CATALYST Health, Wellness & Performance Coaching

BREATH: The New Science of a Lost Art (James Nestor - Episode #182)

August 30, 2021 James Nestor Season 4 Episode 2
CATALYST Health, Wellness & Performance Coaching
BREATH: The New Science of a Lost Art (James Nestor - Episode #182)
Show Notes Transcript

Breathing. It’s so simple that unless we’re struggling to do so due to something like an asthma attack or drowning, it never even crosses our minds. But what if we’re doing it wrong? Seriously – what if developing some simple changes to the way in which we breath could improve our health, our energy levels and our outcomes in life? 

Today’s guest is James Nestor, popular journalist and best-selling author of the white-hot book BREATH: The New Science of a Lost Art. We’ll discuss his intriguing journey to examine the history of how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly and why we’re suffering from a laundry list of maladies—snoring, sleep apnea, asthma, autoimmune disease, allergies—because of it. And of course, we’ll talk about what this means for each of us and our lives based on the evidence, not simply headlines.

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Speaker 1:

Breathing. It's so simple that unless we're struggling to do so due to something like an asthma attack or drowning, it never even crosses their mind. But what if we're doing it wrong? Seriously? What if developing some simple changes to the way in which we breathe, could improve our health, our energy levels and our outcomes in life. Welcome to the latest episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Bradford Cooper of catalyst coaching Institute. And today's guest is James nester , journalist and bestselling author of the white hot book breathe . The new science of a lost art. We'll discuss his intriguing journey to examine the history of how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly and why we're suffering from a laundry list of maladies, snoring, sleep apnea, asthma autoimmune diseases, allergies because of this. And of course, we'll talk about what this means for each one of us and the way we live our lives based on the evidence, not simply the headlines , the final NBH WC approved coach certification training. The year takes place. The first weekend of October, not only is the last one for 2021. It's also your last chance to register before the rates go up. And if you're planning to sit for the national board exam in 2022, this is it. This is your last opportunity to get everything in place for their required timeline. You can find all the [email protected] or reach out to us. Anytime you want to set up time to discuss details, answer your questions, [email protected] Now let's examine what the Evans tells us about optimal breathing with James nester on the latest episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast. Well , James nester , fun to have you here. We've been working on this a long time, really excited about your book. Welcome to the show.

Speaker 2:

Thanks a lot for having me breathe.

Speaker 1:

I mean, of all the concepts, it seems so basic, so simple, but it's not well , we'll dig into a lot more of that than any of us realized , but what started you down this path? What , why did you start researching this essentially seemingly basic concept and then discovered so much more?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. You know, when you start writing magazine articles, when you start getting interested in writing boasts , the last thing you think you're going to be doing is spending five years about our breath. Yes . Right? It does seem so seemingly mundane and simple. It's something we all do all the time. 20 to 25,000 times a day. What could there be behind our breath ? And it turns out a whole lot. Uh , I was as apprehensive as anyone else , um, towards this subject and my agent and my publisher said, this is a terrible idea for a book. Uh , there's nothing here. And so I first had to convince them, which, which took years. Wow. But actually showing them the science. But once you start peering into it, you start to understand that our breathing is where we get most of our energy more than from or drink. And that's so many of us are breathing. So inadequately we're breathing well enough to keep ourselves alive. Right. But compensation is different from true health. And so that's where the subject got very interesting for me.

Speaker 1:

And the path took you down. Some, some interesting spots where there are a couple of early stages where you said, oh, my word, this is far more than I ever imagined.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So in nonfiction book, writing, you submit a proposal to a publisher and that proposal gets accepted. And then they give you a little motor column of money to go out and spend the next several years, writing it , um, you know, enough to barely get by, but enough really hungry so that you actually want to turn the thing in. So I wrote this proposal, 60 page proposal. I said, I have this stuff. So figured out this book is going to be easy. I know exactly who to talk to. I know what to talk to them about. And I had to rip up all of that work about six months worth of work. Once I started really getting deeply into this subject, many layers deep , the , the real story for me was 10 layers. Deep, not two layers deep as it usually is. And so , uh, you know, there wasn't one thing in particular, it was everything. I kept turning up these different stories, which didn't make any sense. And then they, they would check out, you know, and they were reported by top researchers in the field at top institutions. So that science was there. It's just, nobody was talking about

Speaker 1:

Well, and I want to keep our focus on that because I think a lot of folks in the health and wellness area tend to chase the fads, unfortunately. So I love the fact that you're saying, wait, we're bringing the science in here. Now at the core of your findings, the difference between mouth and nose breathing, let's start there. Why is the different so important? How does it influence our health or energy and other important elements that you discovered?

