In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, you’re going to learn how to breathe. And the person who’s going to explain it is my guest James Nestor. He’s a San Francisco-based science journalist, author, surfer, free diver, adventurer, and speaker. His new book, “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art,” takes on a topic that we all take for granted.
So why is the topic of breathing so fascinating? Apparently, as “natural as breathing” really isn’t. Our breathing has evolved, and not for the better. Even though we think we know how to do it, our lives since the Industrial Age have been disrupted in ways that now are harming us.
James set out on a decade-long quest to find out where our breathing went wrong—and how to fix it. He uncovered the history of ancient breathing techniques and the science behind breathing. His book draws on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology. He takes an intense and interesting look at this basic biological function of ours.
One of the astounding things he discovered had to do with mouth breathing.
“Twenty-five to 50 percent of the population are chronic mouth breathers,” James says. “So, we don’t use our noses either because we can’t, because they’re always plugged up, or we just choose not to. … So many people have chronic sinus. So many people are mouth breathing. And so many people have asthma that we’ve accepted this as completely normal, and it’s not. And the science is very clear what damage this is doing to us as a population.”
You’ll be thrilled at the stuff you’ll learn in this episode that you didn’t know before. From bone structure to oxygen intake to heart rate–and even your genitalia–breathing is at the center of it all.
James is here to talk about ways that proper breathing can help heal modern medical conditions, ease anxiety and basically change your life.
Enjoy! And get more resources at Dave.Asprey/podcasts.
Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
- I started breathing along with Sri Sri and just in this rhythmic pattern. – 3:56
- These were ordinary looking people had used the power of breathing to hold their breath for six, seven, eight minutes at a time and dive down to 300, 350 feet with just a single breath of air. And this completely blew me away. -5:51
- I figured out what to do on cleaning out my sinuses and avoiding the surgery. It was a book called Sinus Survival. – 9:12
- So, it’s so many people have chronic sinus. I think it’s like 25% of the population. – 15:09
- What did you find breathing did for teeth as we develop and as adults, and what did you do to your own teeth and sinuses to change them? – 17:17
- The reason why humans have crooked teeth, this is something I had never thought about because everyone I knew had crooked teeth, had braces, extractions, all that crap, because our mouths have grown so small that teeth have nowhere to grow. – 20:15
- Not only does it increase your airway size, but it can also add bone to your face. – 25:27
- If you’re looking to maintain health and prevent yourself from getting sick at any time, breathing has to be considered – 30:01
- Breathe through your nose and increases nitric oxide, which increases vasodilation, which increases erectile tissue, both in men and women in the sex organs. – 32:29
- We know there’s direct links between mouth breathing and cavities. – 34:37
- You don’t want to be too acidic and you don’t want to be too alkaline. And your body is going to, at all times, you want to stay at 7.4 pH because that’s where all the magic happens throughout your body. – 38:27
- What is the ideal number of seconds for a breath and where did it come from? – 43:14
- It’s making you very alkaline, it’s making you very acidic so your body can remain flexible so that you can willingly place yourself in a state of stress, which is what Wim Hof, what does Sudarshan Kriya does. – 48:24
- If you can’t get to that six second inhale and exhale, do four seconds in and four seconds out, and get to it eventually. The point is to relax yourself. – 53:46
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