#112 My awesome guest this week is Patrick Mckeown, an expert in Buteco breathing and author of the extremely popular book; The Oxygen Advantage.
I’m a huge advocate of the breath and different breathwork modalities have been a part of my personal practices for many years, so to have someone with as much experience as Patrick on the show was fantastic. We dive into understanding more about our breathing 24/7, nasal breathing, slow breathing and the impact this can truly have on ou rhealth and wellbeing.
These are just some of the conditions the Buteko Method can help with:
About Patrick Mckeown: Patrick Mckeown is the President of Buteyko Professionals International. He is also a member of the Management Board and the Advisory Faculty of the International Academy of Breathing & Health.
Patrick was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and later studied in the Moscow clinic of the founder of the Buteyko Breathing Method; the late Professor Konstantin Buteyko. He was honoured to be awarded a Diploma in the Buteyko Method by Professor Buteyko.
Patrick’s current professional affiliations include being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (UK), a Member of the Physiological Society (UK), a Member of the Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences, a Fellow of Buteyko Professionals International, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Breathing & Health.
Guy: Hi, my name is Guy Lawrence. And thanks for tuning into my podcast today. If you’re enjoying these conversations and you want to check out more of this transformational work, be sure to come back to guylawrence.com.au and join me as we go further down the rabbit hole. Enjoy the show.
Guy: Patrick, welcome to the podcast.
Patrick: Thanks very much Guy. Good to be here.
Guy: I must admit I’ve been submersed in your work, uh, especially over the last couple of weeks now when you were coming on the show and for the depth of knowledge of this topic to see blew my mind. Like I knew the breath was, was a pretty, um, pretty important aspect of health. But it’s just incredible. It’s a rabbit hole mate and I’m not sure if I can find the bottom of it yet, but hopefully we’ll see how we do today.
Patrick: Well, it’s like this guy, it’s kind of strange because the more I’m in the field and the more I work in it, um, the more I realize what I don’t know. And it’s changing. It’s entirely changing. It’s okay. Like since 2002 we’ve been involved with breathing full time and just more applications. And I think the science has started to touch notice. I think it’s, it’s taught the topic is harsh and you know, for good reasons.
Guy: Yeah, totally. Well, I’m always intrigued and I ask everyone at the start of the show this and you just showed me a diary of a new travel, a hell of a lot. Right? So if you sat next to a stranger on an airplane and they asked you what you did for a living, what, how would you answer that these days?
Patrick: I just tell him, I write a book, I write books. Um, and I’ll tell you why. Because if I speak to somebody about breathing who’s not really interested in it, their eyes just glass over and they’re not too bothered. It’s not like talking to somebody and having, having a conversation about a game of football or something. Now if on the other hand, I connect with somebody who is knowing about meditation, the Breath, focus, concentration, then we could have a good story. And it’s one of those things, it’s a little bit about like meditation. You could sit down on a plane beside somebody and start talking to somebody about meditation. Well, if they haven’t already done it and if they don’t feel a willingness towards it, they probably won’t be interested. So maybe it was because when I was introducing this work 20 years ago that I was met with in some quarters, but skepticism, especially in medical circles, even though it was based on normal medical physiology, like I wasn’t, you know, I was drawing information basically from what was available.
Patrick: And yet I often wondered why doctors weren’t encouraging patients to breath through their nose. So I asked them as societies weren’t encouraging people with asthma, children with asthma, why dental profession weren’t encouraging children to breath through the nose and why sleep medicine isn’t encouraging functional breathing. And because we seen the results and the results are there, but the results are often very than the literature. So it’s, to make a long story short, I never kind of want to waste my energy talking to people who are not interested. And there’s loads of people who are interested and that’s where we have a great conversation and that’s why I’m here.
Guy: Yeah, beautiful. And what led you to look at the breath in the first place, especially 20 years ago, if it wasn’t even spoken about much back then.
Patrick: I think, well I know it was because of my own health issues.
Patrick: I was a kid growing up as a chronic, my operator and when I go to my mother’s house and she starts putting out photos, she’s in her eighties now and she’ll pull out photos and every single photograph of me as a child, my mouth was wide open and you know you cannot reach your full potential if you have your mouth open. People with nasal obstruction, if they have a stuffy nose which is costing map reading, they are twice as likely to have sleep problems. Now I can give you more statistics on this with regards to children who are map rating. If they are mouth breathing, which is causing even just snoring, they have 40% increased risk of special education needs by age five. There’s loads of studies on this. Just one study involving 11,000 children in Stratford upon Avon and there was a 40% risk of special education needs due to sleep disorder breathing and one of the contributory factors there is mouth breathing.
Patrick: So I came across it by accident. I did a master’s degree in economics but my health was deteriorating and I always knew like in university I wasn’t, I was one of those guys to get grades. I really, really had to put in the hours and I did. I put in hours like I worked from nine o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock at night and my peers didn’t have to do that and I didn’t get top grades with that. I’ve got average grades because the issue is if your breathing is off, like there’s a huge internet connectivity between tree pillars and how, and I’m only looking at three, I’m not talking about nutrition because I know nothing about it. But say for instance the breadth, sleep and the emotions. If your mind is active and if you’re stressed, it impacts your breathing. But if your breathing is fast and shallow and agitate, and if your breathing is fast, Palo, it affects, and if your sleep is affected, your emotions are affected.
Patrick: And if your emotions are affected, you kind of sleep properly. So here’s triangle would each factor interplaying into each other. And I think it’s amazing because you know, I remember giving a talk to psychotherapists in Ireland and we had 40 psycho therapists in the room and I told him, I said lessen cognitive behavioral therapy, his accent, cause I’ve heard great stuff about it, but I said it’s not changing breathing physiology. And what I’m here today is just to show you the connection or at least to draw it out, the connection between breathing folk physiology and anxiety of the mind. Because if you do see BT with a client, but if that kind continues to fast, shallow breathing, irregular breathing with disrupted sleep, they’re not going to get the calmness of the mind that they really deserves. And the other thing is, if the mind is agitated, how can you meditate?