Speaker 2:

But if you look at any animal in the wild 5,400 different mammals, they are obligate nasal breathers dogs will breathe through their mouth when they are Thermo regulating, when they are offloading heat. So will some other animals. But for the rest of the time, they are going to be habitually breathing through their noses. Humans are the only mammals who habitually breathe through our mouse . And about 25 to 50% of the population does this. So you may be thinking who cares? We can get air through our mallets or through our noses. Why does it matter? But until you start understanding our anatomy and how breathing works and how all of these ornate, fantastic structures in the nose, condition, air, and treated and filter it, you realize that breathing through the mouth is just causing so much damage to our bodies. This is not controversial stuff. Any rhinologists will tell you the same thing. This is freely available in so many biology books. But so few of us realize it. And I, that so many of us are really keeping ourselves in a state of ill health because of the pathway, through which we breathe the air.

Speaker 1:

And you've got the listeners on the edge right now because they're going, wait, wait, what, what did he say? Like seriously? Is there a difference between would give us a little bit more? I mean, we'll dive a lot deeper on some of these things, but mouth breathing is causing poor health. For me,

Speaker 2:

Not only is it causing poor health, but it is changing the structure of your face, okay? This is so common that researchers have a name for it. They call it an adenoid face. When kids get inflamed adenoids, they start breathing through their mouth. Cause I have trouble breathing through their noses. And so they hold this posture all day long, breathing through their mouth and their faces will grow longer because of this. And there is some proof that they will become , uh , more, have more crooked teeth because of this. And so it's not too much of a leap of logic to think that the posture in which you're holding your face is going to be affecting how your face is going to look in the future. And this is, this is known stuff. So beyond the physical part of it, how that air comes in and out of our bodies, 20,000, 25,000 times a day makes a difference. Um, whether you filter it okay, whether you heat it, whether you pressurize it. Of course it does. So again, no, one's going to argue with this who, who has studied this and yet, so few of us realize that this is having such a powerful effect on our ability to think and our ability to actually be healthy.

Speaker 1:

I grew up in the age where braces were just automated. It was just, of course you're eight years old, 12 years old, you're getting braces. I had him twice. So, you know, I'm you feel sorry for me already, but is that a result of mouth breathing? Is it , uh , uh , cause a catalyst of more mouth breathing? Is there any connection between the almost automated braces that we've been going through in the last, what, 50 years and what you're seeing?

Speaker 2:

Well, we can't do a randomized double-blind trial of that. Uh, it would be pretty

Speaker 1:

Cool. Yeah . We definitely know we have braces ,

Speaker 2:

But, but what you can do is to look at the research that is already there and to look at what happens with kids. If you look at a pair of twins or a pair of kids in the same family, and one gets allergies early on, becomes a mouth breather and they've done a bunch of these studies. And then you can look at the impact that that has on the mouth and the mouse ability to grow. So there's been a lot of empirical studies. There have not been the scientific double-blind studies there, but again, this is not controversial to dentists, to rhinologists, to other people who study this stuff. We know the face will be growing differently in the mouth will be impacted by that. And I will say that I grew up in the age where it was never, if you were going to get raises, but when, when, when are you going to get braces? I had extractions. I had braces. I had headgear . I had a retainer, all of that. And you think about how bizarre this is, that we are the only animal that needs braces because we are the only animal with chronically crooked teeth. And you realize something very rotten is going on here.

Speaker 1:

Uh huh . All right . So what's optimized. What , what is a healthy optimized breathing pattern? What does that look like?

Speaker 2:

So this is so simple. And yet people think that there's some magic key and I'm going to tell them this is it's . It's so deceptively simple that people think it's not going to do much for them. Until again, you look at the science and you look at how our breath works. So optimized breathing is keeping your mouth shut. Okay? It's breathing through your nose as often as you can. It's perfectly fine to breathe through your mouth on occasion. When you're laughing, when you're sighing, maybe at some levels of really extreme endurance, it's fine to default to mouth breathing for a little bit, but throughout the night, your mouth should be closed throughout the rest of the day. Your mouth should be closed and you should be breathing through the nose. We get 20% more oxygen breathing through our noses and we do equivalent breaths through our mouth. If that's not going to make a big difference throughout the day, you're crazy. So we're able to get more oxygen with less effort, just breathing through the nose. There are so many other benefits, but it just starts with that, with how you're getting energy in and how you're exhaling toxins from the body. And the nasal passage is by far superior across the board in all of those functions.

