The secret to true health is not in what you eat, how much you exercise, or how skinny or fat you are, but in how you breathe.
by David Proctor
September 21, 2023
Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine Published Weekly
I have never really thought about the process of breathing.
You inhale and you exhale, doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Plus, you don’t have to think about it, you just do it.
Yes, I have thought about breathing but mainly when I didn’t have enough air.
Like when running or swimming underwater or even when the breath is knocked out of yourself.
Then you think about inhaling, not the exhale.
As a reference, I consider an excellent book called “Breath” by James Nestor.
It turns out that we actually breathe too much and do not exhale enough!
I thought that was strange.
To truly breathe correctly the old adage of breathing in the good air and letting out the bad, is that we tend to take shallow breaths and keep too much bad air in.
Stop and think about all the people you may know that have breathing problems like asthma or are mouth breathers.
Breathing through your mouth should only be on exhale if needed.
Improper breathing can lead to changes in the shape of the mouth and even elongation of the facial structure.
Have you ever woken up the next day and felt tired because you didn’t have a good night’s sleep?
One reason for not sleeping well is breathing through the mouth.
This can become so bad that people wear masks or CPAP at night to control this.
Try an experiment on yourself.
I know this may sound strange, but put a small piece of tape on your mouth at night so you will breathe through your nose.
Don’t go to an extreme with this, just a small piece of tape and try this for a week.
You might be surprised at the way you feel after doing this and may want to continue.
Or you can wear a mechanical device that helps you breathe and deal with possible health issues from that.
The book is all about how we take our breath and gives examples of what can change when we change our breathing.
James Nestor points out “the new science of a lost art” in breathing.
Athletes are always looking for a way to improve performance.
Few things will make as big a difference as to how the athlete breathes.
You may be asking yourself well just what is the right way to breathe?
What is the perfect breath?
“The perfect breath is this: Breathe in for about 5.5 seconds, then exhale for 5.5 seconds. That’s 5.5 breaths a minute for a total of about 5.5 liters of air.”
By trying this you will get out what you take in.
It doesn’t stop with just that.
People have had and do have many ailments that with proper breathing, the body can reset its autonomic nervous system.
One way to do this is through “heavy breathing”.
James describes how he was instructed to do the heavy breathing by:
“start by finding a quiet place and lying flat on your back with a pillow under your head.
Relax the shoulders, chest, and legs.
Take a very deep breath into the pit of your stomach and let it back out just as quickly.
Keep breathing this way for 30 cycles.
If possible, breathe through the nose; if the nose feels obstructed, try pursed lips.
Each breath should look like a wave, with the inhale inflating the stomach, then the chest.
You should exhale all the air out in the same order.
At the end of 30 breaths, exhale to the natural conclusion, leaving about a quarter of the air left in the lungs, then hold that breath for as long as possible.
Once you’ve reached your breath-hold limit, take one huge inhale and hold it for another 15 seconds.
Very gently, move that fresh breath of air around the chest and to the shoulders, then exhale and start the heavy breathing again.
Repeat the whole pattern three or four rounds and add in some cold exposure (cold shower or ice bath) a few times a week.”
This type of breathing is called “Tummo” and should never be practiced while driving, walking, or in “any other environment where; you might get hurt if you passout.”
This has been claimed to have helped thousands with illnesses that other treatments had no success with.
If you would like to learn more about breathing correctly for all the benefits this can provide, then please read the book, it is an enjoyable read.
Check It Out!
Nestor, James. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. Riverhead Books, an Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2020.