Patrick: So I’d like to give, like I often say to people that meditation is wonderful. It truly is, but when I’m working with people who come in, but anxiety, many of them have tried meditation but they’re just don’t stick it and they don’t stick it because they probably feel they’re getting nowhere in terms of their mind is so active. So we give them small little breath toiled exercises. I think it’s very important with the Bret to realize that it’s not just about taking a deep breath, it’s not just about taking a big brat. Like all too often we hear is, Oh, you’re stressed. Take a deep breath and you know the more air you breathe, the less oxygen gets delivered to the brain. So big breathing is going to agitate the mind. So we need to give a series of breathing exercises depending on the person coming into us and looking at breathing from three different dimensions.
Patrick: One is the biochemistry of the brat because you can literally improve blood flow and oxygen delivery from the blood to the cells burst just by changing the chemistry of the Bret. Sorry, just by changing that, the volume of breathing to change the biochemistry of the blood. The second aspect is looking at the biomechanics of breathing. This is getting dye for Matic breathing. And of course the die from is connected with the emotions, but your die from is also connected with your prayer with the later muscles. And these muscles play a very important role in sleep and keeping the airway open. So if you have an individual who is map reading journey, sleep, they’re more likely, well of course mouth snoring, but also because turn my breathing, they’re breathing using their upper chest and their airway is more liable to collapse. So the other aspect and is looking at cadence breathing.
Patrick: When you slow down the breathing rate to six breaths per minute in terms of stimulating the vagus nerve, increasing heart rate variability, improving respiring to sign this regimen and getting a balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic. And that’s just looking at functional breathing. That’s not even looking at breath holding when you’re dropping blood oxygen saturation to reduce lactic acid and fatigue. You know, so you know, I think it’s tremendous book. I think people have realized that, you know, how many times have we heared what an instruct. We’ll focus on the biomechanics of breathing, but they completely sacrificed the biochemistry in the, in the, in that instance, you know, they focus so much on breathing using the die from lateral expansion and contraction of the lower ribs. But in the process taking big breaths and in that process they get rid of too much carbon dioxide because carbon dioxide the same to be a gas. But we have to bear in mind since 1904, that the release of oxygen from the red blood cells to the cells is dependent on the presence of carbon dioxide. That’s called the perfect. Yeah.
Guy: The, the, there are so many things you’ve just triggered in me already. Uh, and one thing that was when you, you spoke about, you know, um, cause it feels like the spiral and the fact that everything leads into each other and we forget about, um, I always used to think about incidental fitness, but we, we were guilty of this in many aspects because we used to get people coming in and they would exercise some train hard for an hour and then they would go and sit down for the rest of the day and live this sedentary life. And then there was just hoping to compensate for everything else. And it reminds me of the same with the breasts where we breathe in 24 hours a day. You know, they’re, yes. And even with meditation, I always say meditation is what you do with your eyes open during the day. It’s like this constant rise.
Patrick: Yup. Yup. I have to totally agree with you. Absolutely. And because you know what yourself, people are going to yoga studios, they’re doing breathing exercises in the yoga studio. How are they breathing outside of version? Really? That’s what I want to know. Um, how is the person breathing when they go for a walk? How are they breathing when they get stressed? How can you hunt a stress through the Bret? How do you breathe during sleep? Like for example, we taped them out at night and I know that can sound very bizarre and we’ve been doing it for 20 years and even my children, we have a tape coming up Mio tape, but it’s designed just to go around the lips, just to bring the lips together because if you have your mind open at night, you’re not getting a full deep night’s sleep. And if you don’t get deep sleep, you don’t get rest and recovery because the process of restorative sleep is for the brain to clean itself. And uh, if if sleep is shallow, that’s when we really, really get health problems that people have light sleep.
Guy: Would that be a great place to start tipping the most up and when we go to bed at night?
Patrick: Yeah, of course. Like I’ll give you my example with this. I was waking up feeling fatigued every morning as a kid going into school and onto university. I was shattered, but you kind of learned to live with it because if that’s all, you know, that’s all you know. But I remember when I was in university, I was doing Erasmus in Sweden and uh, I was in the dorms which were under students. And one of them told me the next morning he says, Jesus says, we talked you were going to die last night. Of course I didn’t think he said you were reading, but then you were stopping breathing. And of course I had clue what that was. But then I find out later about 15 years later, 20 years later, it’s undiagnosed, undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea, which is really common with people with asthma. Um, and as asthma severity increases, so the sleep apnea, and by the way, Australia has one of the highest instance advancement in the world.
Patrick: It’s either one or two. And the UK I think is number three and Ireland is number four. So you will have a certain amount of the population, those who are experiencing either hay fever, childhoods asthma, which they’ve grown out of asthma, exercise and juice, Bronco constriction, breathing problems. But in any event, my reason for waking up exhausted was I have very poor cranial facial development because of my breathing during childhood. My tone isn’t in the roof from out. I don’t have the development of my lower jaws and as a result my troubles are set back in the airway. My airway is compromised and when your airway is compromised and you’re more likely to have collapse of the airway during sleep, so you stop breathing. So first and foremost, the real time to get nasal breathing is during childhood during the development of the face. Now I then in 2000 I was in 1998 or I read newspaper article and the article spoke about this Russian doctor and this Russian doctor worked with cosmonauts during the Soviet space race and his kind of workload was to find out what’s the, the optimal concentration of oxygen I’m going up into, into space in terms of capsule.