Speaker 1:

Can you give us a lay description of that? Because the logic in my head, and I've got a , I've got a degree in biology, physical therapy, et cetera, but I'm just going to well , but the throats so much, I, I'm not connecting the two of more oxygen through the nose than through the mouth and I may be not alone. So can you walk us through lay terms, how that all works?

Speaker 2:

So a lot of us think more is always more right. Um, so we think that more air into our bodies more often is going to equal more oxygen, totally wrong. So it is so much more efficient to breathe a slower pressurized breath through your nose and exhale more slowly through your nose. This is going to allow your lungs more time to absorb more oxygen. It's also going to do something else. When you breathe through your nose and you breathe more slowly and lightly and deeply that air goes down deeper into your lungs. Okay? The lower lobes of your lungs are so much more efficient and extracting oxygen. There's more blood down there . Blood is gravity dependent, right? And so when there's more blood in an area that is where that area is going to be able to absorb more oxygen. So , uh , you , from a physical standpoint, you are allowing air to come in deeper into your lungs, which allows them to inflate more. You are allowing your body to take fewer breaths, to get more oxygen because when you're breathing like this, most of that breath that comes into your body is just exhale without ever being used. When you take a slower, lighter breath, deeper, you will use about 35% more of that breath. So again, this makes an enormous difference throughout the day and night, so I could give you more, but ,

Speaker 1:

And that makes so much sense as you describe that we're all going. Oh yeah , of course. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Athletes . Let's , let's run down this path for just a little bit. Um, it seems, I I've tried. I was actually listening to one of your previous interviews while I was out on a bike and I'm sitting there and it's hard. I , is that something you can adapt to? Is that something that we've seen in any studies where in D and I'm not talking sprinting, I'm talking kind of your, your triathlon, you're running your marathon, pace, that kind of thing. Or is it only true for the super easy runs, hikes, that kind of thing?

Speaker 2:

No, it's awful. When you convert from mouth breathing for decades to becoming a nasal breather, it's a

Speaker 1:

Miserable. Yes . It was

Speaker 2:

Just like anything else, switching a, habit's going to take a while. So this is where it gets a little complicated because I am not here to give blanket prescriptions, buddy . Some people have such serious damage in their noses. That surgery is really the way to go for them. What I've found is the vast majority of us can start to become obligate nasal breathers, and your body will become conditioned to breathing through this channel. Sometimes it takes people a few weeks. Sometimes it takes people several months for athletes who really need to get into zone four and even zone five for cyclists , for runners, for other pro athletes. This can take a very long time. But what we do know is once people become nasal breathers, their recovery times significantly decrease their performance increases across the board. Uh , look at the work of Patrick McKeown or Brian McKenzie . These are people work with Olympians, the top tier elite athletes. And this is what happens. And, and again, it's, it's not too much of a leap of logic to think, oh, I'm getting more efficiently. I'm using less energy and less wear and tear on my body to get more energy what's going to happen. You're going to then have more energy to perform better, to go further, to perform stronger. And that's not going to allow your body to accumulate so much lactic acid. So VO two max goes up on and on. And again, it's, it's simple stuff. You start to understand this. You're like, of course, and every time I'm outside, I see people jogging there .

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's a terribly inefficient way of breathing.

Speaker 1:

Wow. Okay. So let's shift, just sleep. You mentioned that's a key time and obviously if we can master it, it's eight hours of gimme. And yet when I'm sleeping, it's all subconscious. So is there a tool? Is there a process? Do I need to tape my mouth closed ? Like what, what do we do to help that time when we're not able to consciously say, okay,

Speaker 2:

So you're right. You , you can become aware of your breathing during the day because you're, you're conscious about it. You say, oh, I'm mouth breathing right now. But at night it's tough. You're unconscious. Your muscles relax about 60% of us above 60% mouth breathe at night. And if you wake up with a dry mouth, if you wake up and have to drink water throughout the night, guess what your mouth breathing. And I've heard from dentists that the number one cause of cavities, even more than sugar consumption is breathing through the mouth. Yes. And what's even crazier about this. There were dentists talking about this 110 years ago. There are studies from dentists saying this, how many of us followed this advice about zero? So what happens when you're breathing through the mouth? You're spending eight hours breathing through the mouth. You're drying your mouth out. You're making your mouth more acidic. It becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that bacteria deteriorate your teeth. So Dr. Mark [inaudible] has been studying this for decades, and that is his firm belief. And he's noticed that when kids become obligate nasal breathers at night, his business goes way down. So he does not have cavities to fill anymore. And this is someone who's been really deeply studying this for a while . So the trick is how do you shut your mouth at night? Right? And what I learned , uh , from various researchers, including mark and from Anne Kearney down at Stanford, she's a doctor of speech language pathology is that to use a little piece of tape can be very helpful for, for a lot of people. This allows you just to train yourself, to keep your mouth shut. This isn't about comedically sealing your lips shut, right? This is about just training yourself to keep your mouth shut. And this has had such an enormous impact on my sleep quality. And this is the one thing I've heard more from people than any, anyone else, thousands of thousands of letters from people saying my sleep quality is now off the charts by doing the most simple thing by shutting my mouth at night.

