A Deep Dive Into Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art For Entrepreneurs with James Nestor #198

Episode Summary

James Nestor unveils the science of breath and its profound impact on health. Get practical insights on boosting oxygen intake, enhancing your well-being, and unlocking the secrets of optimal breathing.

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Here’s a glance at what you’ll discover from James in this episode:

  •  Why humans have lost their ability to BREATHE properly AND why so many people suffer from sleep apnea, asthma, and more
  • The reason mouth breathing is so injurious to our bodies and how it affects the way we think, look, function, and metabolize
  • How to get 20% more oxygen into your body, feel happier, experience more coherence (and bodily peak efficiency), AND live longer
  • What James discovered after looking at thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge health studies on breathing
  • A breathing method that can help you jump-start your performance, rejuvenate your body, and transform your health
  • How to avoid early death, chronic diseases, high blood pressure, and other problems caused by poor breathing habits
  • 96% of people suffering from PANIC reported experiencing improved outcomes by doing ONE SIMPLE THING
  • Why OVERBREATHING could be inhibiting oxygen from entering your healthy cells (How to know if this is affecting you)
  • The rhythmic breathing pattern for alleviating anxiety, depression, frustration and improving your memory and emotions
  • A simple change you can make to IMMEDIATELY increase your breathing efficiency by 35% (Hint: ____ ____ Your Breathing!)
  • ONE SECRET for influencing your liver function, stomach function, immune function, nervous system, heart rate and MORE
  • What to do if you can’t seem to breathe through your nose easily AND how to adapt to nasal breathing once you’re able to do it
  • Using Mouth Tape At Night: How a piece of tape could fix allergies, snoring, brain fog and increase the quality of your sleep
  • A little-known exercise hack that has been shown to be very beneficial for SOME people with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea
  • The role of CO2 and Oxygen in our bodies and how to properly breathe to meet your metabolic needs and function better
  • A foundational health issue that you should absolutely pay attention to just as much as nutrition, sleep, and exercise


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Show Notes

The World of FreeDiving

  • A Glimpse into the Art of Breathing
  • Introduction to the world of freediving and the extraordinary abilities of divers.
  • Witnessing divers hold their breath for several minutes and dive to great depths.

Beyond Competition

  • Discovering divers who explore the body, connection with nature, and the healing potential of breathing techniques.
  • Examples of diving with oceanic animals, such as dolphins and giant sperm whales.
  • Free divers’ claims about breathing’s healing and temperature-regulating properties.

The Significance of Breathing

The Magnitude of Air Intake

  • Exploring the amount of air humans breathe compared to food and drink intake.
  • Understanding the impact of air intake on overall health, lifespan, and human potential.

Unveiling the Crisis of Human Breathing

Chronic Breathing Problems

  • Presentation of data showcasing the prevalence of chronic breathing problems.
  • Highlighting the potential consequences of untreated breathing issues, including allergies, sinusitis, ADHD, metabolic problems, and diabetes.

The Role of Human Skulls

Examining Ancient Human Skulls

  • Visiting the University of Pennsylvania’s Archaeology and Anthropology Museum to analyze ancient human skulls.
  • Noticing a consistent pattern of perfectly straight teeth in skulls dating back thousands and millions of years.

Evolutionary Changes

  • Observing the transformation of human skulls over time, with a narrowing of jaws and insufficient space for teeth.
  • Linking the jaw’s inadequate development to breathing-related problems, such as sleep apnea and snoring.
  • Analyzing the impact of a smaller mouth on facial appearance and overall health.

Mouth Breathing and its Consequences

The Dangers of Mouth Breathing

  • Exploring the adverse effects of mouth breathing on physical and mental well-being.
  • Describing the impact on cognitive function, body functioning, metabolism, and physical appearance.
  • Identifying the alarming increase in the number of chronic mouth breathers in the population.

Unveiling the Immediate Effects

  • Introducing Dr. Jack or Nyack’s study on the damage caused by mouth breathing.
  • Participating in a ten-day experiment with silicone plugs in the nose to simulate chronic mouth breathing.
  • Measuring and comparing physiological changes during mouth breathing and nasal breathing.

Troubling Results

  • Observing elevated blood pressure and increased snoring during mouth breathing.
  • Sharing personal experiences and data revealing the significant impact of mouth breathing on sleep quality and apnea.

Effects of Snoring and Sleep Apnea

  • Snoring and sleep apnea can have serious consequences on overall health.
  • Increased risk of chronic diseases and a shorter lifespan are among the potential outcomes.
  • Scientific understanding of these effects is still emerging.

Blood Pressure and Hypertension

  • The experiment also examined the impact of nasal breathing on blood pressure.
  • Blood pressure measurements showed a decrease after shifting to nasal breathing.
  • Over the course of a week, blood pressure dropped by about 40 points and remained lower than mouth breathing levels.

Importance of Nasal Breathing

  • Nasal breathing offers advantages in terms of air conditioning and filtration.
  • The nasal passages are equipped with cilia, hair-like structures that remove particulate matter and pathogens.
  • Nitric oxide, produced in the nose, has been shown to interact with viruses and promote health.
  • Breathing through the nose provides approximately 20% more oxygen absorption compared to mouth breathing.

Rhythmic Breathing

  • Research on prayer and mantras suggests a beneficial breathing pattern of five to six seconds inhalation and exhalation.
  • Studies have shown that this pattern can lower heart rate, increase brain oxygenation, and induce coherence in body systems.
  • Practicing this breathing pattern can have positive effects on memory, emotion, and overall well-being.

The Impact of Breathing Rate

  • Overbreathing is a common issue in modern society, hindering oxygen absorption into healthy cells.
  • Slowing down the breathing rate to about six breaths per minute enhances oxygen utilization by 35%.
  • Slow breathing has shown promising results in managing anxiety, depression, panic disorders, and asthma.

Breathing Techniques for Health

  • Breathing practices have been utilized for thousands of years in various cultures.
  • Heat generation and control, as demonstrated by monks and practitioners like Wim Hof, can be achieved through breathwork.
  • Breathing exercises have also been associated with improved immune function and autoimmune condition management.

The Power of Breath Awareness

  • While we may not have direct control over some bodily functions, breathing offers an avenue for influencing them.
  • Conscious breathing can modulate the nervous system, immune response, and overall health.
  • Experts in the field, such as Carl Stough and Richard Brown, have successfully used breathwork in therapeutic contexts.


  • The scientific evidence supporting the profound impact of breathing on health is growing.
  • By understanding and appreciating the power of breath, individuals can address chronic health issues and enhance their well-being.
  • Ancient wisdom and modern research converge to highlight the importance of conscious, nasal breathing for a healthier and longer life.


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