Irish Breathing Expert Says Shut Your Mouth & Breathe To Live

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Sharon Kleyne & Patrick McKeown teach magic of nose breathing from Ireland. Irish Tedtalker demonstrates health advantages of breathing through the nose.

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Date aired: March 20, 2017

Guest: Patrick McKeown (in Galway, Ireland)

Sharon Kleyne, host of the nationally syndicated The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health on Voice America, knows that we breathe in water vapor with every breath we take and that without that oxygenated water vapor, we cannot live. “There is no eternity without water,” Kleyne is fond of saying, adding that good health also depends on moderate exercise, a good diet, plenty of sleep and drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. So, Kleyne was especially delighted to visit Ireland and welcome as her guest international bestseller and breath coach, Patrick McKeown, M.A. to talk about the best and healthiest way to breathe.

Water advocate Kleyne, founder of Bio-Logic Aqua® Research Water Life Science®, teaches that water and the breath are inseparable. She often refers to an analogy by Dr. Gerald Pollack that the human body is like a battery. It must continually be supplemented by fresh water in order to keep operating. “What many people don’t know,” said Kleyne, “is that they may be breathing in less than optimal ways—such as mouth breathing.”

McKeown explored breathing styles because he suffered from asthma, a malady that struck when he was just five or six years old. McKeown described a difficult school career in which he constantly struggled with exhaustion and the feeling he could never get enough air. This all changed when he discovered the work of Dr. Constantine Buteyko, who emphasized breathing through the nose rather than the mouth to reduce water vapor evaporation (and increase natural hydration), increase sterilizing nitrous oxide in the nasal cavity, relieve dry mouth symptoms and produce restful sleep and increased energy when awake. Studies have shown that breathing through the nose helps people with obstructive sleep apnea and children with ADD, among others. “My mission,” said McKeown, “is to empower people to take control of their own health, well-being and fitness using simple breathing exercises proven to improve body oxygenation.”

In carrying out this mission, McKoewn has authored 8 books, two of which have consistently ranked in the Top 10 at Close Your Mouth and Asthma Free Naturally. Kleyne recommends these and McKeown’s latest book, The Oxygen Advantage, which is already in its third printing, is based on 4 years of scientific research and tailors breathing exercises for anyone seeking to improve their fitness and sports performance. It follows that McKeown trains NFL, GAA and Soccer players in The Oxygen Advantage® Program.

McKeown and Kleyne urged listeners to practice yoga and to concentrate during practice on breathing that is subtle and light. Both agree that breathing through the nose is more beneficial to everyone because it slows down dehydration. When you breathe through your mouth, you quite literally dry out; you evaporate faster. Your water body vapor dries out more quickly. But when you breathe through your nose, which is built to retain water, you and your body are happier, healthier and more resistant to disease. When Kleyne asked if there was any example to show this clearly, McKeown suggested holding up a clear water glass and breathing on it from your mouth; next, breathe on a second clear glass through your nose. You’ll see significantly more moisture on the glass on which you breathed through your mouth. Kleyne added that Dr. Effie Chow, who saved her life with her disciplined breathing, practices inhaling through the nose and exhaling through clenched teeth—a method taught in the practice of Qigong.

McKeown can be seen on several Youtube videos, including this Tedtalk appearance in which he demonstrates various breathing techniques

McKeown was recently made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in the UK for his contribution to our understanding of breathing.

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