Speaker 1:

So my wife's going to start looking at me strange, cause I already used the nasal strips. So now she's going to see me here. This could get a little strange.

Speaker 2:

Well, tell me about it. My wife has been written on me for all this stuff. All the little experiments I've been doing, but you know, what you want to do is get to a point where you don't need to use these training wheels. Uh, the nasal strips breathe, right? Strips are great. Nasal dilators are great. Sleep tape is great. Do you want to do this forever? No. Um, you , what you want to do is to create a habit. So your body automatically defaults to breathing this way. Unfortunately for me, I do not have the job structure to do this. So I've been using tape for more than a couple of years. Whenever I don't use the tape, that's what happens. So other people, they just need that reminder and then they do it automatically. I'm not one of those people, any

Speaker 1:

People just Google sleep lip tape. I mean, is there any brand they should look for? We can help them out here.

Speaker 2:

Know don't, don't go on YouTube because you're going to see a bunch of craziness with like using 13 pieces of tape to create and all of this garbage. I did an interview with Dr. Mark. [inaudible] where we talk about different sleep taping. Uh , that's for free on my website. You can check it out. It's also on, on Instagram, I've done it a few times, but this is the technology. Everybody brace yourself. Uh, you get a piece of micropore tape, which is a surgical tape, which is, has a very easy and light adhesive on it. You use whatever brand you want, who cares? You take a little piece about the size of a postage stamp, place it at the center of your lips. Okay ? That's it. It's not too tough. It's going to be miserable the first week you're going to wake up. It's going to be on your forehead. You're going to say I can't do this. Give it time. And again, this is the one thing that I've heard more from readers than anybody else is how a little piece of tape has allowed them to celebrate in such benefits, not only in their sleep quality, but allowing their noses to help open up as well. Wow. Wow.

Speaker 1:

All right. All right. I should cut this off now and I'll go get that tape. Um, so w how has this happen? What if this is so important, what's led to this pattern of mouth breathing across all of us?

Speaker 2:

Well, a number of things have happened. It's been sort of a perfect storm of respiratory disasters. Um, and the first of which is our anatomy has changed. So over the past few hundred years, our mouths have grown smaller and our faces have grown longer and our sinus passages have plugged up. And a lot of people may be thinking that doesn't make sense. That's not how evolution works, but if you understand how evolution actually works, it evolution means change over time. And so lifeforms don't have to always change for the better they can change for the worse . Look at the human species right now. How many people have diabetes? How many people have heart disease? How many people have asthma rhinitis sinusitis on and on problems? We did not have a hundred years ago or 200 years ago. So this was a pretty chilling thing for me to learn about because that's not how I was taught, how evolution worked. I was taught. It meant Darwinism survival of the fittest, right? Or wrong, better . Yep . All wrong. Um , and go outside and look , uh, 60% of the population is overweight. 40% is obese. None of these traits are allowing us to become stronger or better or live longer. Okay. It's evolution is changing us. Our environment is changing us. So our environment started changing us in profound ways. A couple hundred years ago, with the advent of industrialized foods and our mouse shrank so much so that our teeth no longer fit. That's why they're crooked. So, and that's one of the main reasons why so many of us have chronic breathing problems. We have a smaller airway and add to that tight fitting clothes. Add to that, sitting down all day in front of a zoom or a typewriter or a machine, or even if I wanted to breathe the healthy breath there , it's really hard. I have to really think about that. And you've got a whole species that is completely divorced from breathing from our most basic biological function. And again, don't take my word for it. Go outside , um, look in the mirror and then look at the science and look at your, an ancient ancestors. Look at their teeth. They were all perfect. Look at our teeth. They're all messed up. Interesting .