Patrick: And he was working with breathing and then he noticed that people were who were getting sick when he was back in the hospital. People who are getting sick, we’re breathing hard now. He asked the question, was it their sickness, which caused their breathing to be excessive, that they were running out of air, that they were punting, that were gasping are he said, was it their heart breathing, which was contributing to the symptoms? So he started asking, well, what happens when you breathe hard and the available research, and even in the 1950s if you breathe hard, you get rid of too much carbon dioxide from the blood through the lungs. And the loss of carbon dioxide from the blood causes blood vessels to constrict. And also in technical terms causes a left shift of the oxygen hemoglobin dissociation curve. But in very simple terms, if you breathe hard, you get rid of too much carbon dioxide from the blood and oxygen isn’t released as readily to the tissues.
Patrick: So it’s ironic that the harder we, the last era gets delivered. So people who are on fish at the very least are people who are not well. They tend to breathe hard. And you know, he was the lone, because even more recently there was an Italian cardiologist called, and I’ll come back to my story at a while, Luciano Bernardi and Luciana Bernardi is a cardiologist with a huge interest in yoga. And he wrote paper back in 2001 I think it was, and he looked at people with chronic heart failure. And you know, a patient with chronic heart failure. It’s normal that they will experience excessive breakfasts. And as during physical exercise, they go for a walk and they breed, they get, they run out of air. You know, they don’t have exercise tolerance. Well, most doctors would probably say, well that patient has excessive breathlessness because of their chronic heart failure.
Patrick: But Bernardi asked a question, he asked, could the access of breathlessness be jus to an increased chemo sensitivity of the body to carbon dioxide? In other words, has the body become too sensitive to the increased CO2 coming from the cells into the blood because it’s carbon dioxide that stimulates your breathing. So you can imagine as part of metabolism carbon Knox that is coming from the [inaudible] of the blood. And that then in turn is changing into carbonic forming carbonic acid, which in turn is dissociating into hydrogen on a bicarbonate. But as carbon dioxide increases, so does hydrogen ion. And as hydrogen ion increases, blood pH drops and they’re inspired, your center of the brain reacts to the change in blood pH. So if you have an individual with a strong chemo sensitivity to carbon dioxide, they would breathe hard during physical exercise. So he said, let’s get these people to slow down their breathing to reduce the chemo sensitivity to carbon dioxide.
Patrick: And when he did, so their breathlessness reduced during physical exercise and it’s, you know, so this stuff is all out there, but it’s buried in the literature under, there’s another thing and if you even just change the cadence of the breaths and say if you are breathing 12 breaths, 12 breaths per minute, and if you reduce it to six and if you kept the volume the same per minute, you will increase your breathing efficiency by 20% you’ll have 20% more oxygen coming into the lungs. So there’s so much here that we can play with. But I have to the, my story taping of the mouth, I read the newspaper article. I did an exercise to open up my nose. My nose was stuffy for 20 years. Constantly. I had an operation on my nose in 1994 the surgeon never told me to breathe through ish.
Guy: And from 1994 to 1998 I kept on breathing through my mouth. Now you could say that stuff, but it’s not because if you fix the nose, you have to fix the behavior. My nose was, but the behavior wasn’t fixed and I kept on mouth reading. So in any event, 1998 they congested my nose, went to sleep that night. I used to breathe right strips of my nose to open up my nose just in case they collapse during sleep. And I worked paper tape across my lips and yeah, the first night was kind of getting used to it and the second night went stapled again. The second morning I woke up and I swore to God it was the best night’s sleep that I’d ever had in my life. I’d never realized what was it like to wake up feeling absolute alertness and concentration. And I’ve taped, this is no exaggeration, I have taped my mouth every night pretty much since maybe a couple of exceptions here and there.
Guy: Um, but rather not. Yeah, so it’s huge. And I’m not saying for people to tape up their moat every night, but what I am saying is if your mouth is open during your sleep, you’re not likely to wake up feeling refreshed. You’re likely to have more shallow and light sleep. You’re more likely to go to the bathroom. And here it comes back to the mind. We have patients coming in or clients coming in with depression, with high anxiety, with high stress, with panic disorder. And I often asked him, I said, listen, but I ask everybody. I said, how do you feel when you wake up in the morning? And they generally were telling me they wake up feeling exhausted. And I say, well, has your doctor, has your healthcare professional? Ever asked you to do a sleep study? Have they ever investigated your sleep? They said no.
Guy: And the reason being is because I think the healthcare professional is assuming that it’s the depression which is causing the exhaustion. But maybe we should be asked King, which in turn is rooted in product, which in turn is reducing quality of life, which in turn is reducing our ability to cope with everyday life’s demands. And if you have anxiety over a period of time, could that be relating to depression? So what’s the chicken and the egg here? We have to look at sleep. And I was in the corporate word, highly stressed, hated my job, absolutely hate it. And uh, I felt that we were totally controlled by information technology. There was pressure put on me. I was in middle management, I was only in my early twenties and I was putting pressure down under staff. It’s crazy situation. And now I’m starting to look at the connection between burnout.
Guy: And I’m 46 years of age now. I would be trolling out onto the trash heap now of any multinational company because why would they have an oud by like me? Because I’d be considered, you know, an older guy, why would they bother with an employee like me, which would require too much wages. Instead they just get rid of me and they put in a 20 year old in, in there in my place. So we really have to wonder what’s going on there. And this is why I think the ability to be able to handle the stress because we as human beings guy, we’re not able, we’re not able to cope with longterm stress. Never throughout our evolution where we’ll be confronted with longterm stress was always short term, but true the brat, we can influence those functions that are outside of our control, our normal control.
Guy: Yeah, totally. With just regarding your cell phone on that, um, you, cause you are someone that travels, like I said a lot and you would have to manage stress and um, with yourself being such a conscious person in a conscious breather with this work, naturally they’re going to come hand in hand. How much do you think that’s affected your life in terms of being able to, I guess even let go and let go of the things that are probably really don’t have that much meaning, but we put so much emphasis on it, especially when we coming from,
Guy: I’m a stress state and it’s been huge. Um, I don’t know how people can, can cope to be honest with you, unless they have something like the breaths to be able to reduce agitation of the mind. You know, I was very active thinker and I give you a story. I wrote about it in a book called anxiety free. This was even before I just felt, what about the same time I kind of came across mindfulness and spirituality and the chem crossbreeding together and they do go pretty much hand in hand. I went to to a seminar in Dublin and I went in with a very agitated mind. There was never gaps between taught. I was constantly stuck in my head, so I had walked down the street. I wouldn’t even see the street because I was living, it would only connectivity with anything around me.
