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Patrick McKeown TedX: Shut your Mouth and Change your Life

Decongest your nose, increase your body temperature and activate your bodies relaxation response in three to four minutes by simply altering your breath. Author of The Oxygen Advantage, Patrick McKeown guides a TEDx audience to do just that. Patrick is a world renowned expert in the Buteyko Breathing Method and author of 8 best selling books including (his latest) The Oxygen Advantage, Close Your Mouth, Asthma Free Naturally, Anxiety Free: Stop Worrying and Quieten Your Mind, Sleep with Buteyko. An Irishman, Patrick is based in Galway, and travels and lectures extensively around the world. He is Director of Education at the world's foremost Buteyko Breathing Method Clinic, The Buteyko Clinic International, and has trained hundreds of Buteyko practitioners since 2003.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


# Shut your Mouth and Change your Life | Patrick McKeown | TEDxGalway - YouTube


## Transcript:

- ([00:11]( so my wife when she goes out you know she sometimes talking with work colleagues and they ask her the question and they say what does your husband do for a living and she said he teaches people how to breathe and of course this is usually met with some laughter at my expense because in terms of health priorities and in terms of what we can do to empower ourselves breathing doesn't come atop the list an extra fact usually breathing doesn't even come in the list but what if I was to say to you that through your bread you can influence to

- ([00:46]( 100,000 miles of blood vessels throughout your body you can influence the amount of oxygen that's delivered to your cells you can open up and decongestant O's you're going to open up the lower Airways you can achieve a stage of calmness in a state of anxiety how you breathe as a child determines how you look for the rest of your life and I'm really curious to see have you ever considered how you breed a show of hands how many of you here have taken a deep breath to help with stress so it's quite

- ([01:24]( a few of you and I'd like you to demonstrate this deep breath for me how would you normally take this deep breath so in order to take this one step further how do we actually breed when we're stressed and I need your engagement here because I don't have all the answers but when you're stressed does you're breathing it faster or does it get slower do you breed using your upper chest or your diaphragm when you're stressed does your breathing get more noisier or does it get quieter when

- ([02:03]( you're stressed do you breathe through your nose or through your mouth when you're stressed often through the mouth do you breathe more or do you breathe less when you're stressed more take that deep breath again from me so what you've just done is you've taken a faster breath and noise your bread a larger bread it's often threw them out and you're expecting that to calm you down and I know what is taught by Manny yoga studios Manny Pilates many physiotherapists many stress counselors many psychologists and

- ([02:42]( as one guy said to me a few years ago he said Patrick he says they couldn't have all got it wrong I says I think they have they've all got it wrong because to bring the body from a state of stress into relaxation it doesn't make sense to amplify how you are already breathing instead of breathing faster we need to breathe slowly instead of breathing breathing using the upper chest we need to breed using the diaphragm instead of breathing through the mouth we need to breathe using the nose instead of breathing more

- ([03:15]( we need to breathe less and the nose is the first step because the nose is not just the two holes in your face back in the 1970s a very famous ear nose and throat consultants dr. Marrs Cottle he said that the human nose is responsible for 30 functions in the human body this is not just filtration this is not just warming the air but there's a gas released into the nasal cavity called nitric oxide nitric oxide sterilizes the incoming air nitric oxide opens up the airways and nitric oxide enhances the amount of

- ([03:54]( oxygen that's taken up in the blood when Hollywood is doing a film of an idiot how do they usually portray the idiot as a map reader or as a news reader she usually is a map reader the mouth is hanging open that's no coincidence I was a map reader for many years I know too well the effects of it in terms of concentration focus sleep that's all influenced by how you breed and as as babies we were born breathing through the nose it's an innate natural function of the human being to breathe through

- ([04:29]( the nose but we know from studies that 50% of her children are breathing through the mouth and probably the same goes for adults all animals can you imagine the tens of thousands of species on animals on earth and their innate nasal breeders okay the dog is an exception but only the dog on a hot day will have its match open at all other times the dog actually breeds through its nose so there's tens of thousands of species on earth breathing through their noses except a human being and this face here is characteristic of what you would

- ([05:06]( consider a good-looking face it's got a broad facial feature straight nose well-developed jaws the jaws are forward in the face high cheekbones there dies this illustration I took this from an Irish international footballer I sent a photograph of him over to my illustrator and I said I said copy him but I said don't make it too obvious this guy has got good Airways his jaws are well forward in the face when you were watching Connacht you will see plenty of good facial profiles because you're not

- ([05:42]( going to get onto that squad if you're going around with your mouths open as a child because mouth breathing changes the whole shape of the face and I'm not just talking about Crockett eat this is a typical expression of mouth breathing and I have some of these expressions because I had my own mouth open my nose is slightly bent because my aren't forward enough my top jaw was very narrow that's why I'm wearing braces at the age of 42 you could say it's 30 years too late my lower jaw said

- ([06:14]( back when we have the mouth open the whole face sinks downwards because the ideal expression is with the mouth closed that the tongue is resting in the roof of the mouth the tongue is wide and the tongue is u-shaped and as we're growing up as a kid that pressure is exerted by the tongue influence the width of the face all my operators developed crooked teeth and you could wait until the child is 12 and have to teach straightens but I'm going to tell you this straight teeth do not create a good looking face but a good-looking

- ([06:51]( face create straight teeth and I was a map reader because I had asthma and we have a half a million people in Ireland with asthma five million people in the UK 20 million in the USA when we have asked me we feel that we're not getting enough air into her lungs and as I grew up I remember wheezing and wheezing and fighting for bread and no matter how hard I breed I still felt I wasn't getting enough air and I never realized it at the time that my breathing was feeding back into my condition but I developed a habit of mouth breathing

