How is the Breathing Process: Physiology, Assisted and Internal

Importance of breathing

Breathing every human being does it unconsciously, but how does it work?

Most people tend to equate breathing with other life processes, but the process of breathing is a much longer, more complicated system, of which breathing is only one of its many steps.

There are also two types of breathing: cellular and physiological, which refers to the breathing process and the respiratory system.

Like all life processes, it requires many studies and great complexity. Breathing is an essential process in all living organisms.

It helps exchange gases and provides oxygen, which is very important for the survival of most life forms on earth.

We all know that breathing is a visible and regular process we experience with each breath.


Exhalation and inhalation are the two stages associated with breathing. Our body needs oxygen for survival that is available in atmospheric air. During inhalation, we breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide during exhalation.

What is Breathing?

There are two types of breathing: cellular and physiological.

  • Cellular respiration

It is the process of converting molecules into energy through oxidation. This is the opposite of photosynthesis, the biochemical process used by plants and some types of bacteria to convert light energy into chemical energy.

Regarding cellular respiration, there are two types: aerobic and anaerobic. In short, aerobic breathing requires oxygen, while anaerobic respiration does not require oxygen.

  • Physiological respiration

The process involves the absorption of oxygen into the air in an organism’s cells, releasing carbon dioxide back into the environment. It is a cycle between organisms that breathe oxygen and organisms that breathe carbon dioxide.

There are two types of physiological breathing in animals: internal respiration and external respiration.

Internal respiration is the process of cells in the body exchanging gases. In contrast, external respiration is the breathing process that occurs inside the respiratory organs such as the lungs.

This is the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between an organism and its environment, which involves breathing directly.

It is essential to work and learn proper breathing techniques to maintain a solid cardiovascular and respiratory system.

Breathing Process: Physiological.

For humans and other vertebrates that breathe oxygen, the breathing process occurs inside the lungs, driven by a mechanical series called inhalation and exhalation.

These are the biological mechanisms that make up the breath. We breathe to absorb oxygen and exhale to expel carbon dioxide. However, there is more involved in the breathing process than the lungs. The whole process uses the nasal cavity, the mouth, the larynx, the trachea, and the bronchi of the lungs.

Assisted breathing

We use our intercostal muscles for breathing and breathing, the muscle group that lies between our ribs.

When we inhale through the nose or mouth, these intercostal muscles contract, our sternum moves up and out along with our ribs, and our diaphragm flattens out.

The diaphragm is a lamina of muscle found through the bottom of the rib cage and is vital for proper breathing.

When the diaphragm contracts, the volume in our thoracic cavity expands, thus reducing the pressure and allowing us to draw air into our lungs. With the help of our diaphragm and the thoracic cavity, our body creates a literal suction.

In the same way, when we exhale, our intercostal muscles and our diaphragm relax. This causes the thoracic cavity volume to decrease and the pressure inside to increase, which expels the air in exhalation.

Internal breathing

What happens inside the body between inhalation and exhalation?

Internal breathing occurs after and during external respiration when the gases in the air that we have attracted to our lungs can be mixed, the oxygen absorbed in our blood, and the carbon dioxide eliminated.

This happens because our heart pumps blood low in oxygen through the pulmonary arteries and into the lungs.

Small blood vessels called capillaries at the ends of the pulmonary arteries wrap around the alveoli like a network.

The alveoli are where our bronchial tubes transport the air we inhale. They are the rounded, grouped, and sack-shaped ends of the respiratory tree where gas exchange occurs.

Inside the alveoli, the oxygen-rich air we have inhaled is pumped to the red blood cells in the surrounding capillaries, enriching the blood with much-needed oxygen.

The red blood cells expel the carbon dioxide they transport to the alveoli.

Carbon dioxide is a waste product created through the metabolism process, and too much of it in our blood can cause damage to our bodies.

It can raise acidity levels in your blood, harm your heart and even cause suffocation!

When you hold your breath by inhalation and then do not exhale immediately, you start to feel dizzy not due to the sudden lack of oxygen consumption but the excess of carbon dioxide accumulated in your body.

Of course, both are important, so practice proper breathing techniques.

Once air from the alveoli is enriched with carbon dioxide from the newly extracted red blood cells of oxygen, this air travels through the bronchial tubes and exits through the nose or mouth in exhalation.

At the same time, the pulmonary veins carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart to be distributed throughout the body.