The Breathing Expert: Mouth Breathing Linked To ADHD, Diabetes & Child Sickness! | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "The Breathing Expert: Mouth Breathing Linked To ADHD, Diabetes & Child Sickness!".

1970-01-12T11:05:30.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

You can exercise all you want. Eat all the right food. Sleep eight hours a night. If you are not breathing right, you will always be sick. James Nestor, international best-siller on breathing. As a species, we've largely lost the ability to breathe correctly. James travels the whole world to try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. 99% of people are breathing dysfunctionally. They don't realize the damage they're doing to their bodies and brains by being this way. Look at the way we sit all day long, the way we sleep, the way we eat the modern world is conspiring to make us sick diabetes. Asthma, metabolic and autoimmune issues, anxiety, even ADHD. Experts said it is 100% related to your breathing at night especially. Really bad breathing habits are a recipe for disaster which is what has happened for so many kids today. So if you're a parent and if you can hear them breathing when they're sleeping, this is a big red flag. But I believe that everybody can become a good breeder and these steps are free. We can do this while we're seated here. So the first thing is to... Carbon dioxide is seen as this poison. Why? Levels over 800 into 1,000 can have serious issues with cognitive and physical functions that have been recording our CO2 during this interview. It's going up. And if we were to continue working in here for the next few hours, you will. Jesus. I think this is fascinating. I looked at the back end of our YouTube channel and it says that since this channel started 69.9% of you that watch it frequently haven't yet hit the subscribe button. So I have a favor to ask you. If you've ever watched this channel and enjoyed the content, if you're enjoying this episode right now, please can I ask a small favor? Please hit the subscribe button. It helps this channel more than I can explain and I promise if you do that, to return the favor, we will make the show better and better and better and better and better. That's the promise I'm willing to make you if you hit the subscribe button. Do we have a deal?


Understanding Breathing And Its Impact On Health

My Mission Will Fix People's Health (02:03)

James, of all the things you could have committed your life to, you could have committed a decade of work and effort to, you decided to commit it to the subject matter of breath and breathing. Why? It was a number of things that happened personally, professionally, over a number of years. I never set out to write a book about breathing. I mean, what a boring subject, right? Until I started having breathing problems. I came back year after year. I surf a lot in San Francisco, so I was getting bronchitis. I was getting pneumonia, mild pneumonia. It was nothing to worry about. I'd go to my doctor. I'd be given a pack of pills and sent on my way. This kept happening year after year until a doctor friend of mine was looking at me. We were out having a drink and she's like, "I think there's something going on with your breathing." This is just something we do automatically. It's nothing I considered. She's like, "Oh, you might want to go to a breathwork class." I went to a breathwork class and it completely blew me away on a number of levels. I was able to get over the respiratory problems I had. I don't write about this in the book because I didn't want to make my experience be indicative of everyone else's experience, but all the issues I had completely went away, 100%. I started looking into this more just personally. What else I could learn about breathing and how it could benefit me for athletic performance, for sleep, and more, and notice that my health was changing in all the right ways over and over again when I was adopting different habits. That was more than 10 years ago, actually. That was probably 12 years ago. Then I started writing about freedivers, started freediving myself and learning the limits of breathing and how you can do things that are supposed to be scientifically impossible by harnessing the power of your breath. That's what really got me interested as a science journalist. Your symptoms, the symptoms you had, what were those symptoms at the time? I was mouth breathing a lot. When I was working out, I was always mouth breathing. I was jogging. It was mouth breathing, doing karate mouth, mouth breathing, surfing. I noticed at night, I could not remember a time when I did not go to sleep with a huge glass of water by my bedside. I would wake up numerous times throughout the night. My mouth was very dry, very pasty in the morning. I thought this was completely normal. I also noticed that when I was working out at really high levels, I would start to wheeze a bit. I could hear myself breathing. I thought this was normal. Whenever I talked to people about it, they said, "Oh, welcome to old age. This is what happens when you get older." I didn't think that that was a good reason to be breathing so dysfunctionally, but it really took someone else to point it out for me to understand that maybe there was a problem there and maybe I should fix it. Your friend who was a doctor then suggested this breath of work class. You go to this breath of work class. Is it the one session itself that helped you or is it the practices you took away from that session that helped you? That one session completely blew my mind. It had all of the hallmarks of flakiness and new ageness. All the people flowing clothes, there were some headbands. I said, "Good God, what am I doing here?" There's a lot of this stuff that San Francisco, some kind of used to dream catchers, all that. It wasn't until I sat down and started actually got rid of all of that, all those problems in my brain that were making me resist really giving myself to this practice. Got rid of that, started breathing. I read about this at the beginning of the book, but I completely sweated through my t-shirt. It was not a warm room. It was quite cold in there, sweated through my t-shirt. There's sweat marks on my jeans. My hair was sopping wet. This was from sitting in a corner of a cold room, just breathing at this certain pattern. It obviously released something in me. When I mentioned this to doctors, I went back. They said, "Oh, you had a fever. Oh, the room was too hot. Oh, you were covered in blankets. All of that was false. There was something else deeper happening." They didn't understand it from their medical training. I tried to get answers elsewhere. That's what I spent years doing. You spent years doing. Your book on the subject matter comes out almost a decade later. In hindsight now, you have those answers on why you sweated through your clothes and why you had that physiological reaction. What is the answer? I do not have opinions as I sign as a journalist. I am a filter. My job is to talk to absolutely everybody, especially when people, doctors tell me, "Oh, don't talk to those people." They don't know what they're talking about. Those are the first people I'm going to talk to. I talked to everybody and tried to synthesize what I've learned the truth according to all of these different cultures, all of these different ways of learning, and put that in a book that the general public can understand. I have my own personal views on it, but I try to keep my personal views out of what I write. The next significant, I guess, catalyst event that was an inspiration point for your work was in 2011. As you say, you went and covered the free diving championship in Greece. What did that experience add to the inspiration cloud that would then form the book? What did you learn about the nature of breath from that? It's so funny. As you go through life, there are some experiences that you have that you have no idea that you were opening a completely different door, and you're just going to be walking through that door for the next decade. That's what happened in Greece. I didn't really know anything about it. Go out there and just have my mind blown. You have these people who are at the surface of the water. Take a single breath of air, one breath, and dive down 120 meters on a single breath of air and come back up five minutes later and go. Then get out of the way for the next competitor. You watch them. The water is very clear there. It goes down. Visibility is 150 meters. You watch them just disappear into nothing, the size of an hand, and then completely disappear into the ocean and come back. I said, "My God, there's so much we don't know about breathing and also about the limits of the human body. I want to learn more about this. I want to experience this as well, not diving down that deep, but I want to access more of what I've been given because I think we've been sold pretty short on what our limits are and what we should be doing and shouldn't be doing. I think our bodies are much more potential than that." When I was reading through your book, you describe breath as a pillar of health, which is a pretty big statement to make, is when we think of pillars of health, we might think of exercise or diet, but breath hasn't been considered a pillar of health.


Why Breathing Is The Pillar of Our Health (09:15)

To be honest, for the first 29 years of my 30-year-old life, I purely viewed breath as this thing that just happens unconsciously. That is inconsequential. It's only in recent times because your work has influenced some people very close to me that I started to second guess that. Where do we stand as a society at the moment? When we're talking about the majority of people in terms of our view of what breathing is and the role it plays, and then I also want to understand why that's wrong. Because, as I said, I thought of breathing as just this thing that happens, and it was quite unnerving to understand that that view has potentially been impacting me in profound ways without me knowing it. Like you said, I've been pointing at the wrong thing. I've been thinking I need some pills, or I just can't sleep, or I've got... Someone might think they're an insomniac or whatever, but you make the case quite profoundly that breathing is much more than an unconscious act that we just do without thinking about. Well, breathing is something that just happens, and how wonderful that is that we've evolved to not have to think about every breath we take. That would be a real problem. But that doesn't mean we can't take conscious control of our breathing. And then elicit different effects from our body. So we have adopted habits according to our breathing from our environment, from the way we sleep, from our mouth structure, and more that are not the best habits to have for breath. So the reason why people spend so much time doing breath work, and rehearsing slower breathing, lower breathing, breathing through the nose, is to reset a natural habit so that you don't have to think about it. I mean, I don't want to have to constantly be checking in on my breath throughout the day. I want that to be automatic, but that takes a lot of time to get back to that healthy state to make it unconscious. Where do we get these bad habits from? And because I think surely my body, I'm the product of several, I know thousands, gazillion years of evolution, surely my body is doing it correctly by default. What has changed that is causing me to do it incorrectly? Your body is not doing this correctly by default. What has changed is this modern environment is conspiring to make us sick. And I don't think that that is an exaggeration at all. If you look at the way we sit all day long, if you look at the way we work, if you look at the way we eat, if you look at the way we sleep, of all the pollution, noise pollution, air pollution, we're surrounded by, this is why we are so sick. It is the environment. The human body is so well equipped to live a healthy life, which is why indigenous cultures, the few left, they don't need to go to a cardiologist or a pulmonologist or a dentist. They have straight teeth. They breathe perfectly. They don't have all of these problems that we have today. So these are diseases of civilization. The vast majority of problems we contend with, we have created in the last few hundred years. And one of the problems with breathing is that our facial structure does not allow us to breathe in a healthy way anymore. And it did hundreds of years ago, and we know that from the skeletal record. What are some of the most common modern problems then that the environment we live in have caused? And here I'm talking about diseases. What are the everyday diseases that you've discovered are byproducts of our misunderstanding and our bad breathing habits? Show me a list of the top diseases and they're all related to it, even diabetes. Who would have thought that the onset of diabetes could be triggered by poor breathing habits at night, but that is exactly what researchers have found because if you are choking on yourself all night, so many people do. You aren't resting. You aren't entering stages of deep sleep, which means your body never restores and your body is going to break down. So researchers have known this for 50 years. There are scientific studies showing this over and over again. So that's just with diabetes and metabolic issues, autoimmune issues for the same reason. You're constantly breathing like this, stooped over. You're causing undue inflammation to your body. You're causing nervous system dysfunction. You're in that sympathetic state, which after a while will trigger a bunch of autoimmune issues. So many of these things not exclusively are related to breath. They are exclusively related to diet, exercise, sleep, and breath. You can eat all the right foods. You can sleep eight hours a night. You can exercise all you want. If you are not breathing right, you will always be sick. And I've heard that six years ago by a researcher, and I believe it more now than I ever have. At the very start of your book, you test these things on yourself. You did an experiment, which I found really, really interesting.


