimens collected for influenza virus isolation
should not be stored or shipped in dry ice (solid carbon
dioxide) unless they are perfectly sealed in glass or sealed,
taped and double plastic-bagged. “Carbon dioxide can rapidly
inactivate influenza viruses if it gains access to the specimens
through imperfect seals”: microscopic leaks in the seal may
allow carbon dioxide gas to penetrate the primary container as
a vacuum is created during freezing”.
Other interesting documents:
“Virus and bacteria inactivation by CO2 bubbles in
solution” (Adrian Garrido Sanchis, 2019).
Possibility of Disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-
19) in Human Respiratory Tract by Controlled
Ethanol Vapor Inhalation (Tsumoru Shintake, 1919).
Evidence for the cure of flu through nose breathing
These publications on inactivation of viruses by different gases
should make us reflect about the usefulness of this technique.
Adrian Garrido Sanchis, 2019. Richard Pashley and Barry
Ninham Virus and bacteria inactivation by CO2 bubbles in
solution. npj Clean Water Pub Date: -02-01, DOI:
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