Characteristics Of The Human Respiratory System

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The human respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and removing carbon dioxide, a waste product that if allowed to accumulate, can be lethal. The respiratory system works with the circulatory system in that the red blood cells collect the oxygen from the lungs and carry it to the parts of the body where it is needed.

This project will take you through the functions and anatomy of the of the respiratory system, the mechanics of breathing, the disorders of the system and how massage or holistic approaches can be used to treat these diseases instead of traditional medical routes.

Functions of the Respiratory System

Through breathing, inhalation, and exhalation, the respiratory system facilitates
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The respiratory system provides oxygen to the body’s cells while eliminating carbon dioxide, a waste product that can be lethal if allowed to accumulate. The respiratory system is divided into two parts:

Upper respiratory tract - This includes the nostrils, mouth, and the beginning of the trachea (the section that takes air in and lets it out).

Lower respiratory tract - This includes the trachea, the bronchi, bronchioli and the lungs (the act of breathing takes place in this part of the system).

The organs of the lower respiratory tract are located in the chest cavity. They are laid out and protected by the ribcage, the chest bone (sternum), and the muscles between the ribs and the diaphragm (that constitute a muscular partition between the chest and the abdominal cavity).

The nostrils form the main exterior opening for the respiratory system and are the first section of the body’s airway. Nostrils are involved in the intake of air, that is, they bring air into the nose, where the air is warmed and humidified. The tiny hairs called cilia filters out dust and other particles present in the air and protects the nasal passage and other regions of the respiratory
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• Exhalation – the expulsion of air from the lungs through contraction of chest volume.

During inhalation the diaphragm and the external intercostal muscles contract. The diaphragm moves downward increasing the size of the thoracic (Chest) cavity, and the external intercostal muscles pull the ribs up and outward, expanding the rib cage, further increasing this chest size. This increase of size lowers the air pressure in the lungs as compared to atmospheric air. Because air always flows from a region of high pressure to an area of lower pressure, it travels in through the body’s conducting airway (nostrils, throat, and trachea) into the alveoli of the lungs.
During a resting exhalation, the diaphragm and external intercostal muscles relax, restoring the thoracic (Chest) cavity to its original (smaller) size, and forcing air out of the lungs and into the atmosphere. Whereas breathing is involved with the movement of air into and out of the chest cavity, respiration involves the exchange of gases in the
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