Groundbreaking Experiment About Nose Breathing Benefits (14:46)

I think that experiment has actually stayed with me for a long time, because then it's impacted me in the gym a lot every time I'm on that bloody treadmill. But why did you want to do that experiment on yourself, and what was the experiment? I didn't want to do this experiment on myself. I really did not want to do it. No one else was going to do it. Really? There had never been a human trial of nasal breathing versus mouth breathing for this amount of time. And I was talking to Jayak Arneak, who's the chief of rhinology research at Stanford, the top top of his field. And I said, we know what happens to animals when they breathe this way. We know all the deleterious effects of mouth breathing on kids, on adults, on old people, on sleep, on athletic performance. Why can't you test this? Let's get a big group of people and test this. It'll never happen. We're not going to find funding. And he thought ethically there would be problems doing it because he knew what damage could be caused by becoming a mouth breather. And so after all this, I just kind of gave up. And then I had an idea. I said, well, what if I did it? And what if I got one other person? We will sign up, we'll sign whatever waivers. And we did it. It's just two people, but that was the maximum we were allotted. And he said, OK, but he had no money for it. So we had to pay for this experiment at Stanford, which was not the cheapest thing I've ever paid for in my life. But I wanted to know, I'm writing about mouth breathing, writing about all the problems, I'm writing about my subjective experience of how it transformed my life, becoming a nasal breather. I wanted to see that experience dictated and documented in data by machines. And that's why we did it. And how did it go? Terribly, it was awful. So just to let people know, this was an experiment in which for 10 days, we had our noses plugged up. And then for another 10 days, we had all of that stuff released from our noses. And we were almost exclusively nasal breathing. Everything else in those 10 day periods was exactly the same. We ate the same foods. We walked the same number of steps. We exercised the same. So exactly the same. And we did scientific studies and took a bunch of data before, during and after we were collecting data three times a day as well, looking at what was happening to our bodies, our sleep, our inflammation and more. And we knew this wasn't going to be pleasant. But I didn't know it was going to be this bad. Like it was really not trying to be overdramatic, but it was awful, awful. And I'm so happy I never have to do that again. At the same time, I feel so sorry for people who do not realize that their noses are stopped up, who have been living this way for years and don't understand that this is their main source of their issues with migraines, sleep problems and more. I can see it in you when you described it as being awful, that you're almost teleporting yourself back to that chapter. I could see it in your face. Yeah, a little little PTSD from that still. It was bad. When you say bad, what do you mean specifically is in? It was the first few days. So I did this with breathing researcher and breathing therapist Anders Olson from Sweden. He was the only person that would do this. And he flew from Sweden on his own dime to try to understand this. He'd been talking about nasal breathing for 10 years. And so he said, "Okay, I want to put this to the test. I want to see if I'm right or wrong." So the first few days, we were kind of laughing. It was like, "How bad did you sleep?" We went from zero snoring to full on snoring and sleep apnea within a couple of days. And so we were comparing and kind of showing off how sick we were. But then after about a week, we saw three days ago, I wasn't able to sleep at night. And I was dreading every single night going to sleep because my mouth was so dry and my sleep was so bad. I was so tired after sleeping nine, 10 hours. And I was so tired. And the day to prove that as well. So it got really bad by the 10th day. We were in really bad shape. And again, I want to mention so many people, especially during allergies, in our plugged up for months at a time, and they don't realize the damage they're doing to their bodies and brains by being this way. How many people are breathing incorrectly in your view? How many people, if they went and did a practice or they had the understanding that's in your book and that you speak about, do you believe would have better overall health and well-being if they made a change to their breathing? By taking simple steps, I believe that everybody can become a better what is considered a good breather. And these steps are free and they're available for everybody. If you look at the percentage of the population who is breathing dysfunctionally, I've heard different percentages from different people, respiratory therapists who do this all day long to elite trainers of Olympians, they say 95 to 99% of the people that they see are breathing dysfunctionally. So it's basically everybody. Some people, obviously, there's a curve to that. There's an asthmatic with panic attacks that is breathing very dysfunctionally. And then there's an athlete who can push through the pain and win that competition but is still breathing dysfunctionally. So there's an arc to that. We all sit somewhere on that spectrum. We all do. Yeah. And I'm not a perfect breather. You're not a perfect breather. It's hard to find a perfect, perfect breather, just like it's hard to find someone that eats perfectly every single meal. And that's probably not the person you ever want to hang out with anyway. You refer to tribes there and people that are not living in our environment.


What Are We Doing Wrong With Our Breathing? (21:07)

And also, you talk a lot about breathing as a lost art. I'm so fascinated by, I think I spent the last couple of years really fascinated by how our ancestors lived their lives and how they did things. I was talking to Dr. Daniel Lieberman about running in feet and muscle strength and all those things and spoken to so many other people about processed food and all of these modern misalignment diseases where we're not living in alignment with ourselves, have become a really important part of my understanding of how I should be living now. Breathing as a lost art, what did you learn when you looked back through history about how people breathe and what did that tell you about how we're doing it wrong? I learned that we didn't need breathwork classes hundreds of years ago. We already had bodies that were able to breathe properly. We were living in an environment that supported healthy breathing. I love Lieberman's work, by the way, I've learned so much from them, including a lot of the stuff on skills and breathing. So I learned a lot, a lot from him. So, you know, people say, well, how do you know that? We can't go back in time. What you can do is look at Indigenous cultures, which is what Lieberman and so many other people have done. And they found they don't have problems with their feet, they don't have problems with their backs, they don't have heart disease, they don't have asthma. Why is it that menonights, these are these groups in the US that live this very traditional lifestyle, right? Some people say that asthma is genetic. So, menonights and Quakers who aren't around any technology, right? They have 0.5% of their population has asthma. Meanwhile, in the US, 10% of the population has asthma. So obviously, the environment has so much to do with our health and it absolutely affects our breathing for all the things I mentioned earlier. How are you sitting? How are your stress levels? How are you sleeping? How are you working out? All of these things will weigh upon how healthy you are able to breathe. And so, in the context of the modern world, so if we didn't need breath work, you know, a couple hundred years ago, the introduction of things like pollution, I understand, but are there everyday things like the chair I'm sat in right now and the way that I work every day that have impacted breathing and then the modalities like asthma and these other things? Absolutely. Yeah. And we could go through a few of those things. So, when you're sitting, as I said, eight hours a day, I try to stand at the standing desk as well, you are inhibiting your ability to breathe properly. So, I'm sitting forward in this chair right now. Even if I wanted to take a deep breath, it's really hard. I have to struggle to do that because my diaphragm, which is right underneath the lungs, is unable to descend properly to allow for that proper inhale. Give me an explanation for the diaphragm. Sure. The diaphragm is this umbrella-shaped muscle that sits underneath the lungs. The lungs are just like two balloons. They don't inflate themselves. They need the diaphragm to come down and creates a vacuum and air comes into the lungs. When we exhale, that diaphragm pushes up and pushes the air out of the lungs. So, that's how we breathe. It's not the lungs doing the work. The lungs are just these fleshy bags, right? It's that diaphragm descending, creating a vacuum, air comes in, and that diaphragm ascending, lifting back up and pushing that air out. So, you need proper diaphragmatic movement in order to breathe properly. When our bodies aren't allowing us to do that, when you're sitting on a bus or sitting on a plane for 12 hours at a time and you're seated like this, you aren't able to breathe properly. That means you're only breathing into your chest. You weren't accessing all of this other area. If you're just breathing into your chest, you have to breathe way more breaths. The reason is, so much of that area you're bringing that air into does not participate in gas exchange. It does not soak up that oxygen that's in the air. So, most of us spend most of our days like this. Slumped over in the chair like yeah. And breathing like that. We can live this way. It doesn't mean we're healthy. We can live on three pieces of pizza every day, right? We have enough calories to do that. It doesn't mean we're healthy. So, that's the number one thing. You can sit in a chair properly to breathe, right? But it takes some effort. If you look at Indigenous cultures again, look at how they're sitting. Look at their spines. Like it's a beautiful thing. They're sitting in a way that is conducive to proper breathing. Any statue, any ancient statue, look at the posture. The posture is for people that can't see this right now. The posture is straight up or is it kind of stuck? It is straight up but relaxed at the same time. It is having a straight spine. I know once you learn this, it makes you neurotic after a while. But that's the first thing is to really notice how you're sitting. When we get stressed out, when we're answering emails, we're over a laptop. I spend so much of my life doing this. Then we also have a stress response which further reduces our ability to breathe properly. We start to breathe too much. We start holding our breath and we breathe too much. Our posture is like this. So, everything is conspiring to make us really poor breathers. This isn't some far-flung hypothesis I have. It's basic biomechanics of how the body works. The diaphragm part is really interesting to me because many people refer to the diaphragm as the second heart because it kind of is a muscle that is autonomous to some degree. I don't control my heart. I can control my diaphragm, but when I don't think about it, it kind of controls itself. It's not accurate. Yeah, absolutely. It's an autonomic function. But by taking conscious control of that diaphragm, you can control your heart. You can control your blood flow. The diaphragm also does an incredible amount of work pumping blood into the heart and pumping lymph fluid throughout the body. So, when you see people only using 5-10% of their diaphragmatic movement, which is considered normal now, just moving the diaphragm this much, their hearts have to work so much harder to just pump blood and their bodies have to work so much harder to pump lymph fluid, which you need to get rid of all that waste, right? The body likes movement. These fluids need to be moving. So, just by taking a slightly deeper breath and exhaling a little more, you were able to help your heart rate out, which is why your heart rate will start to go down after a while. You're able to help your blood pressure in some cases. You're able to pump lymph fluid in more just by taking a slower, deeper breath. And just look to the animal kingdom for your guidance on this. We don't need any fancy animation to show us what proper breathing is. Look at a healthy dog sleeping. Look at a healthy infant sleeping and breathing. Look at indigenous cultures, how they sleep, how they breathe. You can't tell their breathing. That's what healthy breathing is. It should not be perceptible. So, when a lot of people hear about healthy breathing, they want to overdo it, right? They want to... Yeah, I feel great. If you look at a monk or someone who's a master breather, you cannot tell their breathing. It's so soft and so subtle that it just comes in and comes out. That is someone who is balanced. Their nervous system is balanced. Their breathing is balanced. Are these habits we can learn? You talk there about posture and about the diaphragmatic movement and what percentage of the diaphragm we're kind of using and how much that's filling our lungs. Are these habits we can learn? Absolutely. Because even posture feels like... It's quite hard to sit like that. If you start paying attention to your breathing, your posture is going to get better. It is hard to be leaning over like this and take a huge breath. Look what happens to your posture. So, form dictates your breathing, your breathing dictates your form that was written in the Dow like 1200 years ago. So, once you learn how this proper, slow, deep breathing works, your posture by virtue of that will get better. Would you recommend... Because a lot of people do work in offices. I'm one of them. I spend a lot of my days sat down 10 hours looking down at a screen. What would you recommend for us? Well, I think the science is pretty clear on standing desks. Convertible standing desks are really helpful to sit for part of that time, to stand for part of that time whenever I'm on the phone which is often I'm standing. So, I just press a little button and I go back to standing. When you're standing, you're opening up your chest, these inner costals. You're opening up to allow yourself to naturally breathe deeper breaths. So, you can do that sitting but you just look kind of corny like sitting like this all the time. So, I think that that's a good hack. I think that the science is very clear that every couple hours, I'm not very good at this. I'm trying to get better. Go for a walk for 10 minutes. Take your call while you're walking around to reset things. That's just one of many different components looking at the posture and its relationship to healthy breathing.


