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Breathe yourself healthy

I have never given breathing much consideration. I have read about the benefits of 'prana' in Sadhguru's book, "Inner Engineering" where breathing exercises can be used to become more aware and conscious, but I never considered that breathing could be used as a health intervention.

That is until I found this amazingly well researched, New York Times Best Seller, by James Nestor called:

"Breath ~ The New Science of a Lost Art."


I can honestly say that I have never learned so much from a single health book since Inner Engineering: and believe me, I have read a lot. (Not having a TV and all.)

The idea behind the book is that over the years we have stopped breathing solely through our nose and have begun to favour breathing through the mouth. This has caused incredible ill health consequences from:

~ a smaller mouth which has caused our teeth to be crammed together.

~ smaller, narrower faces which cause restrictive breathing, sleep aponia and snoring.

~ smaller nostrils, which cause restrictions when breathing through the nose is attempted (snoring).

~ more colds, flu, coughs, pneumonia, as cold air is forced into the lungs instead of going through the nose membranes which filter out and deal with the bacteria etc.

The book identifies that our modern lifestyles have caused a myriad of health concerns such as :

~ The increase in juicing foods has lead to an inability or a restriction in chewing tough food and thus an increase in a range of modern diseases as compared to our 'hunter-gatherer cousins.'

~ An increase in asthma and TB. (linked to our smaller facial structures) from a lack of chewing.

Chewing : Another lost art.

James looks at the research and conclusions of Weston A Price, an 1930's dentist who spent his holidays examining the mouths of indigenous peoples in an attempt to identify the differences between an indigenous human mouth and a modern 1930's human mouth.

Price discovered that the indigenous human had no health problems, a wide face and large mouth as compared to a western dieted person from the same area. At first he attributed the differences to a lack of vitamins in the Western diet. After years of research and the examination of hundreds of peoples, Dr Price concluded that chewing, or the lack of it was also a pre-curser to ill health and disease. The peoples that chewed their food had less disease than their counterparts. The chewing action from an early age encouraged stronger and larger bone structures in the face and jaw, Chewing and breathing can cause serious health issues.

James, in an attempt to discover the benefits of nose breathing, embarks on a 10 year quest to discover the ancient lost traditions and the truth. He inflicts all kinds of experiments upon himself and records in graphic detail, the results. He interviews divers, monks, climbers, scientists, anthropologists and pulmonaughts in an attempt to discover the truth about breathing. If you like learning about health then please consider giving this book a read. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

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