Episode 44 – Nasal Breathing to Improve Dads Health with Patrick McKeown
00:01:38 Guest background
00:05:30 How it all started
00:09:35 Impact of stress in quality of life
00:13:58 Determining functional/dysfunctional breathing pattern
00:16:01 Improving breath patterns
00:23:40 How breathing affects sleep
00:28:11 Correlation of good breathing with nutrition
00:34:24 Dealing with stress through breathing
00:37:16 Nose versus Mouth breathing
00:41:23 Benefits of nasal breathing
00:42:50 On point stress reliever
00:48:04 Optimum breathing for humans
00:53:27 Benefits of nasal breathing for athletes
01:07:38 Five takeaways
- Visit the Fitter Healthier Dad website
- Subscribe or leave a review on iTunes
Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host. Darren Kirby.
Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 44. And joining me on today’s show is Patrick Mckeown from the Oxygen Advantage, International bestselling author of The Oxygen Advantage and the Creator, a master instructor of the oxygen advantage technique. Patrick Mckeown is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading breath re education experts. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or an Olympic athlete, Patrick Mckeown teaches you a fast, simple and certain way to revolutionize your sports performance and improve your daily well-being and health.
Darren: Hi, Patrick. Thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?
Patrick: Good Darren. How are you?
Darren: Yes, very well, thank you. And we’ve been talking just before we started recording about the whole Covid-19 effects and everything else. But you’re all fine and nicely situated in the countryside, so hopefully we’ll avoid any impact with this.
Patrick: As best as we can. You know, it’s gonna be a. Time will tell. But there are things that you can be doing and maybe this will come up in conversation.
Darren: Yeah, absolutely. So before we get into the conversation, Patrick, can you give us a bit of background on yourself and how you came to to start the oxygen advantage into where you’re at today?
Patrick: Sure. I came across respiration and breathing exercises back in 1998, and I was using them primarily for my own health for sleep issues, for asthma and for an agitated and racing mind. So. Right. I was a chronic my operator for about 20 years. And with that upper chest breathing and fast breathing, and I never realized the impact that my breathing was having on my health and my performance, my concentration. I was the guy going into school as a kid and having to spend a lot of hours studying, because if you don’t have the ability to hold your concentration of what you’re doing in order for you to get the grades, you have to put in a lot more work.
And that happened in university. And I, you know, I got a degree from university in Dublin, Culture City College in Dublin and a degree in economics. And I went into the corporate world. It was a highly stressed environment. I absolutely hated it. I hated the manipulation of the corporations and the employees and the competitive nature of pitting employees against each other. And at the same time, management and I was middle management and we were approaching his work with a big smile. And underneath that would be absolute ruthlessness. But that wasn’t how it was put out there. So, you know, I came across just one thing that really made a huge difference to my own health. And then, I decided that maybe I’d like to work in this field. So, so, I changed careers. And I retrained in respiration. And I finished up in Russia in 2002.
And I was working then mainly what people with asthma, people who would sleep apnea, people with snoring, people with anxiety, depression, high stress levels. And then in 2012, I decided to reach out then in terms of could we reduce lactic acid in sports performance? So I started going down large and that with that was an absolute rabbit hole. So then a book called The Oxygen Advantage came out of it. It was four years writing it and three years writing. It was published in 2015, but that kind of took off. So it’s now in 14 different languages. And yeah, that’s where it’s really going to troth the world in terms of respiration and the power of the breath. Because I have to say, Darren, usually when people when you’re talking about breathing, people think it’s a, is a bunch of tree huggers and these guys with the open, the open sandal brigade. But one thing about breath is, it’s, it’s incredible when you tap into it and when you do it right. And I would say for anybody who is wishing to improve their performance, mental performance improves their sleep, their concentration and physical exercise. Yeah. Watch this space. And that’s what we’re going to talk about.
Darren: Yeah. I mean, it is, it is, like you say, is fascinating. And the funny thing is, is when you actually talk to people about breath work and breathing, they look at you very strange. You don’t they’re kind of like, well, we do that naturally every day. Yeah. That’s the point. You know, you do it naturally and unconsciously every day and like you, you said, you know, you don’t really fully understand the powers of it. And I and I discovered it probably about a year ago. I now put it into my daily morning routine and it has made a massive impact. And I think people listening haven’t really tried it. You know, they really need to, to kind of listen to the whole episode to really understand the true benefits of it. So I just want to take you to take you back, Patrick, because, you know, that’s quite a big transition from being in the corporate world to obviously, you know, discovering breath work and then deciding you’re going to make the jump into it. So what was. Yeah, what was that transition like and how did you know how that came about in terms of you being able to build a business at this pace?
Patrick: So, yeah, I was on a car journey like I live on the west coast of Ireland and I was just in the car journey towards Dublin. And thought came into my head that I’d love to be teaching it. And it just felt good. So it wasn’t based on logic because I had absolutely no background in health and knew nothing about it. And the only thing that I had was the experience of applying it to my own health and seeing my own energy levels improving and then looking back and how much breathing affected and fast upper chest breathing affected my entire life. So I contacted the Russian embassy and they contacted me to get in touch with the people in Moscow. Dr. was around at the time. That was originally what I had learned. Right. And I opened up a small little office. And you know what? Sometimes the naivety of the individual who is starting up a business can be a great friend. Am I contacted local newspaper if they push a small article about it in the newspaper. And that got me my first three clients. And from 2002. Then I wrote a book in 2003. I wrote another book in 2004. And I start putting the books out there. And I had a major drive in terms of I hated my previous employment. And sometimes you have to go through a bit of hardship and hardship can be a great motivator. Yeah. It’s really, you know, I just found it was an American multinational. It was a company called Enterprise Rent-A-Car. And I’m not here to give out but Enterprise or anything like that. But I am here to give out about the not even to give out about it, but just to make people aware that sometimes you’re in a job that you absolutely don’t like.
And I think a lot of people are in that situation now. When I was in that job, I still applied myself to the best that they could do. And what I learned in the three years working with Enterprise, managing people and managing people can be tough. I was able to carry it . Information and that knowledge and experience into setting up for myself. So I set up my own business and we were looking at, you know, gosh, I kept it very, very small. I had class down to an absolute minimum. I didn’t have a mortgage. I didn’t have a house. I wasn’t married. I gave up my company car. I did without a car. And I literally just put everything into it. I have to say, a lot of it was gut feeling. And the other thing was, I said, well, if it didn’t work out of nothing to lose, because at the very least I’ve gained you know, if I had to forward after one year, at the very least, I’d gained one year of great experience. And that was back in my 20s. But touchwood, it was. We survived the recession. We’re currently doing. You know, and not even it’s not all about it’s not about business. But I think it’s important that when you are working in the healthcare field and when you are, you know, doing your job that you love to do. It’s important also that you can pay the bills because otherwise you just can’t do it.
Darren: No, that’s true. And I think you need to pick up on what you’re talking about, the corporate world.
