Whole Family Chiropractic – Dr. Tye Moe – Dr. Chelsey Henney – Pediatric and Family Chiropractors in Minneapolis and St Paul, MN 55116

Why do we have two nostrils instead of one?

Welcome to this edition of Whole Family’s Kids Question of the Week!

The question this week was:

Why do we have two nostrils instead of one?


The answer:

Aside from looking cool, the reason we have two nostrils instead of one is that having two nostrils actually lets us smell more things! Did you know that most people only breathe out of one nostril at a time? While the inside one nostril is wide open to let lots of air in, the inside of the other nostrils is mostly closed – only letting a small bit of air in.

How does this allow us to smell more things?

In order for us to smell, particles in the air have to bind with receptors in our nostrils. Some particles bind quickly and connect when there is lots of airflow (a wide open nostril), and others bind slowly and connect only when there is slow airflow (a mostly closed nostril). When we have one nostril wide open and the other mostly closed, it allows us to smell a lot wider range of things at any given moment!

Every few hours, it is our nervous system that tells our body which nostril to open up and which one to close.  So that’s why when you come in for your adjustments at Whole Family Chiropractic you can smell things even better!  (And hopefully you get to smell pretty flowers or delicious food…not stinky feet!)

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