Speaker 1:

Um, all right . So obviously you got her attention beyond that. How do we start it ? We talked about sleeping piece , especially when it's so subconscious. We go through the day, you and I, as we're talking about it , I can be concentrated . I'm doing a better job, keeping my mouth shut and reusing my nose as you're talking. But it, it it's it's right here. How do we do that on an ongoing basis? How do people get started with this? How do we create that conscious competence in this area?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So as Westerners, we need download all of these little tricks. Everyone wants to go out and incorporate them immediately and then kick their Brett's and just like put it up to 11. Cause that's what we do, right? Don't look at breathing in this, in this way. I think the most important thing, this is going to be very boring for your listeners, but it's true is awareness. It starts with becoming aware of how you're breathing throughout the day and how you're breathing throughout the night. So if you notice you're one of those people wake up with a dry mouth, your mouth breathing at night, and most of us are mouth breathing night . If you notice when you're jogging, even when you're walking around that you're breathing through your mouth and your mouth breathing during the day, notice your posture throughout the day. If you're even able to take a deep, well failing breath of air . And once you start noticing what a terrible breather you are, and there's a good chance, you are the vast majority of us are breathing inadequately. And I was, you know, I would say in the top tier of poor breathers, when I started noticing how dysfunctionally I was breathing, that's when you can start to change things. So don't go out and try to do all this stuff at once, become aware over a few days or a few weeks. Okay. After that start trying to breathe a little slower, a little less, a little deeper. So fewer breaths, but deeper breaths, try breathing at a rate of about six to eight breaths per minute. And you're going to feel what a difference that makes in your ability to think, and in your circulation, and this is not a placebo effect. This is your body responding to getting energy in a more efficient way. After that, you can bump it up to your sleep tape. You can bump it up to figuring out how to nasal breathe in zone four, which is very challenging. You can start doing some very vigorous pranayama is and Wim Hof method or whatever you want to do. But you have to start with that foundation and go into this slowly, because if you've been breathing inadequately or improperly for decades, this is going to be very jarring to your body and you don't want it to be jarring. You want an easy transition

Speaker 1:

Outside of just forgetting , uh , typical roadblocks. What are you hearing from people with the letters where they're saying, Hey, you know what? I tried this, and then I hit this roadblock. Any , any guidance?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it's because so many of us are spending our entire day's work days and a lot of our recreational hours in front of computers and it's caused such poor breathing. That there's a clinical name for it. It's called constant partial attention syndrome. And it's been studied for about 20 years by various researchers, including one close to my home in San Francisco, Dr. Margaret Chesney. And what this is, is when we sit down, when we see we've got 20 emails, everyone needs our attention. We need to get back to them. When we see that someone's calling us, we have a voicemail. We're late for a meeting. Our breathing goes to hell. So we tend to hold our breath. Cause that's what people do when we get scared. And then we tend to breathe too much. So we go from holding two to holding again, and this can cause long-term and lasting damage on our bodies . Very similar to the damage that sleep apnea can cause, and people will have sleep apnea. No . What a series. Yeah . So what I've found is when I was talking to Dr. Chesney about this, what I've found, what's helpful for me because my breathing was a disaster. When I sat down in the morning to answer emails, I know because I was measuring it w various devices is I would set little timers on my phone. You don't need any fancy app to do this. Okay? Set timers that every 15 minutes, a little bell goes off. And that bell is like, okay, how am I breathing right now? Okay. I'm breathing through my mouth. I'm hunched over. I'm going to correct my breathing right now. Then another 15 minutes will go by and that bell will go off again. So this is how I was able to help myself work. Different people have different ways. They want to do this. There are breathing apps that can train you to do it. They all work. I found a simple timer works just as well. Once you notice that your breathing is improving, then you can improve it a little more. You can wear some of that tape during the day. The seams, well not during the zoom, this seems insane. Right? I'm going to tape my mouth up during, during the day. Oh , that makes sense. Yeah. But nothing is more pathetic than breathing through your mouth. Okay . That's that's destroying your body. So when you're answering emails for half an hour, 40 minutes, put a little piece of tape on your mouth in the day, it's going to make that transition to wearing sleep tape at night. So much more easy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . I , I , again, simple but so effective. W what are some things people can look for? People want feedback, what's a feedback mechanism, or there are a couple of things that maybe they can look for. You mentioned it influenced you to sleep your energy levels, those types of things. Are there a couple of things that you say, you know, watch for this, because I think you're going to notice this as different after you've been doing this for 10 days or so.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely look at your sleep data. Um, after you become, if you went from becoming a mouth breather to a nasal breather, if you have an aura ring or whoop band or whatever wearable you want, I'm not endorsing you look at the change to your sleep and the quality of your sleep back can tell you a lot. If you are a snore or someone was sleep apnea, not saying this is going to work for everyone with these conditions, but you can download an app. I like one called snore lab. They have a free version again. No, one's paying me to say any of this stuff. Um, I like that app because you , you place your phone by your bed and it records you throughout the night, and it gives you a graphic readout on if you were snoring and then you can listen to yourself, snoring or suffering from sleep apnea, right. Um, you can watch if that improves and chances are, it will, because when you breathe through your nose, you create more pressure in your airway and you're breathing more slowly. It's pretty hard to snore. You can still do it when you're breathing through your nose slowly, right? But when you're breathing through your mouth very quickly, it's much easier to snore in this way. I want to be very clear. This isn't going to fix every thing for everyone, but it's free. Okay. And there are only benefits associated with it. I have heard from literally hundreds and hundreds of people that they are no longer snoring since they've taped their mouth . And , um, this is actually being studied right now with a huge study at Stanford, looking at sleep apnea and snoring and mouth breathing versus nasal breathing. So there needs to be more science comes out with this stuff, but just anecdotally empirical studies have shown that this can make a big difference for some people with these conditions.