You know, I was in a similar position back in 2014. And, at the time, I didn’t realize it, but now realize that it was the great opportunity I’ve been given. I mean, from a highly stressful corporate career in the city of London, working for a hedge fund. And and I think, you know, there’s a lot of dads in that same position who are in a job because that’s that’s what they think that life is all about. That’s the only way to kind of earn a living. And like you said, we’re not here to talk about business. But what the point I want to make is that, you know, corporate life can be and is very, very stressful. And, you know, this skill that you’ve developed and you’ve learned can be hugely beneficial in, you know, in stress in all other areas of life. So I think it’s really important that people kind of understand that. And, you know, we’ll go into the detail. I think that’s just the point. I wanted to.
Patrick: Yeah, yeah. And Darren, I’d also make the point. I was really highly stressed and it might necessarily have been the company. The company was definitely part of it, but it was my ability to handle stress. I didn’t have an ability to handle stress. And I was also, my concentration was affected. And, you know, often I was writing a book back in 2010 and it was about anxiety. And I was thinking about it when I went to Uppsala University in Erasmus Exchange. It’s a university in Sweden and I worked for an Irish bar and I was doing dishwashing just for my time, earning a few bob as I went to university. But I remember one chef would come in and this chef would be able to deliver the meals. Absolutely perfect on time. Everything was good, the quality of food was good, and another chef would come in and would have a similar amount of workload and he would collapse. And literally he wasn’t able to keep up. He was not able to put his attention on what he was doing and he got stressed about. And I often wondered, here’s two guys. They were about the same age, the same training. But how can one cope so much better with the same workload and the other one could not? I was the guy who was falling under pressure.
And this is the measure of somebody who is a leader because sorry, a measure of somebody of a leader is not how they do when their things are going well, but how they perform when things are not going well. And, you know, some people naturally have it. Some people naturally have a calmness and the clarity of mind that no matter what the situation is, how stressful it is, they still have clear thinking. Whereas I didn’t I would buckle under pressure. I had to learn it and I learned it through the breath. And I think it was one of the most powerful things that I had learned because we are taught how to think and where our minds are trained. And education is training the brain to be, you know, to be able to reason and analyze and break information into tiny pieces. We are trained how to think, but we are not trained how to stop thinking. And you cannot just develop one factor of the mind or one aspect of the mind and completely ignore the other one . because people’s minds have run off on themselves and, you know, people are not that they don’t even realize in the main what’s going on in the mind. We don’t pay attention to it.
And we don’t realize that this stuff that our mind is throwing up and oftentimes the negativity and the self-criticism and the repetitive, an incessant thinking like, it, you know, it’s based on so many factors and conditioning and our our own upbringings, etc. but we can step away from that. And the breath is one of those aspects. And the other thing, as I say, is like, yeah, you’re correct. If, sometimes, if I was talking to somebody and they asked me what I’m doing and I say I work with breathing, next thing is to take this big, deep breaths. And, you know, there’s a belief out there that, yeah, it’s all about taking this deep big breath, the harder you breathe, the less oxygen gets to the brain. And that’s why it was hard to me because I’d get into stress, my breathing would start getting faster and harder. I already had poor breathing anyway. And the stress would just tip me over the edge. But if you start breathing more faster, breathing, more noticeable, breathing, panting, and we do that when we are in stress. Well, what that does is it reduces blood flow to the brain. It reduces oxygen delivery to the brain. And now you cannot think straight. Now, there’s other reasons coming in there as well. But certainly your breath under stress affect on the Breath is one of those things. And, you know, that’s long term stress is really problematic because you have an individual who develops a poor breathing pattern. Well, even when the stress is removed, that breathing pattern can remain.
Darren: Yeah, yeah, yeah. yes. Is quite, it’s quite interesting. So what I’d like to do is I’d like to kind of start kind of at the beginning, but kind of say so kind of at what point can people kind of start to recognize that perhaps the breathing patterns that they’ve developed are not that beneficial to them? And also, what kind of things can we see are related to poor breathing from the perspective of, like you said, stress, anxiety and all that kind of stuff?
Patrick: Well, there’s a very easy way to determine or at least to get some feedback on functional breathing patterns. And that’s using Breath hold time. So an oxygen advantage. We call it the bold score. And you simply sit down for, say, five minutes and then take a normal breath in and out through your nose. And you time it in seconds, you hold your breath. So you take sorry, I’ll do it again. You take a normal breath in and out through your nose and you hold your breath and your time at and seconds until you feel the first definite desire to breathe is the first involuntary movement of your breathing muscles. And then you let go. But you breathe in and your breath, following the breath hold time should be fairly normal. So it’s not a measurement of the maximum length of time that you can hold your breath for.
But it’s a measurement up until the first physiological reaction of the brain to tell you to resume breathing. Now, in one paper by Keisel, who’s a physical professor of physical therapy from one of the universities in the United States, he investigated this, I think, amongst 51 subjects. And his conclusion was that if you’re bold score , he called it, he didn’t have a kind of bold score, but it’s the exact same way of measuring it. And if, you’re if you’re bold score is greater than 25 seconds, there is an eighty nine percent chance that dysfunctional breathing is not present. So that’s what he concluded. So I would say to anybody, if you want to learn something about your breathing. Sit down, allow your breathing to settle and then take a normal breath in and at through your nose and hold your breath and see how long can you hold your breath for comfortably. And if you are less than 25 seconds, there’s room for improvement.
Darren: Okay. Okay. Yeah. I mean, that’s quite a simple thing to obviously do.So moving on from that, then, let’s say that we do discover there is less than 25 seconds. What are the kinds of next things that we can do on next steps that we can take to start improving that?
Patrick: Sure. Well, your bold score is a measurement of the degree of breathlessness, both during rest and also physical exercise. So just to give you a couple of things that might be happening if you have a low bold score. Number one is that you have disproportionate breathlessness during physical exercise. So no matter how hard you train and you find that you are plateauing, you just can’t. And it’s not down to put. It’s not necessarily down to poor condition. Like I’ve seen strength and conditioning coaches. And, you know, an athlete is gasping out and they think it’s down to your condition. So they think it’s down to poor condition.
But this can be down to breathing pattern disorder sleep, because if you have a low ball score, you tend to breathe harder, faster and often breathe through an open mode. You should never wake up with a dry mouth in the morning if you wake up with a dry mouth in the morning. Your sleep is likely to be refreshed. And that’s what affects my concentration. So 20 years ago, I started taping my mouth closed and we’ve been taping my mouth ever since. And taping now has actually become it’s actually, becoming more and more mainstream. Taping your lips together, just a number of companies doing it and including ourselves. But so, yeah, the other aspect is exhaustion. There is a link between exhaustion and chronic hyperventilation.
