James Nestor: The Lost Art of Breath | Chase Jarvis Live Show

Key Takeaways

  • Nasal breathing can have extraordinary downstream effects on athletic performance, organ health, autoimmune disease, snoring, and even scoliosis
  • “Breathing is a foundation of health and if you’re not doing it right, you’re never really going to be healthy.” – James Nestor
  • Ancient skulls have near-perfect teeth without braces or corrections needed
  • Our mouths should be wide enough to accommodate all our teeth – we’re moving away from prior biology that was helpful
  • Slow, easy breaths through the nose are the way to go
  • When we breathe through our nose we can filter and humidify the air so it can be best absorbed by the lungs without irritation
  • Practice: use a small piece of tape over mouth to force nasal breathing
  • Podcast Notes Recommended Course to improve breathing – BREATHLESS Walking

Introduction

James Nestor (@MrJamesNestor) is a journalist who has written for Outside magazine, Men’s Journal, Scientific American, Dwell magazine, National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle magazine, and others.

In this episode, Chase interviews James Nestor about his latest research for his new book all about breathing, the importance of doing it properly, and how to use breathing to improve health.

Book: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

Host: Chase Jarvis (@chasejarvis)

The Importance of Breathing

  • How we breathe makes a big difference in our health
  • We breathe 25,000 times per day
  • Making small adjustments in the way we breathe can have extraordinary downstream effects on athletic performance, organ health, autoimmune disease, snoring, and even scoliosis
  • 25-50% of the world’s population mouth breathes – this is correlated to sleep apnea and asthma
  • “Breathing is a foundation of health and if you’re not doing it right, you’re never really going to be healthy.” – James Nestor
  • People with anxiety and asthma breathe too much which is why resting carbon dioxide levels are low
  • The need to breathe is triggered by carbon dioxide, not oxygen

Disevolution: Impact of Modern Lifestyle On Skeleton

  • Ancient skulls have near-perfect teeth without braces or corrections needed
  • Wisdom teeth removal is the result of modern-day pathologies in our breathing that has made our mouths smaller and reduced space
  • Our mouths should be wide enough to accommodate all our teeth
  • “Disevolution”: we’re still moving, just not going towards progress
  • Every generation is not necessarily better, healthier, and stronger than the last
  • We’re moving away from prior biology that was helpful
  • Braces constrain the size of the mouth
  • Half of braces treatments will make breathing worse
  • Babies who are breastfed will have straighter teeth and less prevalence of sleep apnea in adulthood versus babies who were bottle-fed

Benefits of Harnessing Nasal Breathing

  • The vast majority of humans don’t breathe properly
  • Slow, easy breaths through the nose are the way to go
  • Breathing is as important as exercise and nutrition
  • When we breathe through our nose we can filter and humidify the air so it can be best absorbed by the lungs without irritation
  • Nasal breathing fights bacteria and pathogens
  • Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth increases oxygenation by 20%

How Can We Start Nasal Breathing?

  • Step 1: Practice breathing through your nose
  • Step 2: Exhale fully and calmly, lifting the diaphragm
  • Practice: Use a small piece of tape over mouth to force nasal breathing
  • Oropharyngeal exercises have been shown efficacious for non-central sleep apnea
  • Results in personal health can happen immediately! Test it with a blood pressure monitor by breathing in through the nose and exhaling slowly through the nose

Use Breathing As A Lever For Autonomic Nervous System

  • “Science is measurable truth. Anything that can be measured can be studied. If it can be studied, it can be proven right or wrong” – James Nestor
  • We get a sympathetic response every time we inhale
  • We get a parasympathetic response when we exhale
  • If you want to get amped up, inhale longer than exhale
  • If you want to slow down, exhale to a longer count than inhale
  • For balance: 5-6 seconds in and 5-6 seconds out
  • We can take control of our nervous system and many immune functions with breathing

Action Steps For A Stuffy Nose

  • Step 1: Exhale calmly
  • Step 2: Pinch nose shut
  • Step 3: Nod up and down, side to side
  • Step 4: Hold your breath as long as you can
  • Step 5: When you need to breathe, slowly breathe through the nose
  • If it’s difficult, repeat until you are able

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Notes By Maryann

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