Guy: All was my attention was on my head regurgitating, you know, [inaudible] and taught after taught. So I went to this seminar and the seminar, the instructors, there were two instructors that they must have been in presence because I don’t know what happened in that seminar, but I come out of that seminar and I walked down Grafton street in Dublin and it was the first time that I actually seen the Strait. It was almost as if just a pair of blinkers was taken off that all of those levels of conditioning had reduced and I just remember feeling such an innate calmness going down the street. Now I woke up the next morning, my head was just in his body stages. It was before dash but I was after getting a taste of something and I was intrigued, I have to say I was absolutely intrigued. So I started Dan focusing on the breath more and I can really understand why people get frustrated with it because when you start focusing on the bracket first you start to realize all the nonsense that goes through the human mind.
Guy: And we never seem to think that everybody is in the same boat. So you’re bringing to it your two. You’re bringing really to the surface, all those incessant and repetitive and often very negative thoughts and fruitless thinking, useless thinking, thinking that completely drains us of energy. And I think society is really good at keeping this thinking in place because I think it kind of subdues the population to some degree and fill them up at news, which by the way, I stopped reading the news 20 years ago as well. No newspapers, don’t ever purposely listen to the news of my catcher by accident here and there. So it can kind of, sometimes you know, you’re, you’re conscious and be very careful of what we let in let into our heads. But what I’m gonna say is, yeah, at first you’re, you’re, you know, you’re focusing on the breath and the mind is wandering and you’re focusing on the breath and the mind is wandering and over time, and I don’t know how long does it take, what gaps start appearing between thinking and it’s almost set.
Guy: You’re developing a muscle and the brain that you condense happen into Dodge whale. And that’s why if coaches ask me, can you recreate the flow? Well, I can. Well, at least I feel I can. I can recreate the flow and I can do it because when I’m giving presentations, I’ll go out to a room of maybe 500 people, no PowerPoints. Now I don’t use them and I talk off the cuff for one, two hours, just you know, but to get into that state, I want to state of absolute focus and concentration because what is concentration, but our ability to place 100% of our attention on what we are doing without distraction of the mind. Now you think of the individual with an agitated mind. How can you concentrate? How can you focus? And if we look at the work, the quality of work of people with excellent concentration and some people have this naturally, I often use the story of a guy.
Guy: When I was in university, I studied three months for an exam and he wasn’t studying because he was setting up a business at the time. We were only in our early twenties maybe 21 years of age and he said, Patty, he says, do you have your notes there? And I said, I have, and this was 20 minutes before the exam. He, I hadn’t opened the book so I handed him my notes and I remember him just looking at the notes and I remember thinking at that time I’d be staring at the notes, but no, none of the information was coming in and as soon as that gets to the bottom of the page, I’d have to go through it again. And that’s how I kept on, you know, trying to force that information. But I knew it was different with him. He was looking at the notes, but he had his full concentration under notes.
Guy: The two of us went off, we did our exam and he got the same grade as I, gosh, it took him 20 minutes and it took me three months. Now I would just go a little bit further with this guy because now with the hindsight of 20 years later, his name is Terry Clune CLU and he is a surname is about 47 years of age. He set up at that time when we are in university, set up a business called tax back.com and he’s worth about 600 million Euro, which is about a billion us or a billion Australian dollars. You do, you don’t, and by the way, this isn’t about to finance, but this is about the quality of the individual to reach their full potential when they have the capacity to control the mind. Are we in control of the mind or is the mind in control of us?
Guy: And if we are in control of the mind, can we stop thinking? Can we just put those thoughts aside to allow our full attention on whatever we want to focus upon and what’s more my attention. I developed it and it was pretty poor. But what about the youngsters who are coming in? These kids who have grown up with social media would internet technology with mobile phones and just look at the increase of anxiety. And by the way, you know these kids not see my own child. You of course they’re watching YouTube ERs and they’re watching these and especially girls, we have to be more concerned, but because they’re watching, if I, if I go on to Instagram and we post this on Instagram, all I see, the only people that I see posting their bodies are total posers. Okay? Because you’re not going to, if you’ve got a big belly on you, you’re not going to exactly go there and start posting it on Instagram.
Guy: So what are we seeing on Instagram then? We’re seeing a very skewed portrayal of real life because everybody that we see on Instagram, they’re beautiful looking. They’re in great shape and they’ve got great bodies. So then if you have a normal Joe soap like me that comes on and you’re looking at Instagram, you’re saying, Jesus Christ, I think it is there, they’re perfect. And then you start saying, well, I am not perfect. And logical pressure on your tough. That’s the gram Facebook and all the push. For me it is because it’s not reflective of real life. And I think for girls where image consciousness, and that’s social pressure, we really have to watch that space. So I’m going to come to full circle here. This is where the breath comes in because I think there’s three ways and then you know there could be more, but in my, in my kind of own head, there’s three ways that I would use to quite in the mind.
Guy: One is I focus on the, on my breathing, I bring my attention and Mertz I slow down the brat, but I slow down the breath to create air hunger because if you slow down your breathing and within really slow and you have a really relaxed, slow breath out, and if you consciously breathe less air than what you’re used to, carbon dioxide increases in the blood. You know that carbon dioxide is increasing in the blood when you feel our hunger. But as carbon dioxide increases, your blood vessels open up and your hemoglobin releases releases oxygen more readily. So if I’m doing a meditation, I will incorporate it with the function of breathing from a biochemical point of view because I can increase blood flow to the brain and also if you focus on the Bret with the intention of deliberately slowing down the Brett to create air hunger, the mind is more anchored on the breath.
