Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by author Nestor, James – an initial review

Though still reading James Nestor's New York Times best seller, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, I did my walk yesterday and today with the goal of walking fast enough to want to breathe more deeply – and yet to keep breathing from my nose, rather than my mouth.

What I discovered was that if I didn't pay attention – and was walking fast – I did have an urge to breath in my mouth. What would happen was I would unconsciously exhale via my mouth, which alerted me to the shift – and that allowed me to prevent the mouth's exhale to be followed by an inhale from the mouth.

The other thing I discovered was that I often could draw in breath more slowly with the result that I would actually feel like the top of my chest was finally filled with air. In fact, while inhaling slowly I often started shifting my shoulders back a bit to open up the upper lungs – or at least that was what I was thinking as I did it.

Nestor cites a lot of very interesting biology about breathing – the relationship between carbon dioxide and oxygen being far more complex than we normally think, and the positive impact on oxygen efficiency when the carbon dioxide level is higher that we normally allow it to be. What makes this especially intriguing to me is the prospect of lowering my blood pressure by changing the way I breath. That would be well worth the effort or at least well worth such an attempt.

Anyway, this is a fascinating book recommended by a cousin whose struggle with cancer has put her through all the normal therapies and now for several years, into experimental therapies. She finds Nestor's advice very helpful and, given her situation, that adds a lot of credibility as far as I am concerned.