Why Do We Have The Ability To Breathe Through Our Mouths If It's So Bad? (31:05)

When I was reading through your work and I was thinking about having this conversation with you, this is really I guess slightly obvious but I also can understand how it's a stupid question. Which is if nose breathing is so beneficial for our health and well-being, then why do we have the capability of breathing through our mouths? Do you see what I'm saying? Great question. How wonderful that we have a backup system in case anything happens to our noses that we don't suddenly die. So, you can drink through your nose. It's really hard to do that but you can and it goes down to your stomach but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Just like with breathing. Again, look at the animal kingdom. Look at a cheetah running at 100 kilometers per hour. How is it breathing? And then how through its nose. The only time that a horse starts breathing through its mouth is when it's sick. So, that is a sign that it's sick. A horse running at a sprint is breathing through its nose. This is what we this is the organ we are designed to breathe through and no one who has studied rhinology would argue otherwise. There are 30 different functions that the nose does for breathing. So, not only does it help filter air out and heat air but it helps capture moisture. About 40% more moisture so you don't have to constantly be drinking water. When I see people jogging and they're breathing through their mouth and they're carrying like four different water bottles they wouldn't need those water bottles if they just learn to breathe through their noses because the body is designed to capture that moisture. That's what the nose does and all those hairs do. And then there's nitric oxide which is this miraculous molecule that plays in a central role in vasodilation, circulation, and more and it kills viruses and bacteria. This all happens in the nose. This does not happen in the mouth. Nitrous oxide is only happens in the nose. Nitric oxide. Yeah, we get six six times more nitric oxide just breathing through the nose six times more. How? I don't know. And if you because of all of these different tissues they release nitric oxide and there is some science showing that this boost of nitric oxide can significantly help us defend more from viruses and bacteria including colds. So breathing in and out through the nose. There's a lot of work in nitric oxide and COVID rehabilitation who knew we can produce so much of it in our noses. And if you hum you can increase that to 15 fold. So humming, you're going to annoy everyone if you do this, increases that nitric oxide 15 fold and there was one study that showed this guy completely got rid of his rhinitis just by humming for about 10 minutes four times a day. So these are simple tricks you can do. They are free available for everyone. The humming also helps to calm the body down because we have the vagal nerve, right? Vegas nerve, vagal tone is right along here. So when you hum, you're sending signals to the vagus nerve and you're calming your body down. What is humming doing? Humming is stimulating more nitric oxide and allowing it to break free from all of those tissues. So you're humming your nose like, "Hmm, yeah." And you can feel the vibration there. So somebody sent me this device like three months ago that they now have a device for people who don't want to hum that goes on your nose and hums for you. If that's going to help you hum, you can do that. But I've found it's just kind of easier to pick a song you like and hum that. When you talk about the common cold and, you know, flu and infection, did you see a clear correlation between people that had good breathing habits and the common cold and bad breathing habits?


The Benefits of Breathwork for Long COVID (34:56)

There have never been like a huge study done on that on humming and nasal breathing in the comic and there never will be, right? No one's gonna fund that. I can say anecdotally, absolutely. And if you look at the biochemistry, if you look at the physiology, if you look at all the functions of the nose, you can deduce. It seems very clear to me that you will be susceptible less to certain viruses, certain bacteria by breathing in and out of your nose. You mentioned COVID there. Your book came out right as COVID hit, which is unbelievable timing. Yeah. Yeah. Some people thought I'd plan that somehow. It was interesting. The first week the book came out, somebody criticized it for taking advantage of this pandemic. Without bothering to notice, the book was printed and in warehouse six months before anyone had ever heard the word COVID, you know, and I worked on this book for years and years and years. So yeah, lockdown in the US was in March. This book came out in June, right on the heels of it, which was absolutely bizarre to me. And all of the research looking into breathing patterns, looking into nasal breathing, how that can help rehabilitate people with long COVID and with acute cases of COVID is very solid. And I still don't see anybody talking about this. What are the most important things that we're not talking about as it relates to things like COVID from your research and your book?


Children Breathing Wrong Is Causing Them To Suffer (36:36)