Speaker 1:

This is powerful stuff. And again, when I'm going through all your , your data, it seems so simple. And yet I love this. Um, you mentioned the app, any other apps that they should tap into the snore lab? I love that I wrote it down for a friend of mine, but other suggestions on that front

Speaker 2:

There's there's dozens of apps. And it's pretty funny that , uh, since the book has come out more, have come out, some of which just lifted exactly what I've written, but you know, such as life in the digital world. Uh, so, and they all work, you know, but, but what's interesting is people were able to improve their breathing before I phones and before apps. And you can do it with very simple methods. Um, I don't want to tell someone what's the best way of improving their breathing. I'm going to show them how this is going to make an impact on their health. And then you can choose the pathway which works best for you. If you are curious about , uh , sleep apnea and how nasal breathing might be affecting your sleep apnea, or even if you're curious, if you're holding your breath throughout the day, if you get migraines, if you have cold fingers, if you are exhausted throughout the day, these are signs that you could be breathing in a dysfunctional pattern. So I've found a pulse oximeter wearing it throughout the day. They have these in a ring and they also have them in a wrist with a watch. This was so important. Show me how dysfunctionally I was breathing throughout the day. People want to do that. Those are a couple hundred bucks. I found it's a very helpful tool to show me , uh , throughout the night, when I was in the Stanford experiment, how I was suffering from sleep apnea, how was holding my breath for 10 or 20 seconds at a time, and then breathing too much. So those are good tools. But beyond that, you know, we have the best technology in the world. We're , we're born with it. It's called our brain and our lips and our lungs. And we can use this technology to improve our health. And it's, it reminds me, you're saying this is so simple, but, but nature is simple. Yet. Subtle eating well is so simple, but look at how complex we've made it eat. These 12 different supplements and these 12 different vitamins and minerals and eat at this certain time of day. It doesn't need to be that complicated if you return to the way that animals, that humans were supposed to eat

Speaker 1:

Deviated septum , um, I had that surgery done. It seems like I remember you mentioned you maybe had two , or you're very familiar with many people who have positive negative. What does that play a role in this at all? What's, what's the status on

Speaker 2:

It's different for, for everyone? You know, that's why it's hard to be , uh , really generalizing here. Some people have shown huge improvements by correcting a deviated septum. Other people have shown absolutely zero improvements. And same thing with turbinectomy is same thing with other nasal surgeries. What so often happens even with having adenoids or tonsils removed with these studies with kids. When people have these surgeries, they can show an immediate improvement, but then slowly their breathing becomes more and more dysfunctional because what happens is people who are given these surgeries, aren't taught how to breathe properly. So these kids who have their tonsils or adenoids removed are able to breathe through their noses. But then after a year or two, they become obligate mouth breathers because they were never taught to shut their mouth at night or during the day or while they're exercising. The same thing happens with adults. I've heard from people if at three or four nasal surgeries, they're like, nothing's working said , well, how are you breathing throughout the day? Well , I'm just bringing the way I've always free. So with that, surgery has to come education. And it's, I've heard this from so many responsible Entz . This is what Jack or Nyack that , uh , chief of rhinology research at Stanford top of the top level guy, is he so frustrated that there is not education with these surgeries? People have brought in, they're drilled out there , say, okay, come back in a couple of years, I can drill you out again. You know, it's the same thing with cavities and dentists . So I think that it should be required that anyone that's going to go through these surgeries, these major surgeries have to come out with a pamphlet or at least some instruction is now that we've cleared your airway. This is how you need to train yourself to breathe. This is the pathway to success. It's not just the drilling out the airway. It also comes with , with education,

Speaker 1:

Talk us through this Stanford study a little bit. You've referenced it a few times. I've heard you talk about it a little bit. Walk us through that in terms of the listeners.