But even such a thing as cold hands, brain fog, asthma, you know, asthma symptoms, if you’re coughing and wheezing, it’s very prevalent. When your bold score is less than 25 seconds, Nasal obstruction, a stuffy nose. And if you have a stuffy nose, it will impact your sleep. So snoring sleep apnea can be impacted by hard breathing and certainly, without question, mouth breathing. So, you know, it can affect any organ or system to different degrees. There was a Dr. Claude LAAM from Papworth Hospital in Cambridge back in the 1970s, and he was writing extensively about chronic hyperventilation, the pattern and the habit of breathing too fast and too deep, too big. You know, over breathing . And he said it can affect any organ or system to different degrees.
But the reason that it didn’t get attention was because medical doctors said it wasn’t their field and they handed it over to psychiatry. But psychiatry said it wasn’t their field and handed that back to the medical doctors. So you have a whole field of breathing in terms of chronic hyperventilation. That’s absolutely, completely ignored. And at a minimum, it affects 10 percent of the general population. It affects 30 percent of the asthma population. And it affects 80 percent, 80 percent of anxiety, panic disorder and the PTSD population. So that’s, they were the biggest categories of people coming into me. You know, since 2002. And you know what we’re talking about breathing.
We can’t just think about it as biomechanics. You go to your yoga studio more often than not, the yoga instructor would ask, you will place the emphasis on breathing using the diaphragm. But in the process, will a request for students to take these bigger and follow breaths and you will hear people breathing around you. You should never hear your breathing during rest, because if you are breathing more air than what you need, it’s not increasing oxygen delivery to tissues. What it is doing is it will cause your blood vessels to constrict and it will reduce oxygen delivery to the tissues of people who think that when they are taking these deep and big and full breaths and they think that it’s bringing more oxygen throughout the body, it’s not. It’s doing absolutely the wrong thing to do if you’re stressed. Slow down your breathing or hold your breath. And when we look at breathing, there’s three dimensions to it. Breathe light is biochemistry.
And that’s about slowing down and reducing the volume of the air you breathe in order to increase carbon dioxide in the blood. And as carbon dioxide increases in the blood, your blood vessels dilate, you feel warmer. So a test would be for your audiences. Slow down their breathing, breathe in and out through the nose, but really slow down the speed of the air coming in and out of the nose and make a concerted effort to breathe less air than what you need for about three to four minutes. You know that. You know that you are breathing less air when you feel air hunger and then check a number of things. Check the temperature of your fingers or your hands. Check the amount of saliva in the mouth and check whether you’re feeling drowsy. So by doing that air hunger, your vases are, dilating your increasing dilation of the blood vessels, you’re increasing oxygen, live tissues, but you’re also activating a parasympathetic or relaxation response. And that’s evident by increased watery saliva in the mouth. So that’s one dimension.
But that dimension is completely overlooked in most breathing modalities. And the second dimension then I just talked for a second and just finished off this point. The second dimension then, is the bio mechanics , and that’s breathing low using the diaphragm because diaphragmatic movement is really, really important for the generation of what’s called Intra-abdominal pressure. And Intra-abdominal pressure would be, say, you can imagine a weightlifter lifting the weight and as the weight lifter lifts the weight, what will happen is the weight lifter will usually breathe in and hold his or her breath. So as he breathes in, the diaphragm is moving downwards. This is bracing. The abdomen, almost at the abdomen, becomes like a pneumatic balloon, and it provides stabilization for the spine so that the spine doesn’t buckle.
So the diaphragm is providing a support for functional movement. So you cannot have functional movement unless you have functional breathing. And if you don’t have functional movement during physical exercise, you are more at risk of injury. So you’re breathing and using the diaphragm and also the connection down between the diaphragm in the emotions. It is true to take a deep breath, but you should never hear a deep breath. It should be slow. It should be light . And it should be deep. And then the third dimension of breathing is looking at changing the cadence of the breath, the rate of the breath during practice, at a certain time.
During the day, when you’re practicing, focusing on your breathing, slow down the respiratory rate to six breaths per minute. Breathe in for a count to four. Breathe that for a count of six seconds. What that does is it exercises Baroreceptors . It increases vagal tone. It increases heart rate variability. It improves respiratory sound this red. And it helps the autonomic nervous system, which is this to recover, to to get a balance between the parasympathetic and the sympathetic response. So with breathing, we should, we need to think about. It’s not just about breathing low, breathing deep, but it’s about breathing light, which is biochemistry. Breathing deep, which is the biomechanics and breathing slow, which is the cadence of the breath.
Darren: Okay. So there’s a lot to pick out there. But there’s a couple of things I just wanted to go back over. The first thing is, is the effect of this on sleep. So is there any correlation between poor breathing at night to deep sleep?’
Patrick: Yes. Yeah. No question. Mouth breathing You have shallow sleep, mouth breathing. Also, it reduces the architecture of the upper airway. So the upper airway is more narrow. The tongue is more likely to fall back into the throat. Your jaws are falling into the airway. And if you think of the airway, you think of your throat. And look at the statistics. And they’re so obstructive. Sleep apnea, again, very often overlooked. This is when you have a guy and he’s snoring. And then he stops breathing altogether and he stops breathing due to the collapse of the upper airways. And the collapse can happen in four places.
The soft palate falls into the throat, which the tongue falls into the throat, the epiglottis falls into the throat, or you have a collapse of the throat itself. Now, the individual then stops breathing and during that time, their blood oxygen saturation drops and carbon dioxide is increasing. But this causes them to partially awaken from their sleep, but that they’re not conscious of it. Or what it’s doing is it’s causing sleep fragmentation. And, you know, then they are waking up. So they’re waking up feeling quite tired or, you know, just a certain proportion of them that I think it’s 25 percent. They’re not tired when they wake up, but they are tired in the afternoon. They don’t have the energy then for the rest of the day. It affects 43 percent of men between 50 and 70 years of age and 26 percent of men between 30 and 50 years of age. So obstructive sleep apnea puts a lot of pressure on the heart.
When you hear of a 40 year old dying during your sleep, you have to suspect obstructive sleep apnea. And, of course, alcohol is going to make it worse. So how can you improve your sleep to get really good quality? And I always say to many , listen, you should wake up with three things in the morning. One is your tongue resting on the roof of mount two. your mouth is moist. And three, you have an erection. And it’s really, really important because you know those three things, because erectile dysfunction is related to poor sleep and poor sleep quality, because your circulation is impacting, you know, the whole autonomic nervous system is impacted. If you don’t get good sleep, you don’t get recovery. So you can imagine a guy breathing hard during sleep. Well, number one is that it’s going to cause snoring.
You listen to somebody who is breathing hard or listen to somebody who snores. It’s not just due to the size of the airway. Of course, the size of the airway is a factor. You know, if the airway is narrow, that’s going to cause resistance to breathing and that will increase turbulence to cause snoring. But we cannot just look at the airway without looking at flow. A doctor will typically just look at the airway. But if you were to ask an engineer, look at a pipe, no engineer is going to look at a pipe put out, considering what’s the flow going through that pipe.