I think the most important, well, it depends on who's talking. People in breathwork communities have been talking, yogis have been talking about, Buddhists have been talking about it. So I think in Western medicine, you come in and your doctor assesses your health, listens to your heart. Maybe it looks at your cholesterol. They're not looking at your breathing. And this is especially important for kids. I cannot tell you how many hundred thousands by now of parents have written me. Their kids are on all these different pills. None of them are doing anything. They have ADHD. They're flunking out of school. And I am astounded that more pediatricians and more doctors aren't looking into this because so many millions of kids are suffering because of their breathing is so terrible. It's been so terrible for so long that their bodies are now rebelling against them. And why are kids breathing in such a way? Because you think of a kid, you think they, I think we form these bad habits when we're adults or later on in life. But the thought that a kid has developed such a bad habit somewhere is quite hard to take. See, all roads go back to those skulls, right? And that anthropology and those ancient cultures, right? So these kids are not able to breathe well because their facial development is so retro-nathic, which means it has grown so far backwards that their airways aren't able to open up enough. So whenever they put their heads on a pillow, that's what it sounds like. So it is a problem with facial development that we did not have hundreds of years ago. And you can see this, I spent years looking at ancient skeletons and they did not have these problems. So right out of the gate were messed up, right? Our facial function is messed up and it's making it harder for us to breathe. Add on top of that pollution, bad sitting habits, bad breathing habits, and you have a recipe for disaster, which is what has happened for so many kids today. So I have to ask where that facial issue started and how that is being passed on. Because in my mind, evolution or de-evolution or whatever the word would be in this case, stopped. I thought we stopped changing and evolving because we are no longer being selected out of the gene pool. There is no stopping evolution. Evolution means change throughout time. It does not mean progress. So when people use the word evolution to mean we're evolving better and we have these better capabilities, that's not what the word actually means is change throughout time and we can change for better or for worse. And for the past few hundred years, we have been changing for the worse. This is not my opinion. This is a scientific fact. So it comes back to that question. Why? Why would an animal change for the worse? And it goes back to my answer, the environment. We can trace the exact point that our facial structure started growing in this deformed way to make us less susceptible to healthy breathing too that changed in such a way to make us such poor breathers. And that point is right when industrialized food came into different cultures. So that happened at different times, came in first to England and France, then it spread to Germany, then it spread to Scandinavia, then it spread through the rest of the world. You can see in a single generation of eating industrialized foods, things that were canned, things that were bottled, things that were baked, things with sugar in it. Single generation, 50% of the population will have crooked teeth that didn't have it before. Crooked teeth are indicative of having a mouth that's too small for your face. Your mouth grows too small, teeth have nowhere to grow in, so they grow and crooked. What else is a problem with having a mouth that's too small for your face? You have an airway that's too small. You aren't able to breathe properly. So we can see that exact point, and researchers have done this for decades and decades, and I've seen these skulls before after industrialization. And the same story plays out no matter where you are on the planet. So that is what has ruined our faces, and that's why we look so different than we did 300 years ago, 2000 years ago, 20,000 years ago. Why did our mouths get smoother at that point? Because of industrialized food elicits very little chewing. You don't need to chew very much when you're eating soft food. So if you think about it, our ancestors chewed for like three, four hours a day chewing raw meat, bones, roots. Think about the food you ate today. Well, maybe not you because you're probably eating healthy food, but the food that most people are eating, everything's soft. Takes a few bites is gone. There's no rigorous chewing, and if you don't get that early on in life, your telemetry does not develop properly, and your musculature does not develop properly, and you grow a different kind of face that makes you much more susceptible to poor breathing habits. Does that then mean that one way we can avoid these breathing-related disorders later in life would be to have our children eating more difficult foods when they younger? Absolutely. And if you look at the reasons why our ancestors all had these pronathic, really strong faces, these huge airways, it's because they were breastfed for a minimum of two years, and after that, they weren't weaned onto applesauce or baby food. They ate adult food, right? There was no such thing as Gerbers back then a few hundred years ago. They went from being breastfed to eating adult food, which requires a lot of chewing. That's the main driver behind how our faces have developed and devolved in the past 300 years. The point there about being breastfed for two years, why is that consequential? This is where I get into a lot of trouble here. So I want to be very... Don't worry. I'm going to... Do I get in trouble as well? You might. You trust me. So I want to be extremely clear here. I am a journalist, and I go out and talk to experts in the field. These are not my opinions. What I'm telling you, what I have been told by dozens and dozens of experts, and I'm not shaming anyone for feeding their children any way they want. That's none of my business, okay? What I have learned from several experts is the stress and chewing required for breastfeeding will help pull the face out and develop a larger airway. Again, I want to be very clear. I'm not shaming modern mothers. You're under an incredible amount of stress. Bottle feeding, perfectly fine. You want to do that? I think it's great, but that's stress. You think about it, like for two years, if you're constantly pulling that face out, the face is going to develop differently. That makes sense to me. But even if a kid is bottle fed, which is great if you want to bottle feed a kid, as long as they're eating healthy food that they actually chew after that, I believe my personal opinion is you can develop all of that proper facial structure. You can also use some different orthodontic devices to help push that along, and you will be perfectly fine. What is the difference between the bottle and the nipple in terms of what it does to my... Yeah, see, when I mentioned we're both going to get in trouble here, this is what I was talking about. I will not visually demonstrate. We can look it up on YouTube, anybody. But it's much easier to feed from a bottle. It requires less stress to feed from a bottle. When you are breastfeeding, it is much more activating for the infant to have to glom onto the breast, and the nipple goes actually deep into their mouth, almost down their throat. It requires more chewing stress. We know this. Which is why a lot of kids, when they're given the choice between the two, they want the bottle, because the bottle is easier. They want more food more quickly. Again, I want to be clear just because you were bottle fed or whatever early on. It does not mean you're doomed. Some of this sounds depressing, but I considered it inspiring and empowering to know the science behind this so you can fix what the core issue is. I'm convinced that kids who are bottle fed can be wonderful, perfect breathers by adopting other habits beyond that. You mentioned hyperactivity as being corollatory to breathing. If you're a parent and you have kids who are having health issues, even if they don't have health issues, look at how they're breathing at night. This is so important. Look at how they're breathing in the day. If they're breathing in the vast majority of the breast through their mouth, you have to fix that. Number one, they will be much more susceptible to asthma, allergies, and other issues later on in life, especially at night. If they are breathing through an open mouth, and if you can hear them breathing when they're sleeping, this is a big red flag that you better look into immediately because there will be so many downstream issues caused by that breathing pattern. This is increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of autoimmune issues, increased risk of asthma, ADHD, and more. Some researchers, this is not my word. This is what they told me. They said there is no such thing as ADHD. What that is is sleep-disordered breathing, period. Really? They said it is 100% related to your breathing at night especially. Again, that is not my view. This is what they have said. I think that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I don't think it's too far to say the vast majority of those issues if your kid has sleep apnea or is snoring are caused by that. They are not sleeping well. If you are not sleeping well, what do you do all day long? Your body is trying to stay awake, so they're giving Ritalin to stay awake. They're giving sleeping pills to go to sleep. Those sleeping pills will make their breathing worse because they loosen all of the muscles in here and they cause more resistance when they're breathing. Even if you hear a slight resistance to it, that is cause for alarm as well. I know this seems overblown, like some crazy warning, but you can, there are 500 scientific references available for free on my website. Look at the work by Christian Gimano who was at Stanford for 40 years. He was sounding the alarm in the 70s, and nobody listened to him. People still aren't listening to this, and it is a serious problem. So what's true for kids is also true for adults, but I'll just cap that off right there. I mean, please do not cap it off, ever. I prefer when you talk. So the ADHD point is fascinating to me because it's been a huge topic of conversation in society because of the apparent rise in the disorder, but the certain rise in the diagnosis of the disorder. These researchers and scientists that believe that ADHD is purely a consequence of early breathing habits. What evidence have they got for that? Or what studies have they done to show the correlation between how we breathe when we're little and our chance of ADHD when they're fixed the breathing, the ADHD goes away. Really? For the majority of the cases. After everybody, for the majority of the cases, it disappears. You can look at the studies. I'm happy to provide those for you. To me, it makes sense. If you're struggling to sleep, you are never going to be fully aware during the daytime. This is one of the reasons why so many kids get their adenoids taken out, their tonsils taken out, and more. But unless you fix the breathing habits, you can do those surgeries and they can be very helpful. Unless you fix the breathing habits, all of those problems tend to come back, sometimes even more so. You're not fixing the core issue. The core issue is breathing and breathing, retraining breathing habits. Ahead of this conversation, we were doing some research and we found that study that analyzed more than 11,000 children over six years, beginning at six months of age. That revealed that children's sufferings from sleep-dissorted breathing had a higher incidence of behavioral and emotional issues, such as hyperactivity, aggressiveness, depression, and anxiety. They are 50 to 90% more likely to develop ADHD-like symptoms than were normal breathers. That blew my mind. There it is right there. I'm glad that you mentioned that and I didn't. There's dozens of studies showing the same thing over and over and over. The question then becomes, I guess, is if I have ADHD, I'm 30 years old. Yeah, I think it depends on who you are. I don't think that there's a blank prescription or a blanket guarantee on any of this stuff. I think it depends on what's the root cause of that ADHD. We know in kids, it's treated as a neurological problem. If that were true, then the drugs should work and they don't. I believe it's a physiological problem. It's a breathing problem and that study is just one of many that has espoused that. If you're talking about an adult with ADHD, what I know about adopting healthy breathing habits, you will only benefit. That benefit might be this big or it might completely transform your life. You will only know once you do it. I don't feel comfortable guaranteeing anything. There might be some respiratory therapists or breathing coaches who will say, "Absolutely, I can cure your ADHD with these breathing practices." That's fine. I don't think it's the same prescription for everybody. I know it'll help though. Going further back up this train of thought then, we're talking about exercise and nose breathing at the very start of this thread of thought.


The Surprising Greatest Indicator of Longevity (51:46)

I have sat here with a few people. I think it was Peter Atia, who was talking to me about VO2 Max. A subject matter I don't still fully don't understand, but from what I understood, it was the amount of oxygen we're able to take from each breath. That's a general measurement of the amount of how efficient you are at taking up oxygen, which is related to breathing, but it's also related to the respiratory system and how you're able to extract that oxygen from your lungs into your bloodstream. It's a good gauge of general athletic performance. It's not everything. There's been some pushback against using that as a measurement, but it's a general gauge, a good tool for that. Is there a correlation between our health outcomes, how long we'll live, and our lung capacity of VO2 Max and all of that stuff? Is there a correlation there? I had the same question years ago, and I started looking into it, and it turns out that numerous studies have found that the healthier and larger your lungs are, the longer you will live. That is the greatest indicator of lifespan was lung size and lung health. The greatest indicator of my life. The greatest indicator. According to these studies, the Framingham study looked at 5,200 people over the course of 70 years, and they found that the people who lived the longest had the largest and healthiest lung function. They even did studies in which they were looking at people who had lung transplants, so surgically implanted lungs. Those who were given larger lungs lived way longer than those given normal size or smaller lungs. So no matter how you get these larger lungs, it's better. Luckily, we don't need to get a transplant to do this. We can practice healthy breathing. We can practice stretches. We can exercise, and this naturally can keep our lungs size up. It's very sad when you start looking at these charts of what happens after you're 30. You're almost there, so get ready. It's a real bummer. But your lung function starts dropping off very quickly, and especially for women around 50 and 60, your lung function and your lung size starts shrinking, shrinking, shrinking up, which means at the time you need more oxygen more easily. It's much harder to get that, and that's where people's health really starts disintegrating. They start having problems. The good news is you can stave off this deterioration, the shrinking of your lungs by doing all the stuff we're talking about, by doing breathwork exercise, by exercise. What is yoga but stretching and breathing into this lung and breathing into that lung? The yogis knew this thousands and thousands of years ago. It almost feels like that downward spiral is self-reinforcing and self-fulfilling because of my lung capacity deteriorates, my movement and my exercise capacity will deteriorate, which means my lung capacity will deteriorate, which means I'll move less, which means kind of this downward spiral, right? Absolutely. It's my belief after studying this stuff for so long that that is the thing you want to pay attention to more than anything else, especially as you grow older, your lung function, how much air you can pack into your lungs, how long you can hold your breath. All of this is indicative of your general respiratory function and your general health. That little hint of using a breath hold every morning to see where you are physically and mentally, I think is good. They've used it for thousands and thousands of years and now it's coming back. This is something that a lot of these longevity experts aren't looking into. They're looking into nutrition and exercise. They're not looking into lung capacity. We get more energy from breath than we do from food and drink, right? We take 30 pounds of air in and out of our lungs every single day. And so I find it interesting. They're focused on all these micronutrients. All that stuff's important, right? I believe most of it. But from what I know, a lot of them aren't focused very much on their breathing. I want to make sure that I have something that I can take into my own life there for the expansion of my lung capacity because I'm sold on the importance of it. So, exercise expands my lung capacity. Yeah, 15, 20%. Just by exercising, by virtue of actually, if you're a good exerciser, your lung capacity will stay up. Can't even ask you to exercise. Yeah, I'm going to be a vascular exercise. And then ways to access that a little more. If you're dysfunctionally breathing when you're working out, you're not doing yourself too many favors. So, you have to remember the simple basic things. You have to learn how to take a proper breath, then apply that to your workouts. You will see such an incredible difference once you do this. This is what yoga is good for. It's hard to do yoga without breathing well, right? You can do it, but by virtue of all those different poses, they're meant to open up your chest, right? To expand this area. So, yoga, cardiovascular exercise with proper breathing through my nose, breathwork practices, the start of the day.


