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Breath: The new science of a lost art

By James Nestor


“Modern research in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology is showing us that making even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can help jump-start athletic performance, rejuvenate internal organs, halt snoring, allergies, asthma, and some autoimmune disease, and even straighten spines.

None of this should be possible, and yet it is.”

Breathing is often considered an automatic and subconscious function. But the simple and free act of deliberate breathing has enormous benefits for our mood, stress levels, physical health and wellbeing.

This insightful book explores the science and history of breathing. Nestor draws on cutting-edge research, interviews with experts, and his own personal experiences to shed light on the importance of proper breathing and how it can positively impact our overall health and well-being.

The book starts by delving into the fascinating history of breathing, from the ancient Greek philosophers to the modern-day scientific discoveries. Nestor also touches upon the evolution of human breathing, and how our modern lifestyle has negatively impacted our respiratory system. He explores how factors such as poor posture, stress, and pollution have led to a rise in breathing-related ailments such as asthma, sleep apnea, and anxiety.

Throughout the book, Nestor also provides practical tips and exercises for improving our breathing habits, such as nasal breathing, breath-holding, and meditation. He emphasises the importance of proper breathing not just for our physical health, but also for our mental and emotional well-being.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is Nestor’s exploration of the science behind the benefits of proper breathing. He delves into how it affects our cardiovascular system, immune system, and even our mental health. He also discusses how breathing techniques have been used in ancient practices such as yoga and meditation, and how they can be applied in our modern-day lives.

The book includes various breathing exercises for you to try.

We might add also that there is additional value of breathing well and deliberately during menopause. Breathing techniques might reduce the impact of hot flushes, improve sleep and help settle an anxious mood. It is important for our pelvic floor, which works in partnership with our diaphragm.

Deliberate breathing can calm the nervous system, mobilise the chest and spine and offer a moment to reflect.

Overall, Breath brings a fresh perspective on a seemingly mundane topic. Nestor’s engaging writing style and personal anecdotes make it an enjoyable read, while the wealth of research and expert interviews make it a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their health and well-being.


You can watch some breathing exercise on James Nestor’s website here


This information is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please see your health professional for advice that is personalised to you.