Speaker 2:

So I got to be pretty good friends with Jack or Nyack, and he was so happy. He actually returned my , uh, this guy is like the leader in the field of rhinology and is doing so much amazing research, looking at the difference between nasal breathing and mouth breathing and how effective certain surgeries or different procedures are. And what he has found is that a lot of people slated for surgery do not need surgery. They need to breathe better. They can use a neti pot. Sometimes they can use a low dose steroids to clear up their problems. And he's also a big proponent obviously, of , of nasal breathing. He's a rhinologist. And through these very long interviews, I was doing with him early on in my research, he was like, you know, so many people don't realize all the problems associated with mouth breathing, how quickly they come on. I said, well, how quickly do they come on? Have there been scientific studies looking at how quickly mouth breathing will give you sinusitis or deplete your energy or create snoring? And he said, no, because he thought it would be unethical to do so, because in order to do that, you would have to plug people up for a certain amount of time and just have them breathe through their mouth . And I said, well, what if I can do this? And I volunteered to do it and find something else. And he was laughing. He's like, you don't want to do this. I said, I don't, I , I would prefer if we could find someone else, but I knew I wasn't going to someone else. And I had no plans of doing this. I did not want to do this study. I really mean that. But I was curious and I managed to convince him to, you know , give us a lot of time in his lab and to his researchers. And I thought this is a golden opportunity to do something. No one else is going to do for , for good reason . So that that study is the short version. 10 days was mouth breathing. I wish it could have been a hundred people we had to pay for the study. So it was me and one other person that's as good as we could do. And then it was 10 days of nasal breathing. We collected every imaginable marker , uh , from blood work to PLTs , to everything. And we're recording data three times a day for 21 days. And the short answer to all of this was that mouth breathing was so much more damaging so much more quickly than anyone would have ever believed in that short

Speaker 1:

Period.

Speaker 2:

Just within a day, my blood pressure was through the roof. I was snoring. I had sleep apnea within a single day from not snoring at all, not having sleep apnea at all. Same exact thing happened with the other subject. And what was interesting about this is we never , we didn't prove anything with the subject, with two people. We're not proving anything. We were just buttressing exactly what the science has been telling us for decades and decades. Exactly what Christian [inaudible] as Stanford has been saying for 40 years, but we were experiencing it personally, but do not do this at it sucks . Um, so luckily you don't have to, I did it for you.

Speaker 1:

Wow. All right. So the old saying, take a deep breath relates to the role of breathing related to stressful periods. Are there specific benefits techniques you'd suggest specifically for that, or, you know what Brad, it it's same thing.

Speaker 2:

Well, it depends what you want to take that deep breath for. So if you want to quickly relax yourself, right? If you're on a flight, you want to go to sleep. If you're a little wired before going to bed, you can take some deep breaths and they can make a big difference. Something called a physiological PSI , Dr. Andrew Huberman at Stanford, he's a neuroscientist has been studying this and how effective it is for very quickly resetting the nervous system. And what this is is it's two breaths on top of one another with a long exhale. And it looks like this for this, you can sign out of your mouth out of your nose. I don't care, but it's two breaths in through the nose, resets the body. And it's no coincidence why you see a lion or other animals or a dog go, Ooh . Before they fall down to sleep. There's a whole subset of neurons in our brain. Responsible for sign. When we breathe this way, we trigger those neurons. And that creates a cascading event of other reactions in the body to calm down. You can hear just doing that twice. How much more chill I am. Try this at home, everyone . So for people with panic and anxiety, deep breaths are not a good idea. So whenever you hear people say, oh, just and take a breath, totally. These people should be breathing in a very controlled and slow way, but I don't want to confuse people. A big breath is different than a deep breath. So when I'm talking about it , if a deep breath is very slow and controlled, that's very nurturing. A big breath is a bad idea. These terms are a little confusing and sorry if that was a little confusing earlier on. So if someone is about to have a panic attack, the last thing they should be doing is that's going to cause constriction in the throat. And it's going to exacerbate and speed up that attack. Same thing with asthma. You want to calm them down, breathe through the nose, breathe very slowly, breathe. Very Enlightly. They can breathe a little deep. That's fine. But the key here is slowly and lightly about five breaths slowly and lightly with a long exhale. And then let them breathe normally again for about 30 seconds. Then do that same pattern. This is so much more effective than the old adage of just take a deep breath. Yeah, no. Um, and this has been proven time and time again, just training as Matics and panic suffers to breathe less and to get their CO2 up has been found to be the most effective intervention for these conditions. So this is something that is now being much more widely studied, but there are decades of, of clinical studies into this that have proved this.

