Make This One Life Change to Improve Health, Energy & Athletic Performance

Adiel Gorel

How much attention do you pay to the process of breathing? It’s just something you do – unconsciously, unthinkingly, right? This is mostly true, unfortunately. The fact, however, is that there is a tremendous amount of benefit in using the correct nasal breathing technique consistently and consciously. I recently spoke to James Nestor about his book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, which is about precisely this. We shared our insights on the subject and ended up having a truly enlightening conversation about the thing we do 24×7 – breathing!

Nasal breathing is vital.


Think about the pollution we are exposed to every day and about the harmful particles we breathe in all the time. This leads to all sorts of problems: asthma, allergies, lung disease. Fortunately, the body has its own natural system to effectively filter these out. Unfortunately, most of us sort of forget to use this system. Early in life, we ‘forget’ the right way to breathe. Did you know about the many benefits we deny ourselves simply by breathing through the mouth, simply because this is just not something that we are taught how to do when growing up?
James speaks about divers in Greece who are able to hold their breath for several minutes at a time, diving to depths of hundreds of feet! How is this possible? And if this is possible, what else is possible? Researchers have examined the impact of nasal breathing on certain chronic conditions and have found that nasal breathing can help to reduce reliance on bronchodilators and medications significantly. Proper exhalations after taking a flight also have significant beneficial impacts, as we discuss at about the 9-minute mark.

Ancient and modern findings about breathing.


Ancient breathing systems such as Pranayama, which is so much a part of yoga practice today, have some very specific breathing techniques that produce some marked positive results. The humming technique in particular can alleviate intractable chronic sinusitis for instance. Today, experts are able to help people control their panic attacks simply by controlling their breathing. The result of proper breathing is that the air we breathe in is optimally filtered, humidified and conditioned. The process releases about six times more nitric oxide than just breathing through the mouth.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, choral conductor and teacher Carl Stough taught opera singers to create greater resonance and volume simply by learning the right way to breathe. He helped emphysema patients in hospitals walk out of hospital when the medical community had all but given up on them. His techniques even helped the US track team at the Mexico Olympics, as James and I discuss.
Today there are various names for essentially retraining the body to breathe the right way: Taiko Breathing, Papworth Breathing and so on. The right breathing techniques were seen to help patients with SARS and now those with severe COVID symptoms are also finding relief. So what is the right way to breathe and what is the wrong way? We go into that at about the 21-minute mark in the podcast.
In one sense, breathing right can have some of the same impacts on the system as Viagra! Listen in to the podcast to learn why this is not as far fetched as it sounds.
breathing technique tips
Adiel Gorel

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