Guy: If we just say, if we do pass around a Panasonic and you focus on the breath, the mind wanders, you focused on the breadth of mind wanders. But if you have the focus of deliberately slowing it down and you’re feeling that air hunger and also physiologically if you increase oxygen delivery to the brain, it has a calming effect on the central nervous system because hyperventilation or over-breathing fast, shallow breathing, it’s excitation for the mind. So we need to look at the physiology of breathing as well as the psychological aspect of harnessing, harnessing our attention on the breath. Now, some of this has only been discovered recently. In March of 2017 Stanford medical school, they identified a new structure in the brain, first in mice and then in humans, and they said this structure, which is, it’s in the locust Corolla sport, this structure is spying on your breathing and if you breathe fast, this structure in the brain is relaying signals of agitation to the rest of the brain.
Guy: But if you really slow down your breath, this structure is relaying signals of calm to the rest of the brain. And what’s more, if you breed fast, you’re more likely to be aroused from sleep, so your sleep quality isn’t as good. And if your sleep quality isn’t as girds, then the mind is going to be more anxious the next day. It’s all interlinked. And we often think about to die from people thinking about, you know, to die from breathing muscle. Absolutely breathe deep, but don’t breathe big and to die from it is true, is connected with the emotions because when people get to see COPD and asthma and find their breathing becomes more in the upper chest, there’s a direct correlation with the increase in psychiatric symptoms, not because of the feeling of suffocation. Even though a Coke could be a contributory factor, but when breathing is trained to slow down the breath, choosing the tie from psychiatric symptoms diminish.
Guy: Yeah. Incredible. And we, we, we proceed, we see that we don’t see the world how it is. We just, we see the world, how we are
Guy: right. And, and, and that’s driven from how we feel and how we think. And then we don’t see the truth of it, but we see our perceived truth of it.
Guy: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to dissolve those layers of conditioning which have been added over time. And you know, if we, if we don’t reinforce those patterns, those talk patterns but excessive thinking, I think they dissolve, that space dissolves and then we are looking not through the filter of all that conditioning. Correct layers of conditioning. We really need to get the conditioning aside so that the true person can come at it through a young child has it and you know the essence of spirituality be innocent like a young kid. It’s because the young child hasn’t developed the thinking capacity that are their mind. Their mind is open, their mind is transparent and they’re fully in the present moment. And guy education education has a, has a some role to play in this because we are being taught how to think. We have been trained how to think. Joe is a via does, you know we spent 20 years in education. The mind is trained into this sharp analytical tool. We’ve been trained how to think but we haven’t been trained to stop thinking. And if you develop the mind, you also must develop the capacity to control and train the brain. And again the breath to commend
Guy: totally with that without oxygen. Uh, the breath deprivation like you seen breathe slower us. So during our day, I’m, I’m guessing cause you speak about this, just breathing through the nodes will start to do that automatically if we like keep our mouth closed until we talk or eat. Basically
Guy: it’s a great start. It’s, it’s one of the best things that I would encourage anybody to do. And even during physical exercise and when you’re doing it during physical exercise, initially it’s tougher. The air hunger is not because of oxygen dropping down or are lowering the air. Hunger is because carbon dioxide is decreasing in the blood because our breathing stimulated brood is large. So when carbon dioxide comes from the cells into the blood, just a change of blood pH and the brain reacts to that drop to blood pH by stimulating your breathing. Now if you have elite athletes, they have a very reduced chemo sensitivity to carbon dioxide so they can tolerate a buildup of CO2 in the blood. And that’s why part of it is they go for a run. They’ve got very light breathing, but, and you know it’s, it was generally taught that you could reduce the chemo sensitivity of the body’s carbon dioxide with severe physical training. But no, not at all. Just with slow breathing and you know, doing, bring this into your way of life and also your tongue should be in the roof of the mouth, butchering rest and during sleep. So we often get kids and adults to make the popping sound.
Guy: So in order to make that sound, you have to have your tongue, Preston, Preston, the roof, the mat, because we need the tongue in the roof them out, which will help open up the airway because if the tongue is set back or on the floor of the mash, it’s more likely to fall into the throat and then our sleep is affected. So I always want my clients waking up with their tongue in the roof from out in the morning and with their lips together and breathing through the nose. Yes, both during rest, during physical exercise and during sleep we go that we change it and we have to be conscious of that.
Guy: And what else could you do? Look at breathing from three different perspectives. So say for instance, we will have people with one hand on their chest, one hand just above their navel and I would ask them to tune into the brat and then I would say, okay, now I’d really like you to start slowing down the speed of the breath as it comes into your nose. And at the top of the branch bring a total feeling of relaxation to the pardoning and have a very relaxed and slow breath out. And they could be just shallow breathing, but that’s fine because with that, my intention is to take less hair into the body so that we increase CO2 in the blood to help improve the biochemistry of breathing. So usually I focus with functional breathing nose breathing first and we show people how to decongest the nose.
Guy: You take a normal breath in through the nose. Normal. Beth had pinched her nose hold, gently nod your head, holding your bet. You keep doing it and then you let go and breathe through your nose and you’re holding your breath pretty much for as long as you can. If you do that five times, your nose opens up so anybody would hay fever. Now it’s not fit. It’s not suitable if the female is pregnant or people who have serious health conditions or high blood pressure, but other than Nash, it’s very, very safe. We’ve been doing breath foiling as human beings. If you go to a swimming pool, you’ll see kids throwing a diving stick into the bottom of the pool. They go down, they cannot come back up. It’s a very natural thing to do. So if the nose is stuffy, just breathe in through your nose.