Now, if you have somebody with a low ball score, typically as what we see, what people would have asthma, for example, and that person with asthma is going to sleep to have a low balled score, the respiratory rate is relatively fast because of asthma of the lungs. They can also have nasal obstruction. So their nose is stuffy, so they mouth breathe the upper chest breathe and they are a prime candidate for sleep disorder breathing. So as asthma severity increases, so does sleep disorder breathing. But I’m only using the point of asthma. Of course, it can apply to absolutely anybody. And the man who are most at risk are two things.
One is guys, but a greater than 17 inch neck. Big guys. Another is we hit 40. We start putting a bit of weight on the belly. And as we put weight on the belly, it impinges diaphragmatic movement. So we start breathing more in the upper. Chest or upper chest breathing is reducing lung volume. And this causes collapse of the upper airways, right. So I would say, you know, you really look at slowing down your breathing. And if you want to, just to get an idea of this, I have a TED talk, you know, 17 minutes and I demonstrate to the audience what to do in terms of slowing down the breath. But just pay attention. Are you waking up at a dry mouth in the morning and starting to put that to sleep?
Darren: Yeah, yeah. I think that’s great. Basic advice too really. Sounds like a common issue. Or is there any correlation between your breathing and your diet? Obviously there is technique in your breathing. Is there any correlation between how we breathe and our diet?
Patrick: It’s very there seems to be something, but it’s very difficult to pinpoint the exact blood. P.H. is regulated primarily by breathing. And if you’re in a state of chronic stress. This is only a theory. If you’re in a state of chronic stress, your breathing is naturally faster and it can be harder. This gets rid of too much carbon dioxide from the blood to the lungs. This in turning increases blood, P.H. and the body doesn’t want the blood being too alkaline. The body wants homeostasis of seven point three six five. And one theory is that the body, in an effort to normalize blood, P.H., will have a craving of acidic forming foods. That’s only a theory.
There was a book written back and published back in 1938, I think in around the thirties, and it’s called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and it’s written by a dentist called Doctor a Western Price. And it’s probably one of the founding books in terms of nutrition. Now, what Doctor Western Price did. He is a dentist and he went to various civilizations and he looked at what happens when they switch from a traditional diet over to a processed diet. So he went to New Zealand, Australia, North America, Swiss Switzerland. He also went to the Hebrides Islands off the coast of Scotland, the Hebrides Islands.
They survived on a traditional diet of fish and oatmeal for thousands of years. But then commerce started coming to the islands, which sugar chocolate marmalades to stuff that we see in supermarkets today. First generation children became mouth breathers. They started having overcrowding of teeth, and the face has changed the shape of the faces and the shape of the modern person. Their faces have changed considerably. And it’s happening very, very quickly. And the problem with this is that we need to have plenty of space in the mouth for our tongue and we need to be able to hold on to all 32 teeth. However, there are two schools of thought in the art of dentistry.
One is the reason that the teeth are crooked is because the teeth are too big. So let’s extract teeth and then straighten remaining teeth. Yeah. the other thought is. Is the reason that the teeth are too crooked is because the jaw is too small because the child was thumb sucking or they had their mouth open and or tongue wasn’t resting on the roof of the mouth. In other words, the child, their jaws didn’t develop wide enough to house their teeth. Now, the first school of thought and order to dentistry is causing a lot of harm and can cause a lot of harm. And the reason being is because you need to hold on to, you know, the weight and you want to really maximize the width of the face. The weight of the jaws in order that there is sufficient room for the tongue so that the tongue isn’t falling back into the throat. And give you an example.
Your royal family, Prince William and Princess Kate, push and put a search into Google and look at an image of both and just zoom in on Prince William’s mouth and then zoom in on Princess Kate Middleton. Count how many teeth you can see from Prince William, you will see that he is black triangles, either side of his teeth. And you’ll see also that you can probably count maybe six, maybe seven teeth OK, that’s evident of a small mouth. And I would if I was to say if my hunch would be he had orthodontics and he had two or four teeth removed and his jaws were made small. Kate Middleton, if you look at her smile, you will see ten, possibly twelve teeth. She’s got a really broad smile. She’s got plenty of room for her tongue. And that’s what we’re looking for. You know, that’s really what we’re looking for. So. So there are habits during childhood that are very, very important in terms of airway and craniofacial development.
And it does come back to diet. Chewing is one aspect. You know, we don’t chew foods now, our ancestors chewed foods. You know, if you think all of the foods that come pre chewed and the only thing, as I say, is covid 19. By shutting down every McDonald’s restaurant, pretty much worldwide, has probably done a great service to humanity. Now, I’d feel sorry for the staff there trying to make a living out of us. But if these restaurants never open, it will be one of the best things and anything any restaurant or so-called restaurant that is similar because it’s not food. And it’s time that we start realizing that. And I think one aspect of it is that we are now becoming more conscious of our health due to a health crisis. And it has slowed us down a little bit. And that’s great. In some ways, you know, like, you know, there are a couple of small positives in light of all of the negatives. The negatives, there’s a couple of small positives coming through there. So, yeah. So food and breathing yeah, they can probably go hand-in-hand. If I was to say which one is the most important. Well, it’s like this. You can survive without food for weeks and you can survive without air for just a few minutes.
Darren: Yeah exactly. Yeah. I think that’s a great analogy. So in terms of the stress side of breathing because, you know, lots of times we actually won’t recognize or be conscious of the fact that we are stressed and, you know, our breathing patterns might change or our mood most likely changes. So, you know, is there anything in the breathing patterns that we can become aware of that would identify the fact that we’re our bodies in a bit of a stress state? So we’re sympathetic to the flight part.
Patrick: Yes. Yeah. It’s really important, especially for men not to live stuck in their heads all the time. And females do have a better tendency to be able to disperse or attention throughout the body. But we are often stuck in our heads. And when we are stuck in our heads, we don’t feel when we are stressed. Stress manifests around the stomach area. And for example, if you have a certain connectivity with the rest of the body, taking your attention out of the mind and dispersing, attract the body. You will know quite quickly when you get stressed because you will feel the tension in the stomach.
And, you know, you could say, well, how else would you know when you are stressed? Well, clarity of thinking is one. But also sleep. Yeah, it’s difficult to fall asleep if you’ve had a stressful day because you’re lying there in bed and you’re kind of running all the stuff through your mind and you’ll be twisting and turning all night long. And here’s the problem. You have a poor night’s sleep and you wake up and feel exhausted, but you still have to deal with the situation that was happening the day before. But now you don’t have the ability to do it. So, you know, and this depends on genetic predispositions as well. And of course, it’s trainable, just like concentration is trainable. Our ability to handle stress is trainable. We need to be able to train the brain to be focused.
And we can train the brain to be focused by having our attention on the breath. And this is a measure of concentration. Concentration is the length of time that you can hold your attention on the subject matter without distraction. But if the mind is agitated and if there is a harbage of incessant and repetitive thought activity, it means that we can’t hold our attention on doing what we want to do because the mind is bombarded with thoughts. I would say start focusing on your breathing. And if you noticed that your mind is wandering very quickly and then you bring the attention back and your mind wanders over there and you bring your attention back onto your breath, your mind wanders again.
