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Why breath?

According to researcher James Nestor, 90 percent of us are breathing incorrectly, and this failure is either causing or aggravating a laundry list of chronic diseases. Many of these modern maladies can be either reduced or reversed simply by changing the way we inhale and exhale. Breathing in different patterns really can influence our body weight and overall health. Yes, beathing allows us to hack into our own nervous system, control our immune response and restore our health. Changing how we breathe will help us live longer. The 'great secret of life' is to ALWAYS breathe through your nose.

Humans are the only species with chronically crooked teeth and this is relevant to our breathing. A modern environment has created soft commercial foods that results with a lack of chewing, and this has stunted bone development in dental arches and sinus cavity, leading to chronic nasal congestion. This innovation of mashing and cooking food has consequences.

Forty percent of today's population suffers from chronic nasal obstruction, and around half of us are habitual mouthbreathers, with females and children suffering the most. This causes sleep apnea, ADHD, snoring, bed wetting and insomnia.

When the nasal cavity gets congested, airflow decreases and bacteria flourish. These bacteria replicate and can lead to infections and colds and more congestion. This congestion leaves us no other option but to habitually breathe from the mouth.

Become a nose breather. Simply train yourself to breathe through your nose. Especially when exercising. Notice animals in the wild. When they are running and hunting their prey, their mouths are closed. They have a very efficient respiratory system through their nose. Sleep with your mouth closed. A closed mouth at night can prevent snoring and sleep apnea. Inhaling from the nose forces air against all those flabby tissues at the back of the throat, making the airways wider and breathing easier. In time these tissues and muscles get 'toned' to stay in this open and wide position.

Mouthbreathing causes the body to loose 40 percent more water. Again most animals can sleep through the night without feeling thirsty or needing to relieve themselves.

Chronic insomnia is attributed to breathing problems. No amount of snoring is normal, and any amount of sleep apnea comes with risks of serious health issues. It is suggested to strap the jaw to close the mouth at night or tape your lips shut.

We breathe too quickly and often. A recommended pace is to inhale for 5.5 seconds and exhale for 5.5 seconds. This will help to increase lung capacity as well. We loose 12 percent of our lung capacity from the age of 30 to 50, and it continues to decline as we age, with women's lungs failing faster than men's. If we make it to 80, we are only able to take in 30 percent less air than we did in our 20's. We're forced to breathe faster and harder.

To conclude 'Breath' by Jim Nestor, here are the takeaways:

  1. Shut your mouth.

  2. Breathe through your nose.

  3. Exhale - get all the air out of your body.

  4. Chew - eat rougher, rawer and heartier foods.

  5. Over breathe on occasion.

  6. Hold your breath on occasion.

  7. Slow down your breathing. Practice 5.5 second breathing - inhale for 5.5 and exhale for 5.5 resulting in less breaths per minute.

  8. Practice yoga.

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