Guy: Breathe out, pinch your nose, hold gently, nudge your head up and down and hold your breath for as long as you can. Then let go. Breathe in through your nose. Wait a minute, do it again. Do it five or six times. Notice what? Be afraid. It’s only free temporarily. You then have to keep breathing through the nose because your nose conditions warms and moistens the air on the way in. But it also picks up a gas called nitric oxide and nitric oxide redistributes the blood threat, the lungs. Did you know that the pressure of oxygen in the blood is 10% higher with nose breathing done. But my breathing, and by virtue of this, if you look down at your chest, so if you look down at your chest sky, take a breath through your mouth. So when you breathe through your mouth, what part of the body are you bringing the air into?
Guy: Chest. Chest. So my breathing is always synonymous with the upper chest, but the structure of the human lungs, because of gravity, most blood is actually in the lower lobes. So when you breathe through your nose, your nose is connected with the dye from. That’s why when people are talking about die from ashy breathing, they’re often emphasizing die from Arctic breathing. But they’re not emphasizing nasal breathing. You can’t, you cannot ensure longterm die from attic breathing. It’s literally impossible unless you get nasal breathing. And I like, I’m always like I’ve worked with thousands of clients and like I, you know, just from experience you kind of, you’re starting to see these connections and they make so much sense and it’s like what you said at the very start, meditation is not for the guy sitting in the Lotus position with the eyes closed. Our life is a meditation, but breathing is the same.
Guy: So what I want is nose breathing, slow breathing driven by the die from. And when you breathe through your nose, you’re taking nitric oxide down through the opera airways into the lower airways. Nitric oxide is a natural bronchodilator of the airways, opens up the airways, but it also redistributes the blood throughout the lungs. And this helps with gas exchange to take place and it also sterilizes the incoming air. Now you think of this Corona virus that’s going on at the moment. What about the kid or the other two is just sitting there with the match open? You have no defense because if you look at any medical textbook, you will never see a function of the amount listed as breathing. Breathing is never listed as a function of the Mount because breathing is not a function of the mouth, the nose, the function of the nose is breathing.
Guy: That’s a primary function. And even with young infants, when it’s going back to say, yeah, we’re, we’re born as nose graders, but say eight, nine months, years of age, sorry, eight or nine months old, you see the infant crawling, they’re exploring. They used our amount for, for eating and for exploration. You know, they pick up things, they put it straight into the mouth and there are noses for breathing. That’s so their primary function of the nose is the breed and the primary function of the mouth is to eat and to explore. But if that child, if young infant, if for any reason their nose is stuffy that they have to breach with the mouth. Now the primary function of the Mount is breathing and the secondary functions are eating and exploration. So these kids don’t normally develop and they can often grow into fussy eating habits. And there’s a no like I could even go on more, but I was reading a paper by Dr. Christian gamer, no infants who died as a result of sudden infant death syndrome, compromise, Polish, compromise breathing, you know, and the only issue that they had wrong in several of these cases, they had a stuffy nose.
Guy: That was it. Can you imagine a head cold resulting in the young infant passing and it wasn’t a head cold, it was the head cold. It just pushed the baby over the edge. It was because the airway was compromised in the first sentence. There’s a, I’m probably speaking too much, but I’m going to just give you just an [inaudible] in Sydney called Dora. Dr Derek Mahoney and is an orthodontist and he’s got, he’s really well recognized internationally but he’s been doing a PhD including the effect of mouth breathing on sleep disorder breathing in children and he would know this topic inside out, back to front and he was always emphasizing children shouldn’t be getting extractions because if you get extractions with orthodontics, the Mount is made smaller. There’s not enough room for the tongue and then the tongue is coming into the airway. So his whole TCIs would have been the reason that the child is crooked.
Guy: Teach is not because the jaw is too small. Sorry. It’s not because to say that and again, the reason because the reason that the child has got crooked teach is not because the teeth are too big, but it’s because the jaw is too small. Because if we had the mouth closed with the tongue resting in the roof of the mouth, it’s the tone which helps to develop the top jaw. So yeah, I’m going to stop talking for a while. This is triggered like myself and my wife were expecting our first baby in June and congratulations. Thank you. Yeah, very exciting. It’s brilliant time actually. Yeah. I’m, I can’t wait. Um, but you know, with this knowledge, I’m thinking straight away. Is there something we could be doing differently? What do we need to look out for? What do we look for? And this is coming from somebody who’s never been a parent before is wrong mind stores.
Guy: So I wouldn’t be overly obsessed about it, but what I would do is just pay attention when the child is, is a newborn. Um, maybe a few months old. Just look and see how high is their punish because if they’ve got a high narrow punish, it’s not a good sign. My own daughter had it and you’re kind of looking at you’re saying, okay. Um, and then when she was three or four years of age, I was noticing that she was stopping breathing during sleep and it’s an, Oh my gosh, she’s sleep apnea because of course she has my genetic features too. Like genes do play a role here and if you have a compromised airway, it’s a big issue. Now I went and I got the best advice at the time and that was to get adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy and I did it. And then I went and I did functional orthodontics splitter.
Guy: Now, if I was to do again guy, I wouldn’t do the adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy first, I would bring her, well first of all, I would bring her to a sacral cranium therapist or an osteopath because they can literally just put their homes into the child’s mouth and just gently, just gently with slight movements, expand the top jaw and expand the maxilla. And also they can help the Roach of the face, which is an amazing, because see, you don’t want a very narrow Maxell because then the nasal cavity is compromised. And if the nasal cavities compromised and breathing can be compromised. So if I was to do it again, first of all, I would explore with very young infants, a sacral, plenty of craniosacral therapy or an osteopath, somebody would have knowledge of working with the jaw as the maxilla at the top jaw, especially after not, then I would go to a functional orthodontist, especially if the airway was compromised and use a light wire, a plot appliance to direct, to open up the maxilla and to direct the forward roll out of the face.