If your mind is repeatedly wandering, you know, then that there is a habit of excessive thinking. So don’t get frustrated with it. Now you’re beginning to realize that your mind is wandering and it could be wandering quite a lot. But now this is the first step. It’s all good. You’re starting to realize I have a habit of thinking and that habit of thinking is going to affect my ability to focus, my ability to concentrate and my ability to have clarity of thought when in a stressful situation. So how do we train the brain? I would practice breathing exercises, slowing down the breath to create air hunger. And the reason being is from a number of perspectives.
Number one, your mind is more likely to be anchored onto the breath when you feel air hunger. Number two, when you feel air hunger, it signifies that carbon dioxide is increased in the blood. And this increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain.
This is a calming effect on the brain. Number three, slow down your breathing for 15 to 20 minutes before sleep. Then you have a deeper sleep, and especially breathing. Your nose. You wake up more alert. You wake up more refreshed and you have clarity of thinking. So, you know, I would start off with the air hunger. And then after about a week of it, I would have people put their hands, either side of their lower ribs. And as they breathe, then they’re feeling their ribs gently move out as they breathe, that the ribs are gently moving in. So we start engaging the lower regions of the lungs because to give an example, if you breathe through your nose versus through your mouth. And I would say this is even during physical exercise. Now, most people, you know, go into a gym and all you see is you’ll see people puffing and hard breathing often very commonly throws them out. Why is that? It’s because it’s easier, but it’s not quality. Because if your mouth breaths, you’re activating the upper chest. You’re taking and ventilating the upper regions of the lungs.
But the greatest concentration of blood is in the lower regions of the lungs. So it’s much more advantageous to breathe through your nose because your nose is connected with the lower regions. And this is you know, this information is known. 1988, a researcher, Swift, he looked at the pressure of oxygen in the blood. When patients post jaw surgery, when their jaws were wired shut, which forced them to continuously breathe with their nose, the pressure of oxygen and the blood increased by 10 percent. So nasal breathing increases oxygen uptake in the blood. It improves what’s called ventilation perfusion, basically the transfer of oxygen from the lungs into the blood. But also, if you do your physical exercise with your mouth closed, you feel air hunger, you feel more suffocated.
And the reason that you’re feeling more suffocated is because the carbon dioxide can’t leave the lungs as quickly. Sorry. Can’t leave the blood as quickly through the lungs. Carbon dioxide is increasing in the blood. This generates a feeling of air hunger. However, the carbon dioxide is increasing your blood vessels. The carbon dioxide is increasing delivery to the tissues. So your working muscles are going to be staying aerobic because there’s an increased oxygen delivery there. But what’s more, if you do your physical exercise with your mouth closed in about six to eight weeks, the air hunger diminishes and people don’t give it that time.
You know, they’ll go in there. They’re, you know, like a bat out of hell, puffing and panting, upper chest breathing. You know, it’s really highly inefficient. It’s not economical. It’s trauma on the airways. People would exercise. And just Brunk Constriction, which affects 10 percent of the UK population. That’s the general population. You know, your airways are traumatized by having all of that cold, dry air coming in, which in turn is causing moisture to be sucked out of the airways, which in turn causes inflammation.
So I would say for a recreational athlete, there is absolutely no valid reason why you should breathe through your mouth during physical exercise. Yes. Granted, when you start off nasal breathing, it’s tougher. But this is a training load and this is when the body makes adaptations. So just go a bit slower. You know, you can achieve an 85 to 90 percent work rate intensity nasal breathing versus mouth breathing. And typically, just to transition from from nose to mouth, breathing happens when you are breathing about 35, 40 liters of air per minute. So you can go at a fairly high intensity with nasal breathing, depending on your bold score and depending on your nostril size.
And yes, so I’d say look into it. It’s really, really beneficial. During the first week or two, your nose will run, but your recovery post physical exercise is much better. Right. And you’re getting a better workout. And also, you’re not going to be overtraining because you have to remember this. If you are breathing hard, too hard. If you’re breathing, you know, in excess of what you need. This is causing too much carbon dioxide to be removed from the blood. Blood vessels constrict, but your heart is receiving less blood flow and your heart is receiving less oxygen. And it’s not just that your heart is there to, you know, to deliver blood throughout the body, your heart also needs its own oxygen supply. And nasal breathing will help with that.
Darren: Yeah, I mean, this is a whole topic that I know I want to stick to to kind of go into in a little bit more detail, but before we do that. So, I mean, just come to mind when we are talking about stress and that is breathing around, you know, when you’re in a stressful situation with children because this age old saying isn’t any age. Just take deep breaths. You take deep breaths. Whereas obviously what you’re saying is that’s not the most efficient way to deal with stress. So, you know, for people listening, if we’re in a stressful situation at home or with children and things like that, you know, what would you say is the right protocol to adopt in those kinds of situations?
Patrick: A very simple way is just hold your breath and do it this way. Take a normal breath in and out through your nose, hold your nose and walk 10 paces, holding your breath, then let go and breathe in, breathe normal for 30 seconds and do it again, breathe normal for 30 seconds and do it again. And the reason being is that because it increases blood flow to the brain, sort of a holding of your breath can open up your nose. Now it is actually a holding of the breath, typically activating a stress response. But in this instance, it can have a calming effect because it’s helping to distract from the stress. When you hold your breath, you stop thinking. But because also you’re increasing blood flow to the brain.
Darren: Right. Yeah. Yeah, that does make sense.
Patrick: And the other thing, Darren, like it’s like me back in Enterprise Rent-A-Car, highly stressed. But why was I stressed? Because I wasn’t, you know, OK. The corporate environment, stressful. But my stress handling capabilities weren’t good. Yeah. So. So it’s really about bringing breathing, like, you know, over from yourself. Now we’ve got a small business. We have about seven employees. And my stress levels now. You know, and since 2002, working for myself has been hard, you know, I’m not saying of course, just times you have a little bit of stress, but very little. And part of it is because I have better sleep. I’m nasal breathing. My breathing is slower. You know, first before that, I was my breathing fast, breathing upper chest, breathing. And if you’re a mouth breather and a fast breather, upper chest breather, you’re already teetering on the brink, you know.
But all it takes is a bit of stress to throw you over. And you think that the person with panic disorder, like I look at their breathing and it’s can be very, very fast and they do not seem very, very fast. It’s not as if they’re having a panic attack in front of me, but they could be breathing 18 to 20 breaths per minute. That’s too fast. They are breathing on her chest. They are saying quite regularly. A person who is saying a large it’s not a good sign because it shows that breathing is irregular. And oftentimes it’s the person with poor breathing patterns that feels that they are not getting enough air that command. And I say, what symptoms are they filling out the client intake form that they just feel no matter what I’m breathing, I just feel that I’m not getting enough air well for that person. It doesn’t take much to put them into a stress situation.