Practical Steps: Change the Way You Breathe (57:04)

I think biomechanics, the first thing is awareness to any of this stuff. You can take your hands. We can do this while we're seated here. You can put it above your sit bones here. And when you breathe in, breathe very, very low and you want your hands to move out laterally. I don't care what your stomach's doing, moving out laterally. So, as you breathe in, when you say low, you mean in my belly, you want your hands to be moving outwards. Okay. I don't care what's happening with your lung, with your stomach. I can hold my breath and move my stomach in and out. So, when people talk about a belly breath, that's not what we're doing. When your hands are moving out laterally, that means your diaphragm is descending. That's how we can see if you're taking a proper deep breath. So, as you breathe in, you want your hands to be moving outward. And if you take a cloth measuring tape, you can actually measure your progress this way. The next thing you want to do is take your hands. Okay. Take your four fingers, place them on your collarbone and put this one very weird place your middle finger right there. So, it's only your middle finger that's touching. Okay. And we're going to breathe deep. Then we're going to move that breath up into our chest. Okay. Don't move your shoulders. You want to see those fingers naturally separated. Okay. So, this is not a flexing thing. Your shoulders stay down. It's like this. Just like this, fingers on the collarbone. We're going to take a big breath into our lower abdomen area, move it up. And you want your chest to be expanding outward. The last thing we want to do, take your hands and put them, especially you need to do this, take your hands, put them around your neck. Yeah. Want you to do that same breath? You should feel zero tension in your neck. There's none of this going on. Okay. It should feel soft and supple. So, let's take that belly to the chest breath. If there's any tension, do it again until there's no tension. Okay. Now, try that again, keeping your shoulders down. Okay. Do not move your shoulders up. There's none of this going on. You're very soft, very relaxed. Take your hands above the hip bones. When you're breathing in very deep, those hands should be out like this, like wings. Yeah. Okay. And you're going to breathe in deep and those hands should be moving out laterally. You will start to feel those organs getting compressed. That's good. You want that. Then you can move it up one more time. So, we're going to start low and we're going to move that breath up to the chest. Keep your shoulders down. Try to again, keep the shoulders down. There you go. Those fingers should be separating. So, this is something that you can check in. If those hands are moving out laterally, if those hands are separating on your chest, you are taking a proper biomechanical breath. And that's what you need to focus on. And you'll notice once you start learning how to access these different areas, you start applying this to working out. And your performance will tend to go up. You'll be less exhausted at the end. You'll just feel better all around. So, we should expect our chest to kind of move outwards as we breathe in. You want to see your chest moving outwards because most of your lungs, the expansion is in your back. But some of that is going to be happening. This is not a pose that you want to do like this, right? You should be very loose, very limber. And when you breathe in, you want that air to fill all the way up there. But you want to start low first. That means the diaphragm is descending. Most of the air that is soaked up from the lungs and that gas exchange happens at the bottom of the lungs. So, you want to be able to access the bottom of those lungs. Is there a certain way that I, because when you say you want to start by breathing at the bottom, is how do I know? So, the symptom of me breathing at the bottom is it coming out. What do they call this? My abdomen coming outwards on the sides. Because everyone calls this a belly breath. So, people do this with their belly, but you can move your belly independently of your breathing. Yeah. This is a way that you can't cheat. So, a tape measure is good. And if you get an inch, inch and a half, that's pretty good. But you can work that up. And if you see really good breathers, people have practiced a lot of yoga and done it the right way. They can have this massive expansion. And this is what ties into freedivers. Freedivers are the experts accessing every square inch of their lung capacity to fill it with air. That's what they do, which is why if you ever see freedivers go to one of these competitions, they're short people, tall people, fat people, whatever, they all have these enormous chests because they've been able to develop this incredible lung capacity. One of the things that I think causes shallow breath is this kind of constant state of fight or flight, stress, anxiety, screens, social media.


How Our Psychology and Stress Are Affecting Our Breathing (01:02:40)

And it's funny because whenever people would have been listening to this podcast and started heard you talk about breath, and they would realize that they were probably at that exact moment doing really shallow breaths. You talk about these freedivers who are able to extract, you know, 18, use 80, 90% of their diaphragm or more. You said we use 10, roughly 10% and oftentimes less than that, the average person. What is the correlation between like stress and breathing? And also, I'm talking now about like the everyday angst of life. So we've talked about the skeleton, we've talked about anthropology, we've talked about biomechanics and posture, but something else that ties into this, you're 100% right, is psychology, is your brain. So how you breathe affects how your brain works, affects your anxiety, but your anxiety also affects how you're breathing. So again, it's another one of those circles. What happens so often is when we're at work, we're so sensitized to threats and to fear that we overreact when something happens. Even though it's not threatening our life, we get a nasty email from a friend or a email from the boss that's disappointed at the last project you did. And we get stressed out, right? And so what what is the physiological response to stress is we clench up, we hold our breath, and then we breathe like this. And we hold our breath again, and we breathe like this. You think about thousands of years ago, when we were out in the wilds, what would we do if there was a threat approaching? You'd hold your breath to be silent, and then you breathe too much, get your respiratory system ready to either fight it off or to run away. So we're having the same response in our day-to-day lives now, because we're so over sensitized to it. So researchers have different names for this. They call it email apnea or continuous awareness. I mean, there's an academic name for it, partial attention syndrome. I prefer email apnea easier to remember. No matter what you call it, it's the idea that when you're in the office place, you're breathing dysfunctionally because of this constant stress loop. And they found there was some NIH studies on this. They found that breathing this way can have long-term damage to your health, high blood pressure issues, all the things we had talked about, metabolic dysfunctions and more, which makes sense because you're just constantly in this loop of fear and threat and stress. So the quickest, most effective way, way more than drugs to take control of this stress is to take control of your breathing. And this has been documented time and time again. So when you notice your breathing this way, you stop. But I like to do his breathe two breaths in and then an exhale looks like this. That resets your respiratory system, that resets your breathing pattern. And then you can do a few rounds of that and go back to very simple five second in five second out. So let's just pretend you're in line at the airport, someone's cut you off, you ordered something at Starbucks, they gave you the wrong, you know, all the things that are just drive us crazy nowadays. At that moment, I want you to breathe in, pause, breathe in again, let it out. Relax yourself a little bit when you're doing these breaths. Okay, breathe in, breathe in again, and let it out. Do that one more time. Breathe in, a little more subtle, let in again, and let it out. So you did this a very exaggerated way, which is fine, but you can do this so no one can tell you're doing it. You can do it very subtle. You probably feel a little different now than you did before. Yeah, so much different. You can return to then a slow, low rhythmic breathing pattern from there or whatever makes you comfortable. I like five seconds in five seconds out. Also, what's beneficial for people, if it's comfortable for them is four seconds in six out will really mellow you out. You can try that right now, breathe in. Okay, first of all, slow, I should not be seeing you. Okay, you should see. Okay, so we're going to breathe in just very, very lightly. We're going to relax here. What does it matter if you see it? Because you're trying too hard. Okay, and this is not there is a time and place for that. This is not it. Okay, okay, right. So breathe in. Two, three, four, out, two, three, four, five, six, breathe in. Two, three, four, out, two, three, four, five, six. It doesn't have to be that exact pattern, but this will trigger all of that parasympathetic response in your body. You can see this if you're looking at your heart rate variability. It's amazing to see the difference that this happens just after a few breaths. Looking at your HRV, looking at your heart rate, looking at your stress levels. What is it doing? You mentioned parasympathetic and resetting the respiratory system, but if I, you know, what is the parasympathetic and the respiratory system for dummies, what is that? So how you breathe is going to activate your nervous system function. Your nervous system function is going to activate everything in your body. So we can take conscious control of our breathing. We can't take conscious control of our heart rate or liver function or any of that. We can take control of our breathing. When we take control of our breathing, we can hack into our nervous system. So you can be in a sympathetic state, just like we were. You take a couple of those double inhales and exhales. What's sympathetic state? That is, sympathetic state is the act, the fight or flight. This is the action part of your nervous system. When you're in this state, you are ready for action. And what happens, which is great, we want to be ready for action. We want to be ready to fight or run away from stuff. We do not want to be in this state all day long. Anxiety, anxiety, stress, because this is where autoimmune issues and so many other problems come from by constantly staying stressed. We want stress. We want to be able to access stress for short amounts of time. Then we want to flip back into this parasympathetic, this relaxing state. If you look at once again, animals in the wild, you even look at a gazelle that's been attacked. Five minutes later, it's just sleeping. So it has a nervous system that's able to pivot from one to the other. Unfortunately, we live in an environment where we are always activating, always pushing towards that sympathetic and it's making us sick, really, really sick. So your breathing is the quickest way of taking control of acute stress. So pills work, okay, other modalities work, but in that moment is when you need the most help and your breathing is the thing that can get you there. So people that have chronic stress must have awful breathing. Absolutely. And they've documented that. They've looked at their breathing, they've looked at their carbon dioxide levels and carbon dioxide is indicative of how slow you're breathing. If your levels are very low, that means you breathe like this. So you're just off gassing all of this CO2 and they're always low, especially for anxiety and panic as well. They're always low, extremely low. You ask someone with acute panic or anxiety to hold their breath. This is usually what happens. I'm never doing that again. I've seen this hundreds and hundreds of times. So by breathing slowly, you're making them more comfortable with more CO2, you're making them more comfortable with their nervous system function with themselves, which is why this assessment of a breath hold is very useful and so important. It's not only a diagnostic, it's therapeutic. Because while you're holding your breath, you're also in the action of training yourself to tolerate more CO2, which will calm your body down. I'm going back to this point about the parasympathetic and the nervous system and anxiety. Why does having an extended exhale help with anxiety? So you said breathe in for a breath out for six. Why does extending that exhale by two seconds help with stress and anxiety? So if you really pay attention and a lot of people have problems doing this, which is why it's helpful for them to look at their whoop or whatever, you can place your hand over your heart. And when you inhale, you can feel your heart rate increase. When you exhale, it slows down. This is how HRV works. This is how it's calculated, is the difference in time on that and the shortest distance to the longest difference. And this is looking at your nervous system function, respiratory, sinus, arrhythmia. So how you breathe affects how many times your heart beats. So if you're exhaling, which slows the heart rate down, more what's going to happen to your heart rate, it's going to start slowing down more. And that exhale, that slowing down and telling your body you're in a safe place that it can relax is what triggers this response by the nervous system. Interesting. So it's like tricking the body into believing that such a simple hack. And a lot of people say, oh, this can't be true. But so many of us have these wearables. You can check it for yourself. And in real time, to look at your heart rate variability, changing your breathing pattern, look at your blood pressure too. For many people, they can just switch to the breathing after a couple of minutes. You can see drops of 15 points, not for everybody, but for some people 10 to 15 points just by switching your breathing. As you may know, this podcast is sponsored by Heal. If you're living under a rock, you might have missed that.