Guy: And if that did, Martina would go for tonsillectomy. And not an ectomy. Now the reason that I say that is because it was traumatic tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, but it’s the ghost sort of treatment for sleep disorder breathing. Now, I only found out six months ago [inaudible] for of this was only investigated in 2010 so for decades, surgeons have been removing tonsils and adenoids out of young children and they didn’t even know the efficacy of it, did it? No so-called evidence, and I don’t mean to be sarcastic here, but so-called evidence based medicine. And I’ll give you the results of the study. And as far as I remember, it was published in the American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine by the American TruSeq society. They tested 587 children and sleep disorder breathing was cured in 27% so even despite having adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy, 73% of these kids continued to have residual obstructive sleep apnea.
Guy: Now we also know that if nasal breathing is not restored in these children, despite having tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, there’s the 65% relapse within three years, 65% relapse. Now, the last thing I’ll say on that topic as well, I talked more about it, but in terms of ear, nose and throat don’t provide any followup in terms of nasal breathing, and I gave this talk to 150 and is in Madrid of last year, 2019 and I said I was one of your patients. You operated on my nose. You certainly fixed it, but you never taught me how to breathe through it. You’ve kind of just fixed the nose without changing the behavior. If you have a young kid who’s been [inaudible] breathing with their tongue out because of nasal obstruction and if you fixed the nose [inaudible] [inaudible] the back of the nose. Yup. No, you have to restore nasal root in because otherwise mouth breathing is going to continue.
Guy: When do you, when it comes to kids, are they easy to work with, to, to retrain, to get him to be breathing through the nose from a certain age yet it’s like there’s a book, this is not new information. There was a book written back in the 1870s and it’s called shut your mouth and save your life. And it was an American painter that went and he lived with the American native American Indians. He taught that their traditions were dying out, so he went to live with them and he noted that the native American Indian mothers, anytime the young infant had the mouth open, the mothers would go over to the baby and pressed the lips together, kept on pressing the lips together. And I think it’s great wisdom, simple stuff, you know, so when you see your youngster, um, and just like, we didn’t put our child on on our back, but we had a mattress that was really natural.
Guy: Um, the fibers were totally natural. Everything was natural, there was nothing syntactic, everything was breathable and the child naturally stepped on her side. And you know, I understand that there’s the, all of the advice and sleeping on the back and that’s fine. I’m not going to, I’m not going to, you know, cost out on dash. But I just felt with my own child, I didn’t really want her sleeping in the back because I didn’t want the risk of the tongue falling back into the throat, the compromise or braiding. And I didn’t want that with the lower jaw falling back. Cause we have to bear in mind gravity like in an adult, if an adult is snoring, they’re more likely to snore when they’re under back than when they’re on their side. And what obstructive sleep apnea, 50% of people would always say, Oh obstructive sleep apnea therapy is doubled when they sleep in their back.
Guy: So coming back to teaching the exercises, you can, you can do little things with the younger kids, certainly even the young infant having the mind your lap, just pressing the lips together. But also there are simple exercises with children that we have a children’s online course but it’s free. And we are, we’ve recorded as well a series of videos with my own kid and we’re putting them out there for free. But we have amazing myopia and it will be up there. It’s, it’s um, I just haven’t got, I’ve made the edits but I, I have to get it, but I do at the moment have a free online course. If you went to Buteyko clinic.com and I’m not sure if the link, but you look for the kids course now it does look for your email address, but it, the course is completely free now. This was recorded 10 years ago, but the new one going up would be much easier and I just recorded it before Christmas so that would be live hopefully in the next month.
Guy: That’s brilliant. That’s awesome mate. I am, I’m aware of the time. I know there’s so many questions I could ask you, but then there’s, if it’s just everything, every answer you give triggers a new question. Um, but um, I can ask a few questions. I’ll ask everyone on the show. And the first one is,
Guy: what’s been the low point in your life? Let’s let her be in a blessing. Well, it’s going to come back to my own health issues. No. Um, it’s, it’s, it really is the pro, there’s been two things that have been low points. One was I hated my job in the corporate world. I used to work for this company called the enterprise rent a car. And uh, I don’t mind mentioning that the name of their company because I think it’s, it’s good if I would have liked a fair, does hair disinformation. But I was 20 years of age, so I absolutely was stressed going into work. Now. Part of it was because I didn’t have a greater ability to handle stress and at the time my sleep was affected and everything else. So part of it would have been say my problem. And part of it then would have been the ethos of not just enterprise, but the ethos of most multinational companies.
Guy: And I used to be envious, envious of these guys going into suits, into the, the financial companies, you know. And then I was in New York during the summer. I said, Oh my God. Like I’ve have wonderful job here, which with rewarding job satisfaction, doing a job that I love to do, seeing results. And I could never go up into those big offices in a gray suit and just sit behind a computer, look at analytics and statistics and this stuff, the other. So the first thing that was was bad that turned out to be a blessing was I hated my job. And that was a part motivation to do something about it. I’m probably the worst thing could have been that you’re in the nice costage cushy job, ms den. You get nowhere. You’re better off realizing that even if you hate your job though, apply your talents to the best of your ability because you’re not here just for your employer, but you’re here to employ yourself.
Guy: And even though I did hate my job, I give it my best shot. And you know, you learn stuff and you develop confidence in yourself and then those skills do actually, they’ll always have future for the rest of your life. So it’s amazing too. There’s often a, you know, things might and the best now, but watch that space. If you’re really giving it your best shot and this is prayer, watch your mind, you know, keep an eye in your mind because the stress levels, you don’t want them. Like life is a lot softer when the mind is quiet. And of course things happen in life. You know, life can be tough and life can be challenging but life is definitely softer. When you have the ability are you have a tool to help bring a quietness to the mind. And even if it’s just for a few seconds, you slow down your breathing, you go back to the mind, you slow down your breathing. But at least you can have create gaps between torts. So yeah, how tissues that turned into a positive and a job agent that turned into a positive.
Guy: Yeah, love that. Love the wisdom. Um, what does your morning routine look like?