And you’d probably be aware of it. You know, people with panic disorder. They were often advised to breathe in and out of a bag to help calm down. You know, they weren’t told to take these big, deep breaths because of the panic disorder, they were already breathing hard and fast and big breaths, and that was blowing off too much carbon dioxide. The issue wasn’t oxygen. The issue was carbon dioxide. So they were told to breathe into a bag in order to trap carbon dioxide in the bag on the exhaled breath so they would exhale carbon dioxide from their body into the bag. But then on the inspiration and the inhalation, they carry that carbon dioxide back into the lungs to increase it in the blood, to increase blood flow to the brain and to increase oxygen delivery to the brain. So there’s two things happening there, you know.
One is it’s not the stress that is often causing. It’s not the situation which is causing the stress, but breathing. If you have good functional breathing, your resilience is improved and your ability to control stress is much better. And then if you do get into a stressful stage, if you do have a connection with your body and which are breath you’ll realize it, you know, and just times like Wednesday here, I was doing calls and then I’m just at the end of it, I count the amount of emails I had that day, answered 90 emails, and I just felt I felt a bit under pressure, to be honest with you, because I just felt no matter how many emails I answered.
Where was this going to end, you know? Yeah. And, you know, like it’s normal like we all will face. Of course, we all face stress. That’s the way it is. But I think if you’re just a little bit more aware, having some attention inside the body, your body will tell you under the time also that your productivity. If the stress gets too much, it’s going to affect your productivity. You’re better off just taking a break from it because otherwise your productivity isn’t good anyway. Take a break from the whole ash and then, you know, slow down your breathing, go for a walk, go into nature, enjoy the sunshine and maybe take the night off and have a couple glasses of wine, you know, and it can add up, you know, of course. And then come back to it.
Then when you’re when you’re in a better frame of mind. But another aspect where the research on this is all about is looking at cadence, breathing of six breaths per minute. That if you were to breathe in for a count of five in through your nose, it’s very slow and light not to take a huge big breath you’d like you don’t want to slow down your breathing, but in the process, get rid of too much carbon dioxide.
You want to have a balance, so you want to breathe in. You could breathe in for a count of four seconds a light breath, you shouldn’t hear it. So you’re breathing in for a count of four seconds. Breathe out for a count of six or, breathe in for a count of five seconds.
Breathe out for a count of five seconds. And what that does is that’s the optimum breath, for the human being to target the autonomic nervous system, to bring about a balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic tone. So individuals who are. prone or who have been exposed to long term stress. It’s really important that we help, you know, the body to recover from this long term stress. And the six breaths per minute is the most optimum rate of doing that. So, yeah, I would say to anybody, if you have post-traumatic stress disorder or depression or anxiety and pay attention to your breathing and even practice doing that 20 minutes, you need to do it for about 20 minutes, twice a day. But you could do it if you were watching television, you know, and you’re having some attention inside the body. But it’s nicer if you close your eyes. You bring your attention in words onto the breath. You feel the airflow coming in and out of your nose, your timing. You could use a metronome or some timer and just have the body help that recovery there.
Darren: Yeah. I think it’s very interesting with the increased kind of attention around mental health now. Now, you know, a lot of these are what I would call functional methods that we can use as opposed to going towards treating an issue. And what I mean by that is using medication, the way, you know, we have a lot of tools already within us. If we were just to pay attention to that and actually understand that we have those tools are always available. Yes. There are so many people that don’t know who’s available.
Patrick: Well, like, I have no idea how people are doing this, to be honest with you. You know, because social media has created a lot of stress for people. And we have to be very careful as well. What we let in, you know, I don’t listen to the news. I stopped listening to the news 20 years ago. I don’t listen to mainstream media. The time with covid , I listen to the news and the first couple of days, maybe once a day. But that was a maximum. And we have to be very careful with the information that we expose ourselves to. We also have to be very careful. But social media and yeah, I’m. Forty seven. Forty six. Forty seven years of age.
I have the advantage in that I didn’t grow up with social media. But think of the youngsters. Since 2007, anxiety and depression rates and young girls have shot through the roof. And if I go on Instagram, all I’m saying is the only people who pose, the only people who have photos of themselves are on Instagram are people who are fairly good looking, people who have good bodies. You know, the normal Joes soap, which is a bit of a belly.
He’s not posting a photo of himself on Instagram. So then when you go in on Instagram, you’re getting a very skewed reflection of reality because you’re thinking then that everybody on Instagram that I’m looking at is they’re all good looking people, that the girls and the guys, they’re all good, beautiful bodies. And here’s me, a normal Joe soap. And I’m not fit into the description. And that’s why these social media outlets, Facebook and Instagram, have they should be bearing a huge responsibility for the deterioration of mental health.
And they are so clever with their MBA is coming in and are psychologists and they’re experts in human behavior, getting people addicted on the technology and the platform, all about driving up share price, all about maximizing advertising revenue, and then in the process, messing with people’s brains, messing with their minds and consuming all of their attention. Can you imagine waking up tomorrow morning and saying to yourself, well, I’m going to now spend two and a half hours of my day looking into a mobile phone and social media. What a life. But that’s what people are doing.
Darren: Yeah, definitely. It’s crazy. And like you said, you know, it’s a constant battle with children. It surprises them away from it. But, you know, he said that the platforms know that they’re actively investing in making sure we stay on it for longer. Yep. I want to go back to what you were talking about earlier around and breathing and exercise. So, yeah, the guys listen to this. You’ve done my program. Who I coached by me or just in general would do would the majority would do running nine seasons hate workouts. You know, I personally do a lot of running and I love swimming. And I can hold my hand up to say that I have tried nasal breathing when I’m running, but I’m very much a kind of mouth type of chest breather. So, you know, obviously, you’ve explained the negatives and the benefits of a nasal breathing, but just how would you start to go about that.
Patrick: In terms of nasal breathing.So, I would say measure your bold score first. And if the both score is less than 25 seconds, that’s a measure of. Your degree of breathlessness. So say, for example, if you have a bold score of ten seconds, it’s not possible to run with the mouth closed because the degree of breathlessness is too intense. So let’s work at getting the bold score up. How do you get the ball score higher? Breathe through your nose all the time, but also practice slowing down your breathing and breathing light because the ball score is a measurement of the chemos, sensitivity of the body to carbon dioxide and it’s carbon dioxide.
That’s the stimulus to breathe . So if you’re overly sensitive to carbon dioxide buildup, your breathing is going to be harder and you’re breathing, which is harder as rest is also harder during physical exercise. So there’s an intense feeling of breathlessness. So number one is get your everyday breathing Right. Number two, if you have poor nostrils, poor nasal cavity like mine, a deviated septum, which about 60 percent of the population have. And that’s when the line dividing one side of the nose to the other crooked . That can impair airflow. And that can generate an increased air hunger. So what I’d say is put one finger right outside of your nose and just gently prize your nostrils apart.
And that’s called the Cotlar maneuver. Does it make a difference to airflow? And if it does, it may be helpful to get a nasal dilator. So a little plastic device you can put up into your nose to help open up the nose. Number three, make sure that you warm up for at least 10, 15 minutes before you increase the intensity. And during the warm up, do some breath holding . So, but don’t you don’t do breath holding. Obviously, if there’s females listed, if they’re pregnant I’m not sure how many females you have and your audience.