Ad Break (01:13:17)

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Are Face Masks Actually Making Us Sicker? (01:14:13)

I even see people having this conversation right now and online in the wake of the pandemic. They're saying, you know, these masks that we put on kids, they've caused sickness and illness in kids. Carbon dioxide is kind of seen as this poison. What is your POV on all of this? Oh man, there's even more controversial than the whole breastfeeding thing. But let's go there. Okay, so surgeons and dentists have been wearing masks for 100 years. They're able to function just fine. They wear good quality masks and they wear them when they need to be wearing them. There are several studies that support it. Everyone wears a mask and if everyone is wearing that mask properly, it does seem to stem some transmission of COVID and other viruses. That's the truth. Now let's look at the other side. We've been telling people that social distancing, at least in the US, after six months of social distancing, which absolutely worked. They said, no, now you can go out as long as you're wearing a mask. Did that do anything to stem the spread of COVID? From what I see? No. So there's a number of problems. Most of the masks that people are wearing are terrible quality. They're filled with chemicals that you are inhaling and they're causing a lot of health issues. Okay, that's number one. Second one is most of us are wearing them improperly. We're not wearing them in the right way. The third one is people feel this sense of comfort that they're actually protected wearing this mask, which is not the case in many situations. And this is because I've done my own research looking at carbon dioxide levels in indoor environments and have found these places that we were told that we could go to and we would be safe as long as we're wearing masks. It's completely not the case. Some of these places had such high CO2 that it meant every seventh breath you were inhaling was someone else's breath backwash was someone else's exhale. So I don't care how many masks you're wearing, they are not going to stop the spread of these diseases. If you are in an environment where so much of that air has been recycled. So that's really interesting to me. I've never heard this before. The idea that the amount of carbon dioxide in the room you're in, which I guess is determined by how well ventilated it is, has a relationship with how much recycled air I take in.


Air Quality, Daily Routines, And Practical Tips For Better Health

Why The Air In Your Room Is Slowly Killing You Every Day (01:16:49)

How? Absolutely. And this, I learned all this after the book came out, I was talking to a pulmonologist who said you really need to look into indoor CO2. I said, well, why? He said that is a good way of determining how much of the air has been recycled. So I bought one of these, which is a carbon dioxide meter, and I've been recording our CO2 during this interview. Jesus. And so if you are outside, it's about 418 depends where you are, 418 19 parts per million CO2. That's healthy, right? Even though CO2 is going up, it's causing climate change. We all know that. But for breathing, that is perfectly healthy. Once you get into 800 parts per million, some studies have found that when they are testing people, when they're testing students, you see a 20% decline in test results, just from 800. By the time you get to 1000, you start suffering from things like eye irritation, sore throats, other issues. So we're probably breathing in every one and every 30 breath that I'm breathing in is your breath or the cameraman's breath. By the time you get to 2500, you're in really bad shape. One in every 17 breaths is a breath you're breathing from somebody else. So we have been told by authorities that we should only worry about levels that are up to 5000 parts per million. That is completely false. There are over 18 studies that show levels over 800 into 1000 can potentially cause problems with bone, demineralization, kidney calcification, and chronic inflammation. And so just since we've been sitting in this interview, we started off at 700. And now we're at 1100. And if we were to continue working in here for the next few hours, this could be up to 1500, 1700, which has been shown to have serious issues with cognitive function and with physical function. That's very scary. And it's caused for a redesign of this studio because, I mean, putting on the air conditioning with that help because that would that would, that would, no, it's recycling the same air unless that air is coming in from outside. Does that come from outside? I don't think so. I think it's recycled. And a really scary study I read was a lot of schools are at 1500 to 2000. Several studies have found this. They have shown a 50% decrease in test results when students were exposed to air with that much CO2 in it. 50% decrease in test results from 1500 to 2000. I've recorded levels up to 4000 and 5000 in bars and subways and more. Jesus. Yeah, this isn't my hypothesis either. This is something I was told about about a year after the book came out. And I've seen a lot of scientific studies since, and I sent some of those to your team just to show that this isn't something I'm making up. The ones you sent to my team, I have some notes here I can pull up. In one study of 24 employees, cognitive schools were 50% lower and the participants were exposed to 1400 ppm of CO2 compared with 550 ppm during a working day. We're nearly there. So I am 50% dumber because you've been breathing so much. I start to, and I highly recommend nobody get one of these because you go crazy. Wherever you are on an airplane, I've seen 2700 parts per million. And you wonder why you feel like crap after a long flight. And sometimes it goes up and then it comes down because they put in more oxygen. But usually when the plane is warming up, it's 25, 2600. Which is why a lot of people just immediately go to sleep. I think maybe they're doing it on purpose to mellow everyone out. But if you think about cognitive function, I mean, this is a 50% decrease in test results is insane. And to think you have kids in these schools taking tests to go into college and all of the air is recycled. I mean, it's just, when I mentioned at the beginning of our chat here that the modern world is conspiring to make us unhealthy, I think this is an example. And from what I've seen, very few people are paying any attention to this and it's real. You're reading the scientific studies over there. This isn't stuff that I'm feeding to you. It almost sounds like I'm smoking. It sounds like I'm inhaling, you know, because we talk about people have got to smoke outside to keep us healthy. So we change the laws in this country. So you can't smoke indoors. Well, at least smoking is fun and it gives you a buzz, right? CO2 is you can't smell it. It's really hard to sense it. It's invisible. And yet it's always there. Any outside environment, you don't have to worry about it. But indoor environments, especially in the buildings we've created now that don't have windows, I can't tell you how many hotels, sometimes really nice hotels, I go to open the windows. My God, they've glued the window shut, right? And overnight, I watch this just ticking up. 100 points every couple hours. And you wonder why you wake up so feeling so much worse than you did when you first came in there. So this is this is real stuff. And in a room like this, there's nothing you can do because the HVAC system has been designed to just recycle the air over and over and over again. My hunch, and I'm probably wrong about this, in the next few years, people are going to start requiring bosses of companies are going to require that there be fresh air for their employees, because I think you're going to see big problems with performance. I mean, even just sitting here now that you know this, I feel so some of that's a placebo effect. Sure, but great, but don't you feel a little like warm and tired. So so take my word for it. Do not travel with one of these. It will make you a complete neurotic. I'm doing it because I want to document it. I'm going to be updating future editions of the book with some of this information because I didn't know about this when the book came out. But I think people really need to know about this and start asking hotels, can I open the window? Start out before you run an office. Can I open the window? Like it's that easy. You just need to open it a little bit. It makes a huge difference just opening it a little bit. People can't see this, but we sit in a room here and we like air seal it for sound reasons. So we don't have any windows in here. And we actually this this is a replica of my old kitchen, which is on the top floor of this building. So the reason which had this wonderful huge balcony over there that you could open the whole side of the that side of the building and walk outside into the fresh air. But we moved it down here and made this little chamber because of sound reasons. I do sit in here for sometimes nine hours a day. There's been an occasion a few times where I've done three podcasts in a day. And I feel that now you've said it. I do feel incredibly fatigued. I'm sure it's because I'm talking and having really challenging my brain a little bit. But I can only wonder if the studies are correct and there's a 50% variance in my cognitive scores, what would happen if I found a way to go oxygen into this room? More oxygen in the carbon dioxide out? I promise you'd feel better. I'm going to figure out how much better who knows depends on the day depends on the person. I promise you'd feel better. I promise your brain would be operating and functioning better than it is now. We're not meant to be in four white walls trapped inside, are we? And this is the environment problem. Never. This is that misalignment problem. Even 100 years ago, right? Every building had windows that you could open even 50 years ago, every build almost every building had had windows you could open. But now the standard protocol is because it's easier to heat and easier to cool, right? You're creating this bubble, which is why if you go into a Walmart, one of those sorts, there's no windows, there's no anything. You just got blue light in this bubble. You can control the environment much more easily. But what is it doing to people's health? So this is I'm the guy that asks for a hotel room, does it have a window? And you get really funny looks until you start traveling with one of these and start reading these studies and you realize how important it is. So interesting. One of the things that I've really taken from this is when I wrote my book, I always go to the jungle to write. I literally write the book in nature. I've just realized that I'm actually increasing my cognitive performance by going and sitting down by a lake every year and writing versus doing it inside an office. So when I reflect on tasks that require real cognitive performance, honestly, like having an interview conversation or writing a book or any sort of deep sort of intellectual cognitive tasks, it's so important that those rooms and those spaces are well ventilated. And the right light and those two things, I think, are very important. And I think we're going to see so much of this changing in our culture soon because people are going to ask for it and they're going to feel the difference. So there's a whole bunch of different reasons why you're thinking more clearly. It's not just the lack of CO2, right in the environment. It's the natural light. Your nature itself is just so inspiring and relaxing. But this is one component of it without a doubt. I'm shocked that nobody has ever told me that this before. I'm not worried about that. It's just bliss. We both feel energized and ready to roll. But I'm the type of person that would rather be empowered by information. I like when people turn the lights on because we go through our lives misdiagnosing the problems we're dealing with. And so for me, knowledge is power because of course I've sat in this chair for a long time. And to know that there's a potential to potentially increase my cognitive performance when I'm doing a conversation just by finding a way to get oxygen to this room is profound without a doubt. I found your advantage. I'm unsure that that will happen.


Quick Morning Routine to Check Your Health Levels (01:28:03)