Guy: It can depends. Sometimes I can get up very early, four o’clock in the morning and first thing I’ll do is I’ll have a coffee and then I generally actually concentrate on working on a new book that I’m writing. Um, cause I tend to write them in the very early hours. One of the books that the most recent one, the oxygen advantage was written at four o’clock in the morning. And I’d drive between four and say half seven. And then I go up my daughter and gets, gets out me, we must have my wife got her ready for school and Nash and then I kind of take it easy. And then I’ll go on a treadmill for awhile and then I’ll come back to my emails. But I get a lot of emails. So my work is like today, sometimes I just go through, I’ll just give a quick scan of VMs today at 75 emails answered.
Guy: Like sometimes it’s crazy and that’s only touching that we have a garlic colleague. That’s great. And she’s, she gets such a volume as well. So, but you know, maybe just as the way it is, like it’s, it’s, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re always wanting, breathing to you get out there and breathing now is really, really harsh and it’s out there and yeah, it’s great. So I’m, I’m so fortunate. So, yeah. So tomorrow morning, I have no idea what time I have to fly to London and tomorrow evening and I’ve got a BBC interview on Thursday one bit to doctor of the house from China, four on Friday. And then I fly back on Saturday and I got flew in from Portland last night. So you can kind of get an idea of it
Guy: and you squeeze me in, in between. Yeah. That’s amazing. Did you have to do with like expect the success of your book? You actually have that advantage because I’ve been hearing that from everyone. I may like it, but I don’t know if it’s the circles I’m moving or, well if somebody told me 20 years ago so
Guy: that you would have trained instructors in about 40 countries and the oxygen advantage is going into 14 languages, I wouldn’t have believed them. That’s been honest. Ya. I have no idea that I would have never had an expectation that something, so you know that it’s probably because it just felt in a Nate, I’ve, I have a job that suits me and you know, my, my ability, I love the whole aspect of, you know, even talking in front of groups and trying to put the courses together, putting the research together, trying to stay on top of it. But it all becomes easy because you have an interest in it. Like it’s easy for me to pick up a book and it’s easy for me to read a paper and breathing because I looked the information. So I would never have guessed that it would, we would have had such an impact. It’s been huge. I’m very grateful first. It’s been great.
Guy: Yeah. Fantastic. Um, last question. If you could have dinner with anyone tonight, from anywhere in the world, in any time frame, what’d you think it would be and why? If I was, if I was
Guy: down for dinner genuinely, but somebody will be Ecker. Totally. Um, I’ve been a great fan of his work. I read his book first back in 2000, the power of now. And it was one book that I really, really talking on board. It was tremendous, you know, and he comes across as a very sincere and genuine individual. Um, and also when you’re listening to them, you get the presence and the space there. And you know, if you’re exposed to somebody who is in presence that their mind is present, it automatically brings you into presence. And a, you know, as human beings we talk and we communicate, but we never seem to consider water. We transmission that’s outside of the words. And there has to be some connectivity there. And I, you know, people could say, well, how can you prove it? Or is there science behind that? There’s no science because we probably will never be able to quantify everything. We don’t even know why we’re here. We don’t know the basic questions of, of life. So how can we quantify everything in science? There’s, there’s an intelligence that is way beyond that which the human mind could ever fathom and spirituality and the essence of the quietness of the mind. I think [inaudible] has done a tremendous job putting it out there. It really, really has. So yeah. So to, to people who are completely opposites of each other. An ego and a no ego.
Guy: Yeah. Yeah. No, I, that book’s tremendous. Had a huge impact on me when I read it as well. For sure. Um, is there anything else you’d like to add from everything we’ve covered today for the listeners to ponder on,
Patrick: like explore breathing and you can explore from a number of different point of views. And even if you were to read one article, read an article by Mark and it’s called slow breathing and basically because he kind of summarizes nicely the impact of the breath and what we can do bodily systems, which are disturbed by stress. You can have recover and individuals would say post traumatic stress disorder, asthma, COPT or [inaudible] syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, panic disorder, weak, you know, and then the athletes. So we have individuals coming in who are coming in very unwell, they’re doing Buteyko and elite athletes and we’re preparing some of the Australian national team for the Olympics. It’s your, your kayaking team for some of them have trained with us about three years ago and they’ve day have, they’ve been practicing, I haven’t been in touch with them now in awhile, but they did the course about three years ago and their instructors are trained in oxygen advantage so they apply it. So I would say to paper, you know, the power of the breath and it’s not just about taking the deep breath, it’s about really looking at the breath from three different perspectives, the biochemistry, the biomechanics and cadence breathing and you know, slowing it down to six breaths per minute. Breathing in and out through your nose breathing, using the die from breathing very lightly. So the best way to remember it is LSD, especially for those 1990s teenagers. So light, slow and deep breathing is the mantra.
Guy: Love it, love it. And you’re going to be in Australia soon if I’m not mistaken. So yeah, in a few weeks towards the end of March, towards the end of March.
Patrick: Yeah. So it’s uh, the 22nd 23rd 24th 25th rib, UTEC or, and then we have oxygen advantage. Then in the weekend following that. So, yeah, I always love going, getting over to Sydney. It takes me a while to climatize to the change of hours. Like it’s kind of strange. You’re eight 30 in the morning now and I’m there to 11 o’clock at night, so, or your nine 30 whatever, you know, it’s so cool. It’s a great country to go to and uh, yeah, I can see, I can see the draw.
Guy: Yeah. Brilliant. Well, anyone listening to this, if they pause it and scroll down, there’ll be links in the show notes if they want to come along, come along and check your workout. Sure.
Patrick: Thanks Guy.
Guy: Patrick, thanks so much for coming on today, mate. That was amazing. And, um, hopefully I’ll get to chat to you again at some stage for the sure.
Patrick: Of corse. Yeah.
Guy: Appreciate everything you’re doing. You’re welcome.