The Power Of Breath As Medicine

Episode 520 1h 1m
Topics Overview


The way we breathe impacts everything from how well we sleep to our metabolism, cognitive function, immunity, and more. That’s why it’s so alarming that most of us are doing it wrong. Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I talk all about the science and evolution of how we breathe, and how to get better at it, with James Nestor. Breathing predominantly through the nose has a much different impact on our health than breathing through the mouth; we get 25% more oxygen by breathing in through the nose. Yet, most of us have become mouth breathers. We learn why that is and how evolution has changed the structure of our jaws and airways, relating to the epidemic of crooked teeth, respiratory issues, sleep disturbances, and blood pressure imbalances that we see so much of today. James was part of a Stanford University experiment where his nasal cavities were plugged and he was forced to breathe only through his mouth for 10 days. He immediately experienced many of the health issues mentioned above, which reversed when he could begin nasal breathing again. You might be surprised to learn how lung function is related to longevity. James shares that larger lungs equal a longer lifespan. The really exciting part is that this is something we can affect. Exercise and breathwork are two powerful tools at our disposal to “work out” our lungs and enhance our healthspan in the process. We also get into the topic of stress. Breathing is foundational for reducing stress and regulating the parasympathetic nervous system. James shares one of the easiest variations of breathwork we can all do throughout the day to slow down and feel better. Breathing is one of the most basic of functions yet most of us aren’t doing it right. This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, BiOptimizers, and InsideTracker. Rupa Health is a place where Functional Medicine practitioners can access more than 2,000 specialty lab tests from over 20 labs. You can check out a free, live demo with a Q&A or create an account at BiOptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough formula contains seven different forms of magnesium, all of which have different functions in the body. Go to and use code hyman10 at checkout for 10% off your next order. InsideTracker is a personalized health and wellness platform like no other. Right now they’re offering my community 20% off at

Topics Covered

  • Why breathing is so important to our overall health


  • Using breath to boost your immune system and break stress


  • James’ personal health issues that led him to study breath


  • Why breathing through your nose is better than breathing through your mouth


  • The benefits of mouth taping at night


  • Nasal breathing tips and techniques


  • Ancient lost arts of breathing


  • Lung capacity and aging


  • Breathe like your ancestors


  • What is kundalini?


1 of 10

Host & Guests

Back to Content Library
Ep. 520 - The Power Of Breath As Medicine