In the morning, when you do this diagnostic of holding your breath, so you get to the hotel room, you do this diagnostic, you hold your breath. Do you time it on a stopwatch? Yeah, any time I'm on my watch. So what this is, is you can call it a bolt score, body, oxygen level test. You can call it a control policy, call it whatever you want. All it is is you take a breath in. We're going to relax. Okay, I thought we were going to take a race. Someone is to be you and we're going to, I'm sure you will. I beat James Nestor of breathing. You take a calm breath in. Okay. And I'll tell you what it is and then maybe do it, which will make for terrible podcast time. You guys can just snip it out. But we're just going to take a calm breath, not a good breath, calm breath in to that point where it just stops when you're exhaling. You don't push the air out. It just naturally stops that neutral point. Okay, just take it. We'll just practice this right now. Take a breath in. Just let the air out. There will be a point where it just naturally stops. Yeah. That's when you start the timer. Okay. On that neutral hold. So you just take a breath in and breathe out. I'm not going to tell you what I'm going to do this. So you don't take an extra big breath and breathe in again. Breathe out to neutral. Hold your breath. Hold it. As you're holding your breath, the first point at which you feel resistance, that means a swallow, that means your diaphragm starts convulsing gently. That means you feel a buildup of pressure at the back. You have to be honest with yourself. This is not a maximum breath hold test. This is the very first point that you feel some palpable discomfort. Then you go back to normal breathing. So you won't be doing yourself any favors if you're cheating past that threshold. Okay. Yeah. So good. So what you want to get to is 40 seconds. And when you return to breathing, the way that you know you've gone too far is when you go. Your return should be you're not seeing me return. Okay. There is no effort. So these are good gauges to know that you've pushed it too far. Okay. So what you want to be going for is 40 seconds or more to be holding your breath. You've got 40 seconds. I think you pushed it a little too far. I was waiting for that point of just feeling a little bit uncomfortable. And then most athletes, even elite athletes who get to 20 seconds when they first start doing this. And they've trained themselves to push through the pain. They compete and they win, but their bodies are not happy, which is why so many athletes peak. And then they're a complete mess after they stop competing. That this happens with football players. This happens with baseball players and more. What most people do is about 15 seconds. 15 seconds. You would be surprised, especially older people, especially people have respiratory problems. As I mentioned before, people with asthma and panic about three to five seconds. They have severe asthma and panic. So you just start to understand how dysfunctionally their breathing is. Their CO2 tolerance, their ability for their lungs to extract oxygen, their nervous system and more. Just because you got a low score, that is just a diagnostic and it's a starting point to improve your breathing. This is not a competition. Do not compete with yourself. We can get to stuff that is very competitive if you'd like, but this test is just to tune in to how your body is responding. And another warning, I want to be very, very clear about do not take one number and think you're good to go. This changes in the morning, changes if your sleep is bad, changes if your sleep is good, changes after you eat and more. So you take these throughout the day, maybe three times a day and after a week of recording that number, you average it. That's your number that you're working with. Does that make sense? Perfect sense. So take it at night, take it in the morning, take it at noon and just put it in your phone. And then at the end of that week, you'll have your bolt score is what they call it. Patrick McEwen calls it that. I can't stop looking at your carbon dioxide and the more I said it.


Science-Backed Way of Reverting Asthma (01:32:45)

Did we just tick up here? Yeah, I wish this was like a stock meter. We'd be in good shape. You mentioned asthma there. I mean, my perception of asthma, I don't suffer from asthma. So I don't know a ton about it. I've never, no point in my life have I been forced to learn about it or has my curiosity led me there so far. But when I, my understanding of asthma is that people are born with it and then they're given medicine. That is the general accepted understanding of asthma and it's wrong. So some people are naturally predisposed to have asthma, but that is not a life sentence of asthma. And the idea that a three year old friend of mine, this kid has asthma, is given a buterol, it's given all these different drugs. They're taken as adenoids, they're taken out as tonsils. No one's looking at his breathing. I asked my friend, I said, how did you kid breathe at night? He's like, oh, he snores all night long with an open mouth. How does he breathe in the day? His mouth is constantly open. Nobody mentioned that. Nobody mentioned that. So I don't go for, unless you've got a genetic neurological disease, right? I don't go for this argument that diseases that come on that are diseases of civilization that we are stuck with these diseases our whole life. We certainly know that's true with diabetes. Who thought that diabetes is actually reversible type two diabetes is reversible by adopting a different diet? It is there's a company called Verda and this is what they do. They reverse diabetes. The same thing is true for asthma and anxiety. That's my belief at minimum you can reduce the symptoms. If it really works out well, you won't have any symptoms at all. And I can say this now because I've talked to dozens and dozens and dozens of people who suffered through asthma for decades. They weren't able to go outside and play as a kid. They had to stay indoors. They had to stay locked up. Their breathing was terrible who now have no symptoms of asthma by taking control of their breathing. Seems impossible. There's a number of different clinical trials showing that the effects of healthy breathing showing exactly what these effects of healthy breathing can do for asthmatics. That three-year-old, your friend's three-year-old, can you play out that story? What was the end of that story? He called me up and he's like, you know a bit about breathing a little bit. What can I do for you? He told me what was going on. He's like, they're taking out their adenoids. They're taking out this kid's tonsils. He's three years old. They're taking out the kid's tonsils. They're three. And adenoids because they think that he, you know, that is the root cause of his asthma. This will allow him to breathe better. But what they don't realize, what they didn't mention, as I mentioned earlier, if you just take out adenoids and tonsils, but don't fix the underlying breathing dysfunction, all those problems come back. This is true with asthma. This is true with sleep apnea. This is true with snoring and more. So you have to fix that core issue. So I hooked him up with a very well-known breathing therapist who, and he's now, this just happened last week. I said, I'm not going to argue with your doctor and your surgeon. Maybe your kid needs all these things taken out immediately. I will argue with the comment that he's going to be on oral steroids and bronchodilators for the rest of his life. I said, I don't think he's starting off on a good foot at three years old. So he's now, and I'll let you know how it goes. But if what happens to him happens to the hundreds and hundreds of other people I've heard from, you can reduce the symptoms and in some cases, reverse them entirely. Mention tonsils. It just perked my curiosity because thinking back through my childhood, so many people have their tonsils taken out. And now I reflect on that through the frame of like, misalignment and ancestors and stuff. I go, why would we be cutting something out of our body? That must be a misalignment problem of sorts. I, that must be a symptom of the environment we live in not being right for the human body. That's my guess. Why would a part of the human body that's taken millions of years to evolve to this certain function, just all of a sudden be of no use in the past 40 years? You have to start to ask that question. So what is the root cause of those inflamed adenoids and tonsils? Is it the fact that they are there? And that's the problem? Maybe for some people genetically, right? That could be the issue. But what's causing that inflammation? You have to answer that question first before you're going to fix it. And just going into a three year old to their mouth and starting to rip things out, my personal opinion is that that's a really bad idea. I would go through a bunch of different methods to see if you could improve the core condition first before you revert to that. Surgery is great. I know people who have had their breathing absolutely transformed by doing nasal surgery. It works wonderfully for so many people. But I would try to see what you can do with your natural body first.


Practical Tip To Stop Mouth Breathing (01:38:07)

So interesting. I told you my partner, she's got, I think she's got like a deviated syndrome or something, which means that breathing, you can always hear a breathing through her nose pretty much all the time, especially when she sleeps. Like, kind of something when she goes to sleep or something, even, you know, she'll wear, to be fair, she started wearing mouth tape. I wanted to talk to you about this. She started wearing this thing called myotape, which goes around her lips and has a hole in the middle. But having that myotape round her mouth, when we looked at her woop scores in the morning, really interestingly, her heart rate was flatter than ever. So usually what you'd see in our heart rate is kind of these like spikes upwards throughout the night. So sometimes it might spike up to 60 or 70. But with the with the mouth tape round her lips, which kind of keeps your mouth closed throughout the night, her heart rate, super flat, her wake events down, asleep efficiency up. I hear this every day. I mean, yeah, this is the beauty of nasal breathing. What the brain wants is a consistent fluid signal. It gets that signal from your breathing. So there's a study, I'll send you guys on this, that the clock, the master clock of sleep and of the brain at night is that cyclical, deep, easy breathing pattern. This is what the body doesn't want to have to fight and defend itself when it's sleeping. This is its time to rest and restore and grow, right? If you're constantly waking up, what's that doing? The body has to stop what it's doing, the repair mechanisms, and address the threat over and over and over. And that's what's happening when people are struggling to breathe. Breathing like that. So this doesn't shock me at all. This is exactly what happened to me. This was my same experience. And it's the experience that hundreds of people have had. And they've sent me their sleep scores for some reason, showing their heart rate variability, showing their how much more deep sleep they're getting, and showing how rested they are in the morning. So no matter how you get to nasal breathing, if it's by force of will, some people can just will themselves. I think that's awesome. That's the greatest way of doing it. If it's a piece of tape, that's what I like using. Myotape is fantastic. It's been around for a long time. And it takes away some of the paranoia that people have with first taping their mouth. It's especially good for kids. You don't want to tape a kid's mouth. This myotape just sort of, it provides a gentle reminder to keep your mouth shut. At any time you can talk, you can read through your mouth, but it's just gently reminding you to keep your mouth shut. I think it's great. Some people use chin stress, whatever you want to use, but breathing in and out through your nose at night has so many benefits. Your girlfriend has seen it. Millions of people have experienced it now. And it's free and easy, available for everybody. It's just profound. And you know, this whole discovery of breath and sleep and the two way relationship has just been so illuminating for me. And that's hugely part of the reason why I want to have a conversation with you to get that message out there. The perfect rhythm of breathing, there was this fascinating thing you talked about that there is a perfect rhythm to breathing, which is it was quite spooky reading about it.


The Life-Changing Benefits of Breathwork (01:41:16)