- ([07:32]( over breathing and breathing too much and because I breed too much during the day I breed too much during my sleep and I was not just a snorer no no no I could be heard two rooms down two rooms away and there's a 20 year old your romance life isn't too promising if you have that carry on going on but not only - snoring and disrupted sleep because of my mouth breathing during the day I was exhausted in school we have hundreds of thousands of people would incorrect breathing habits that we've developed is

- ([08:10]( ruining quality of life and nobody is telling us breathe through the nose and breathe in 1997 I read an article in an Irish newspaper it was about the work of a Russian doctor he said two things he said breathe through your nose and he said breathe less I started practising his exercise my asthma improved by about 60 to 70 percent in one week that was after having asthma for 20 years that was been going to consultants in and out of hospital going to medical doctors every three months my sleep improved I started waking up alert it's

- ([08:49]( not just the quantity of sleep that it's important the quality is absolutely vital if you're going around with your might open during the day if you're sleeping with your match open during your sleep you're not waking up alert and I made some bold claims at the start of this I said that we can influence your blood vessels through your breath I said that we can enhance the amount of oxygen delivered to the cells through your breath and I said it wasn't about taking a deep breath it was about doing

- ([09:19]( the opposition so it was a group of people I really need you to help me here I want you to practice it and I want to see as a group can we influence your body temperature in just a few minutes through your breathing because if you know your body temperature is trade changing you know your blood circulation is changing and of course your blood carries oxygen and oxygen is king so as I get to put one hand on your chest and I'd like you to put one hand on your navel and I need you to tune in to your breathing I need you to take attention

- ([09:53]( out of the mind onto your breaths I need you to feel the slightly colder air coming into your nose and I need you to feel the slightly warmer air leaving your nose I need you to feel the slightly colder air coming into your nose and I need you to feel the slightly warm air leaving your nose and what I'd like you to do is to start slowing down your breath almost to the point you're not breathing that you're slowing down the speed of air as it enters and leaves your nostrils that your quietening your

- ([10:28]( breaths that your deliver really reducing the amount of air that you're taking into your lungs that you're breathing now is less than it was before you started and I need you to feel slightly breathless I want you to feel the same way as if you're going for a walk because unless you feel breathless it's not going to work now I'll know by your eyes if you're doing it or not so I would really love your cooperation with this as a group of people can we change your body temperature slow down your breath

- ([10:58]( Lao su is a famous Chinese philosopher he said that the perfect person breeds as if they do not breed can you breed as if you do not breed that we cannot see any movement we cannot hear any breathing that your breathing is so soft that the fine hairs within the nostrils do not move your breathing is so quiet your breathing is so calm your breathing is so light and I'd like it to take a rest there for a moment and the next exercise I'm going to have you do is a very simple exercise but if any of the females are pregnant I just ask you just

- ([11:38]( not to do it but other than - I like its take a small breath in through your nose a small breath out through your nose and pinch your nose now this is a real photo opportunity now start nodding your head up and down and hold your breath until you feel a medium to strong our hunger and I need you to continue holding your breath continue holding your breath and continue nodding your head up and down continue holding your breath continue nodding your head up and down when you feel a strong need for air let go and

- ([12:05]( breathe through your nose and now go back to doing the reduce breathing again for a couple of minutes and I know it's taking you a few minutes but I want to leave you with something can you influence your blood circulation through your breathing so again with one hand on your chest one hand just above your navel I need you to tune in to the breath and take attention out of the mind onto your breaths and if you find that your mind wanders a lot you'll get so much out of this because focusing on the breath and quietening your breathing

- ([12:39]( is an excellent way of anchoring the mind the whole purpose of med patien is to breed lightly we buy passage we just go directly to the bread and start slowing down your breathing I want you to breathe so softly almost as if the fine hairs within the nostrils do not move that you have no breathing movements I really need you to diminish the amount of air that your taking into your lungs I really need you to feel as if you're going for a walk that you feel breathless that you're quietening your breath your calming your breath what

- ([13:13]( happens your body when you deliberately breathe less and slow down your breathing what happens your body temperature what happens the nose what happens the amount of saliva in your mouth and we've continued that for two minutes but to really make this an experiment I need you to have that air shortage for the next couple of minutes you're slowing down the Brett York whitening the Bret you're breathing so lightly through your nose so soft so slow so quite so still if your mind wanders off bring your attention back

- ([13:52]( onto the bright soft under breath quite in the breath you could exert gentle pressure with your hands against your chest and told me to create a slight resistance but above all I need you to feel slightly breathless it shouldn't be stressful but I need you to feel that tolerable need for air okay take a rest at - thanks very much a couple of questions and I would love to get your feedback is there any change in your body temperature colder warmer the same warmer dry changing the amount of Slive in the mouth less more or the same more

- ([14:31]( saliva your noses some of you with nasal congestion may find out that you're breathing a little bit easier you can block one nostril and breathe through a block to your nostril and breathe through it when you get stressed how does your mouth go dry it's activating the sympathetic or what's called a sympathetic nervous stage a stress response by deliberately slowing down your breathing you have to counteract stress we will all face stress in our lives stress makes people sick stress changes breathing breathing increases and blood

- ([15:04]( vessels constrict that's why we can't think straight when we're stressed and then we take the deep breaths and what would happen if you kept on taking that deep breath how does your head feel dizzy lightheaded you sleep with your mouths open all night you wake up exhausted the key here is that we're breathing this is more because those people with asthma those people who want to wake up with more energy those people who need more focus those of you who want your children to grow up a beautiful faces and for sports oxygen is

- ([15:44]( king we get more oxygen to the cells and through the bread we can simulate high altitude training to bring athletes three miles high through their breathing the breathing is all powerful and how it has been taught for decades has been very misleading doctors have said to their patients for years they've said to eat less eat less food the next health revolution is to breathe less you


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