But certainly if males have high blood pressure, if they have, you know, any serious medical complaints, don’t do a strong breath holding. But strong breath holding is a wonderful way to help prepare the body for more intense physical exercise because it opens up the airways, it increases blood flow to the brain. It’s also got a lot of other benefits, which I can go through. And, oh, you mentioned high intensity interval training. So save France as I was working with a professional soccer player this morning and I was going through and I asked him, okay, said his warm up is 20 minutes. And I said during the warm up, I want you to do all of your warm up nasal breathing entirely.
So the first 10 minutes, you’re doing your high knees and whatever you’re doing also with the nose. But the last 10 minutes of the warm up. Breathe in. Breathe out. Hold your nose and hold your breath. Jogging for about 20 paces. Then let go. Continue jogging for about a minute and breathe in. Breathe out. Hold your nose. Hold your breath for about 20 paces. Let go. After the two Easy enough breath holds then mark ten. Hold your breath until the maximum air hunger. And do five strong breath holds . So I just repeat that.
So the warm up I gave him was all physical exercise. All of the warm up nasal breathing for the first 10 minutes after 10 minutes. And breathe in through your nose. Breathe out during the warm. Breathe in and out through your nose. Hold your nose. Hold your breath until you feel a medium air hunger might be 20 paces. Might be a little bit less. Wait a minute. Continue warming up. After about a minute of warm up, do the breath hold again. Nose breath in and out through the nose, hold nose for about fifteen 20 pace. After about a minute then take an over breath in and through nose. Hold the nose and start jogging, holding the breath and jog faster and faster and harder and harder.
And keep holding your breath during the jog until you feel a relatively strong air hunger. Then let go. Breathe in through your nose. Wait a minute. And repeat and do it five times to five strong breath holds. What does it do? It adds an extra load onto your breathing. It helps to improve respiratory muscle strength. It’s increasing blood flow to the brain. It will make you more alert. It’s also causing what’s called a right shift of the OXA hemoglobin dissociation curves.
Basically, you think about a warm up. A warm up is preparing the muscles in that the muscles are receiving increased oxygens and every before they’re working harder because the two factors that cause oxygen to be released from the red blood cell. But there’s more. But two of the factors to cause oxygen to be released from the red blood cells to the tissues. One is increased temperature and the other is increased carbon dioxide. So an exercising muscle gets harsh and it becomes hyper .
Increased CO2 and it benefits from an increased O2 delivery to that muscle. So during the warm up, do some breath holding to deliberately increase carbon dioxide in the blood, to cause more oxygen to get delivered throughout the body. So, yeah. So I would set out and there is an interesting study that was carried out looking at the comparison like people do high intensity interval training. Yeah. Which, of course, has its merits. And they do it to stimulate anaerobics like Hollis’s.
And if you were to measure your blood oxygen saturation during high intensity interval training, your blood oxygen saturation with mouth breathing is going down to about 93 percent nose breathing, it’s ninety one percent. So you’re still in normal levels of oxygen. You know, it’s not until you go below 91 percent that you can say that you’re going to have hypoxemia. Now, granted, your oxygen levels are dropping, but not dropping by a whole lot.
And there was a paper published by a French researcher in 2018. He looked at 21 highly trained professional rugby union players and there were 21 years of age during peak season. You divide them up into two groups. He had one group to 40 meter sprints with Breath halling on the exhalation. The same as what we do in the book and etc.. Taking over breath in and out. Hold your nose. Sprint for 40 meters and then after you resume breathing, have a semi active recovery for about 30 seconds and then sprint again. Semi active recovery. Sprint again.
The Euro Group, the control group. Or we’re doing the 40 meter sprint with nasal breathing. And then we’re also doing our high intensity interval training exercise. Now, after four weeks, the group who were doing breath Halling, they increased their repeated sprint abilities from nine to fourteen point eight. And the group in the control group who were doing high intensity interval training, their repeated sprint, but really didn’t increase at all.
Now, what this difference is, is that their breath holding increased to be able to improve repeated sprint ability, which is a performance indicator in team sports. This is your ability to do an all out effort, followed by a very brief recovery before you do an all out effort again so you can imagine a soccer player in order sprinting for a ball. They pass the ball and the next thing is the ball’s coming back to them and they have to repeat the sprint. And it’s a very good measure of performance.
But to get a gain in professional rugby union, the margins, you know, if you can get a one percent gain there, that’s significant. But to be able to increase repeated sprints, Bergey from nine to 14. By just replacing hish with breath halling, I think it’s huge. And my other point is high intensity interval training can be traumatic, you know, for the individual. If your objective is to stimulate anaerobic like Hollis’s, go for a jog and during the jog do some breath halling . And that way you will really drop your blood oxygen saturation.
You’ll drop it down typically into the mid 80s. And that’s a far greater and more intense effect because as your oxygen levels are dropping, your carbon dioxide levels are increasing. This is disturbing the blood acid base balance because there’s an increase of hydrogen nine. So you’re exposing the body to increased hydrogen nine, which is forcing adaptations inside the muscle compartment to delay lactic acid and fatigue. So originally, that was the premise of writing the book, you know, back in 2012, 2013. How could I show that we could delay lactic acid? Two aspects. One is to increase oxygen delivery to the tissues and the uterus, increasing the buffering capacity.
Darren: Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s that’s fascinating. I never even came across that before. I think that it’s very eye opening that you can have that same impact just by doing a random breath. Yes. We are training. Yeah. And so so on the books and the oxygen. An advantage. Patrick, what was the debate? I mean, you just mentioned that the basis of the book was to basically explain that, you know, you could get the benefits of. Sorry, I completely forgot I was gonna say that.
All right. The benefits of lactic acid reducing lactic acid. That’s the one. Yeah. In the muscle. So was that just the simple premise for the book?
Patrick: Yeah, that was fine. I started because I kind of wanted to open it out to the normal, healthy audience, you know, from 2002 until 2012. Like, I still, of course, work with people with asthma and people who would sleep disorder breathing. But I wasn’t getting healthy people coming in. And the other aspect was that when I was doing mindfulness courses with functional breathing, no men were turning up. And I often wondered why isn’t the man coming to us?
Because the name mindfulness, you know, nobody wants to be kind of a man. It’s not a lot of men won’t see it as their thing. So they have an oxygen advantage. And I started just looking at it. Yeah. Reducing oxygen, reducing lactic acid. But then, like then I started looking at the applications in terms of, you know, different techniques that you could use. You have to bring sleep into it. You have to bring the mind, like if you’re looking at performance. You can’t just we can’t just isolate one aspect of it and think that that’s going to detract because it’s not. There is a bi direction relationship between many functions of the human body.
And you give me an example. I often use this example, the link between your emotions, your breathing and your sleep, because if your emotions are off and you’re stressed, it messes with your sleep. As we spoke about it, and if your sleep is off, it messes with your emotions because you can’t concentrate.