What is the perfect rhythm to breathing in? It depends on who you are. I've learned a lot more about this as well. But a good first place to start is this five to six seconds in, five to six seconds out. You can get more geeky after you hit that. I used to call this 5.5. I write about this in the book with 5.5 seconds in 5.5 seconds out. That's 5.5 breaths per minute. That's what researchers found to be really the most beneficial. But then I got so many inquiries and emails and letters from people saying, you know, I'm into the slow breathing, but I can't hit that half second and it's driving me crazy. And I've been trying for two weeks. I'm like, good God. What have I done here? So I'm now telling people, five to six seconds is fine. You don't have to worry about that half second being off. Anything in that range. But what I've learned since this book has come out that tall people, six foot, six one and above should be breathing even slower, larger lungs. Diaphragm has more time to descend. So around four and a half breaths per minute. So that's about eight seconds in, eight seconds out, even slower. And for kids, they naturally need to breathe more. So you want to start a kid off at start at three and three out just starting there and working up to that. So this is a general guide that will work for most people a good launching spot. But once you get there and you're comfortable for that, you can actually view in real time your HRV to find your perfect, perfect rhythm, because it varies a little bit for most people. So slow is better. If you're taller, yes, but but not necessarily for some people who have panic, anxiety, who don't have a very good CO2 threshold, you have to start with two and two out just doing that. Once you get comfortable with that, let's go three and three out. Four and four out, right? And you find what's most comfortable for you. And it's wonderful being in the world of wearables where you can actually see where your body is responding most to. My girlfriend does a lot of that kind of, it's almost, I can almost describe it as like a psychedelic experience. Is that what they call in the the inner fire stuff? Or is that the holotropic? I don't really know the difference between the two, but that when you do the breathing, breathing ceremonies that almost, it was almost like my ego dropped away the first time I did it. I felt so emotional the first time I did it. Not in a sad, like a sad way. I just could see things a little bit more clearly in my life. The first time I did one of these breath work sessions with her, and I felt the need to apologize to a bunch of people because I just, I'd had an argument with someone that day about something small and I just felt it was almost like my ego had just like dissolved or something. What's going on there? What is that? You know, because it's when people are prescribing this as a cure for like mental health and trauma. Well, I could tell you what's going on biologically. I could tell you what's going on psychologically, psychologically and more will start with the biology. A lot of these very vigorous breathing techniques, which I would strongly suggest people figure out your breath foundation before you go on to these. Don't just jump into this stuff. Everything we've talked about, nasal breathing, slow breathing, proper biomechanics. If you figure out all that, you will get so much more out of these more vigorous breathing exercises. So a lot of these have you breathe very fast, sometimes through the mouth. You may be saying, well, I thought you just said we shouldn't be breathing through the mouth. For these short exercises, it's perfectly fine. And you breathe that way to specifically elicit a stress response in your body that you are creating. It's the same thing with ice baths, right? Those aren't relaxing. They cause a stress response. So when you're breathing pranayama, Kundalini, holotropic, you are stressing your body out. And then you're learning how to use your breath to calm your body down, right? Because all of these breathing techniques, you and then you hold your breath and then you breathe slow and then you go back to and then you hold your breath. So you were learning how to take control of your nervous system function and stress. And so that stress, you're compacting into this exercise so you don't carry it around with you the rest of the day. Like I do and so many other people do. So you go there, you blow a fuse, and then you're able to be chilled the rest of the day. So biologically, what's happening to your blood flow when you're over breathing, you are inhibiting blood flow to your brain. People, I've heard this in breathwork classes, people say, more you breathe, the more oxygen is getting to your brain, that's why you're getting so high, the opposite is happening. You're inhibiting blood flow right now, if we were to over breathe and yeah, you're going to feel lightheaded, you're going to feel some tingling in your fingers. That's not from an increase of blood circulation, but a decrease. So you can breathe into a state in which you have 40% less blood flow to your brain by over breathing. Holotropic is classic. You start feeling all kind of your hands start going like this. That's from all the INI calcium being glom dom with albumin. So all of these and lack of CO2. So this is a classic response. Some breathwork people say it's because you're going back in time and you're becoming a bird and all that's beautiful if you want to believe that. But what is actually happening to your body is that we're losing that calcium is being sucked up and that CO2 is being inhibited so that vasodilation is happening. And it's causing you felt that, I felt it too. It's it's freaking when it first happens, but it's completely natural. And it comes back when you hold your breath or you breathe more slowly. I only knew I was doing that because of a photo. So they took a photo of me while I was doing the breathwork exercise. And my hands were in the air. I didn't put them there. And my fingers were colored like a crap. It was like that. Like that. Whoever's running that breathwork is doing the right thing. Because you want to get to that state if you're ready for that state. So that's what's happening to the brain and the body. You were denying yourself oxygen. You were stressing yourself out so that you can live without that stress after that class. Sorry. So how is it getting the stress out of me though? The same way that a cold bath is the same way that going to a gym for half an hour or an hour, you're working on getting the stress out the same way of going to a yoga class for an hour. Like I feel so relaxed, right? This is compounding that stress. It's stressing out your physical body in your brain. It's really pushing it so that you can be reacquainted with what a threat actually is, right? You're not over sensed. So when an email comes in from a friend and they're being kind of pissy at you, you don't completely lose your top, right? And say, I never want to talk to you again. And I think that's one of the reasons why after that class, you just went, whoa, I have a better perspective on what stress is, how I should be treating other people around me, and how my brain should be feeling, that relaxed feeling that you have. So it's harder to quantify psychologically, especially psychically or spiritually, what's happening as a very personal experience. However, I will say having done a lot of this intense breathwork, this vigorous breathwork, I've seen people absolutely transformed by it. They do it one time, then they come back the second time, they're a little better at it, and they get rid of a lot of luggage, psychological luggage. People have go through some real stuff when they're doing it. I think it's beautiful, because this is something that we're doing completely naturally with our own bodies that we have access to. There's nothing exogenous about it, right? You know, this is something that we're commanding inside our nervous systems. So that's something I think needs to be explored a lot more. I tried numerous times to get into an MRI machine. I wanted to do blood work. I did one study, which was not in this book in the hypoxia lab at San Francisco, one of the oldest hypoxia labs, and it freaked out the researchers so much that they really didn't want to be a part of it. So because my hands did that thing, and they were pulling blood, and my CO2 was so low that, you know, they wanted to put me into the ER. I said, "No, no, I feel great." I said, "This is what it's supposed to be doing." But they want to see everything consistent all the time, right? They see these big dips in CO2. They see this stress. They associate that with serious illness. They don't realize when you bring it on yourself, it's something that you can help to master. And so I hope that more research will look into what happens to the brain during these vigorous breathing exercises, because not a lot has been done. But I know it's very beneficial for people, and there's been several studies showing just how beneficial it is for depression, for anxiety, even autoimmune issues and more. Of all the things we've discussed, what is the most important thing that we've missed that is pertinent to breathing, health, well-being, and, you know, daily practices? What is the most important subject matter that we've missed in this conversation? I don't think it's necessarily that we've missed anything. I think it's the importance of sort of doubling down on a point I've tried to make a few times is, you don't need to pay for this stuff. You don't need to read a bunch of different scientific articles to know that breath is a healing and very nourishing modality. This is something that's available to us all day long, all night long. So you can just focus on these simple things, get good at those simple things and work up from there. Ultimately, I would love if people finally were able to work up to go to these big breath work powerful sessions, because I don't know anyone that's gone in one of these and hasn't really gotten something out of it. I think you're you're living proof of that right now. I'm an ultimate skeptic as well. As am I, that's the nature of my job. So just adopt these simple things and I will say a final word, breathing dysfunction is a serious problem, especially with kids, especially for adults as well. So take this seriously, fix it, and I think you'll really see the benefits from that. You'll hear in part because you're doing a BBC Maestro Series on you. I am. Team told me yes, which is very exciting. So that Maestro Series, have you written it yet? Do you know what it's good? I am in the midst right after this. Okay, yeah, right it up. Yep. And I'm presuming it's going to be on some of the subject maps we've discussed. It will be it's a basic guide and toolbox of exactly what to do and when and how to improve these conditions. But it also contains 90% of this book was thrown out, right? Because I didn't want to have a 600 page book. So I'm able to slip in all this other stuff that was thrown out and some of this more mystical, some history, but a lot of science as well. James, I could talk to you forever about this. I really, really could such that your way of articulating the points and the research you've done is so captivating. But I can see our carbon dioxide is ticking up. We're getting close to that time. I feel like I'm like, you know, little bit like all of a sudden, I am going to buy one of those things though. We have a closing tradition. Okay, which is the last guest leaves a question for the next guest, not knowing who they're going to be leaving it for. The question left the you very simple. What is it that drives you to be the best version of you? Curiosity. That's all that's the only thing that not the only thing, but the main thing that I wake up in the morning, I'm excited to take on the day because I have the luxury of having a job that allows me to be curious. I've had a lot of jobs that did not allow me to be curious, but I'm able to ask questions and have conversations and it's every day is a privilege because of that. Well, I think from reading this book, as I said, this is the book that has sat on my bedside, on my girlfriend's side for the last, I think, a year, roughly since we moved into that new place, you've done a phenomenally great job of condensing the information to make it accessible and relatable to every type of reader out there. It's like every other page, there's almost like a light bulb that's being switched on in my head about the way that I'm living my life and how small, simple things that, as you say, aren't complex.


Final Audience Queries

Last Guest's Question (01:54:23)

I don't need to buy some huge course or I don't need to become a master in anything, can have a fundamental change on my life. That's why this book is so unbelievably important. But I mean, the book speaks for itself because this book is sold absolutely crazy. And it's one of those books that is being driven by word of mouth. One person is passing it to another. I can talk through the people in my team and the web of how the book traveled and Jemima and then Mel and Sophie and so on. And I think that speaks to this book. I think it's a shame. It's a real shame that I actually believe that this book is now required reading, but it speaks to the misalignment problem and how far we've gotten from good habits as it relates to breathing and the consequences that it's had on our health. I'm very excited to see the BBC MOSDRO series as well. I'll be checking out for that because I love those series and they provide, as you say, an actionable toolkit for a lot of the things we're talking about today. I love the way you approach subject matters. I love the impartiality of it. I love the fact that you lead with the evidence first. And as you've done throughout this conversation, you try and keep your opinion secondary to what the evidence is saying, which I think is really important. And a lot of people actually, they get quite scared of what the evidence is saying. So they either avoid it or they don't mention it at all. But you hold that line really, really well. Your work is going to help so many people. I can't imagine millions and millions of people that you'll never get to meet. So on behalf of all of those people, including my girlfriend, as I said, she started a studio upstairs called Bali Breathwork because, in part, because of what you wrote. So afterwards, I just love to show you it. But just so you can see it, because it's an example for you of all the lives that you'll never meet, that your work is touching. You'll never get to meet. You know, you'd probably, if we hadn't met today, you wouldn't even know there was a studio that had launched in London because of your work. Or there was someone that's dedicated their life now to helping people with breath because of your work. So on behalf of all those people, you'll never meet. Thank you, James. Your work is very necessary. And I can't wait to see what you write about next. I'm very intrigued. I heard there's a book on the way. Very excited by that. Thank you very much for having me. As you guys may know, we are a sponsor of this podcast and I'm a shareholder in the company. As someone that is on the go, pretty much 90% of the time, I always prioritize getting my workout in. And for me, it's a non-negotiable. Working out, staying healthy and trying to optimize my body so I can achieve the results that I want. But a new addition to my lifestyle, which complements my busy work schedule and my tough workout schedule, is my prioritization of my rest and my recovery. I never quite knew how important it was until I started my week journey to understand exactly what's going on in my body and how to look after my body. Loop is a wearable health and wellness coach that provides you with the feedback and actionable insights you need on your sleep, your recovery, your training, your stress, and your overall health. And seeing this data that Woot provides has made it 10 times easier to understand what my body needs for it to reach its optimal state, helping me to conquer those long days and tough workouts without breaking down. See for yourself by searching join.woop.com/ceo to get a three months free Woot membership on me. And I have a suspicion you'll stick with it because I certainly have, and I don't stick with much as it relates to wearable tech. Enjoy it and let me know how you get on.


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