Speaker 1:

All right , I've got one more. I want to take a different path, but before we do any additional tips for folks things, I haven't teed up with the questions that you're going, oh, Brad, there's, there's this one thing I got to say it, any of that stuff that we haven't covered with th with that aspect?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And this is where briefing gets even more confusing. So I've been talking about taking these light slow, deep, but not big breaths. Okay. How effective that is for oxygenation, relaxing yourself. There are also big benefits to occasionally breathing way too much. And I know you're thinking this is the exact opposite of what I said. Occasionally breathing too much. So Wim Hof method, if you're familiar with his method, pranayama, Sudarshan, Kriya, all of these methods have you over breathe on purpose specifically to stress yourself out in a very controlled short amount of time. And they do this. So you can compound your stress so that the rest of the day you'll be breathing through your nose in this very calm manner. This is where people get very confused. They say, Wim Hoff is saying over breathe . You're saying under breathe, there's a time and a place for everything. And once you master these foundations of healthy breathing, you can go on to have these altered states of consciousness breathing. You don't believe me, try it out for yourself and celebrate. And some of the benefits of this hermetic stress, okay. Which has found to be very effective for auto-immune diseases and for chronic stress and for even PTSD. So it depends what you want, and then you can use different breathing techniques to suit your needs.

Speaker 1:

All right. So back to James nester , what's next on the horizon for bestselling author and journalist . What do you got going on here, buddy? You were saying before we hit the record button, you just got, you figured out this career thing, like it's dialed in. What's next? What do you, what do you got coming on the horizon?

Speaker 2:

You know, it's great when people say that and they don't realize 10 years

Speaker 1:

Later, the curtain

Speaker 2:

Bag , I'm like, what am I doing with my life? Uh, journalism is such a precarious career. Okay . And people don't realize that, you know, working on a book full-time for five years, you're like, this is what am I? This is so stupid. You're not making any money. The book's going to come out. I was going to probably flaw , what am I going to do after that? So, you know, I was lucky enough to have a book about breathing that I've spent so many years on come out within a month of a respiratory pandemic, you know, pretty crazy coincidence there, but that's, that's what happened. And , uh, I'm so thrilled that this is help people out as much as it's helped me out. Um, it's and , and as you can see, I'm in the sleep fascinated with it, but I'm honest , some other stuff , uh, I'm trying to actually relax a little bit. It's pretty insane year for so many reasons, but I have another book idea, and we're trying to spin all of this into a mini series, not just about reading, but looking about how the human body has changed in all of these ways in just the last few hundred years. That's why we're suffering from so many of these chronic modern melodies and how to get that back. So if I am able to work this out and, and intentional town, you know, hot ideas just fail all the time. I'm very cognizant of that, but this is what I'll be doing for the next year is able to travel around, relive some of these experiences and to tell a broader story of what's happened to us and how to fix it.

Speaker 1:

Very cool. And how people keep up with you, obviously, they're going to go , wait, how do we follow this guy? Where do they find you?

Speaker 2:

Uh , my website has all of the scientific references for the book. My publisher allowed me to do this cause I knew people weren't going to believe this stuff. So you can check it out for free at Mr. James nester.com . The entire bibliography is there including interviews with experts in the field, Harvard and Stanford, and more, I'm trying to do this social media thing. I'm pretty bad at it. I'm with someone to do this because I'm old and I can't stand it. But Mr. James nester on Instagram, trying to get away from Facebook a bit and just on Instagram, I'm trying to focus on just the science of this. So since the book has come out so much, new science has come out about breathing, which is so exciting. And that's how I'm trying to keep people updated. Again, all of that is for free. And I have interviews with experts in the field on occasion. Perfect. Well,

Speaker 1:

This was so good. Thank you for doing this. Really appreciate

Speaker 2:

It. Thanks a lot for avenue . It's a lot of fun.

Speaker 1:

The phrase just breathe never mean the same for you. We've been working on this interview for a very long time. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks for tuning into the number one podcast for health and wellness coaching. And thank you for all the encouraging notes along the way we love hearing from our listeners, feel free to drop us a line anytime [email protected], or there are plenty of additional [email protected] or over at youtube.com/coaching channel. Next week's guest . Next week's guest is Dr. Chris Jackman out of the UK. We'll be discussing why everything you've ever learned about goal setting might be wrong and what it means to , to us as parents, coaches, and top performers. Now it's time to be a catalyst on this journey of life, the chance to make a positive difference in this world while simultaneously improving our own lives. This is Dr. Bradford Cooper of the catalyst coaching Institute. Make it a great rest of your week. And I'll speak with you soon on the next episode of the catalyst health, wellness performance coaching podcast, or maybe [email protected] slash.