And if your breathing is off, it affects your emotions. But also if you’re stressed to the fact you’re breathing and if your breathing often affects your sleep. So there’s a bi directional relationship there. And all too often we’re all stuck in our own little silos. You know, the person my anxiety is going to, the stress counselor and the stress counselor is giving them cognitive behavioral therapy, which is great. But the stress counselor is giving no information about sleep quality and no information about breathing. And if they do give information about breathing to, say, go home and take a few deep breaths for yourself, they’re like. And that’s not that’s just the way it is. You know, you can’t address the mind unless you look at sleep and you can’t address the mind if respiratory physiology is off. So.
So with the oxygen advantage, I aimed at that healthy person and typically most of our instructors now we have instructors in about 40 countries. And typically they’re aged between 20 and 50 years of age. Now we have some amazing guys like we have got professionally. I’m amazed. And we’ve got Swash SWAT instructors. And we’ve found one of the instructors from Delta Force, which is above Navy SEALs. So they bring it into teaching their soldiers. So we have military first responders, elite athletes, and then we have Olympic athletes with a number of Olympic teams, including one of the strength and conditioning coaches from the Chinese Medical Olympic Committee.
And so, you know, it’s kind of bizarre that breath now has become a little bit topical. And I also work with the XP team, which is Laird Hamilton. So they’re like, I know, I do the breathing and contribute to the breathing protocol as a breathing adviser for there. And again, you’re seeing really high caliber individuals. So this is something that my point at the very start was breathing is when you lock into it and when you break it down to that, the effects that we can achieve by changing patterns of breath. And you can ask, well, why are the SWAT guys doing as well? Joey Williams is one of our own.
He trained as an instructor and he’s based at University of Berkeley in California, where they teach, you know, special weapons and tactics. These guys are sent into stressful situations and you have to be able to remain calm and you have to be able to have clarity of thinking. Otherwise, you make a mistake. And his point was, well, in the corporate world, if you make a mistake, yet, you lose money. But if we make a mistake, people die. And that’s why it’s really important that focus concentration comes into it. So, yeah, these simple tools, you know, but that’s how it is. You carry your breathing with you and it can be very transformative.
Darren: Yeah, absolutely. I find it absolutely fascinating, to be honest. And yet I’m going to be practicing it more and more because I’m convinced. Obviously, you know already that it will help me with fatigue, more running and just my running performance in general. So and before we finish up then, Patrick, what’s five key actions? Would you recommend that the listeners can take away with them today to kind of implement nasal breathing or become more mindful about breathing?
Patrick: So I’m going to answer one question there in terms of running. Look at Jorge Darla’s paper. Jorge Dalam is a professor and I think it’s sports science from one of the universities in the United States. And he got 10 recreational athletes. And he said for the next six months, you’ll have to do all of your physical exercise with your mouth closed. Right. And after six months, he then tested them. They achieved 100 percent work. Great intensity, nasal breathing versus my breathing. But they had 22 percent less ventilation. So you can imagine that because when you switch to nose breathing, it is adding an extra load, which is more uncomfortable.
But this is part starting and this is what’s forcing the body to make adaptations. So I would say persist with it. Right. So the five things are absolutely for recreation actually, to most of your physical exercise, which are mouth closed warm up. Number two, pre physical exercise, warm up for 15, 20 minutes. You’re going, you know, all with nasal breathing. But bring in some breath halls during dash and make sure you’ve no contra indications that, you know, this is for people who are out of the fish, relatively healthy. Number three, get your mouth closed at night. Now we have a tape that we use which surrounds the lips.
But you don’t, you know, just different brands. I’ll give you a few different brands. One is you can go to a chemist to get three and one inch micro pour type. That’s cheap. It’s inexpensive, but it’s you’re putting it across the lips. The second tape is her own one. That’s myo tape.com M Y O tape dot com. And that surrounds the lips and brings the lips together. And we developed it originally for children and all of our children’s exercises are free open YouTube. You’ll see it. No. So another tape then would be lips sealed, taped up.com. And then they’re suddenly fixed.
So there’s quite a few brands out there. And number four, really pay attention to what’s going on in your mind and just make it a habit of observing. What are you thinking about? And especially thought activity that it’s repetitive and that you’re it’s making your stress. And ask yourself the question. Well, I’ve been thinking about this for the last 15, 20 times. Has it been productive? So, you know, if you find that your mind is a little bit agitated and that your thinking is not being productive, in other words, you’re just on the merry go round of thought . Bring your attention on the breath.
And if your mind is agitated, do some breath holds Breathe into your nose. Breathe out. Hold your nose. Walk five or 10 paces. Holding your breath and letting go. Breathe in and then wait 30 seconds and do it again. And then number five, you know, don’t live your mind. Don’t live stuck in your head. Go for a walk and bring your attention out of the mind, into the body, onto the breath walk, which every cell of your body do your physical exercise with every cell of your body. You know, we’re not just a head. And the male is very much involved in their mind and constant thinking. And, you know, you don’t have quality of thought. You have quality of thought.
When you have a capacity to think about what you want to think about and also to have 100 percent of your focus on what you’re doing. But if your mind is constantly bombarded with thoughts, that’s affecting your thought processes, that’s affecting your clarity of thinking. And it’s also affecting creative and original thinking because fresh ideas don’t appear. If the mind is thinking repetitively incessant in order for fresh and creative and intuitive ideas, we need to create a gap between thoughts and to create that gap. Focus on your breathing.
Darren: Yeah, I think he’s very, very valuable to have that introspection, to know your own body, to know how you react to things in order for you to be able to determine that you’re in now overthinking state and that you need to maybe step out or step away from whatever you’re doing to to put those practices in place. And I think that once you are able to do that. And I don’t think it’s easy. You know, you’ll be able to control things in a much better way and get better outcomes.
Patrick: Yes. You know, don’t set a goal that you’re doing it because you want to achieve something. You make it. Your goal is to bring some attention onto your breathing. You will never waste time focusing on your breath. The other option is being constantly stuck in her head, asleep to life. And when you start focusing on your breathing, you miss less and you’ll see more.
Darren: Yeah, that’s perfect. I think that’s a great point to finish on. Patrick, thank you very much for coming on today. I really do appreciate it. It’s a subject which, like I said, I’m fascinated about in public and speak to you for hours about it. But , before we go, how can people connect with you? What’s the Website? Social media, books and all the rest of it.
Patrick: Sure. The website is OxygenAdvantage.com. And if you go to about, you’ll see a link there for signs. So, you know that if people want to table it a little bit deeper into it. And after all, am I giving out about Instagram? We finally joined it in the last 12 months. So, our handle is @oxygenadvantage and it’s on Facebook as well. So. So, yeah. So, you know, take a little bit deeper into it. Put it into practice, and See what it brings you.
Darren: Absolutely. Well, like I said, thanks very much again. And I look forward to speaking to you soon.
Patrick: Great. Great stuff, Darren. Thanks very much.
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