Breathing! It is the very first thing we do when we arrive in the world and the very last thing we do before we leave. It happens automatically 26,000 times a day without us even having to pay any attention to it, yet breathing is one of the only autonomic systems in our body that we can control – if we choose to.

Learn how to exhale, the inhale will take care of itself.

– Carla Melucci Ardito

In ancient traditions like Ayurveda breathing and breathwork – pranayama – has been practised for thousands of years for its fundamental role to healing and mind-body and spiritual health. Thankfully, western ‘science’ is finally catching up!

Every process in our body – from digesting food, moving muscles or even just thinking, needs oxygen. When these processes happen, carbon dioxide is produced as a waste product. Your lungs work autonomically to provide these processes with oxygen and to get rid of the waste gas, carbon dioxide… and getting this balance right for good health is critical.

Our thoughts, emotions, habits and lifestyle can all help or hinder our lungs to do their critical job effectively. But because we can breathe without consciously thinking about it, all too often, we forget about how we are breathing.

And it really does matter, because we react to every single situation in life with our breath and we have the power to choose how we respond to any given situation by controlling our breath. Amazingly, this can also affect how others will respond to us!

So, I’m excited to share this fascinating, inspirational and very accessible podcast from the Feel Better, Live More series, Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Brian MacKenzie (co-founder and President of the Health and Human Performance Foundation and Creative Director at Power Speed Endurance) cover many different themes.

They discuss the concept of carbon dioxide intolerance and what it means for our biology and our emotions; they also talk about optimising oxygen efficiency in our bodies and how doing so can help every single aspect of our lives – whether we want to improve our mental health, our focus, reduce stress or even increase our sporting performance.

We react to every single situation in #life with our breath and we have the power to choose how we respond to any situation by controlling our #breath Click To Tweet

But this is NOT a ‘breathing boffin’ podcast, Brian also shares:

  • how he nearly became paralysed in an accident
  • his unbelievable experience of voluntarily swimming with great white sharks
  • how he was able to control his response by harnessing the power of his breath
  • how he believes that through our breath, we can all discover who we really are and rid ourselves of the mental and societal constructs that prevent us from being free.

CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains swearing

Starting a breathing practice can feel confusing – where should you begin, what method should you use, are you doing it right? For Brian, breathwork is about giving it all a try, experimenting, learning and finding out what works for you.

Breathing affects your respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, muscular, and psychic systems, and also has a general effect on your sleep, memory, ability to concentrate, and your energy levels.

– Donna Farhi

If you are interested in further exploration of the benefits of breathing techniques, I recommend a visit to the Buteyko Breathing Centre website for detailed information and courses on this effective method for breathing retraining, useful in treating a range of conditions from asthma to sleep apnoea and more.

Resilient health is holistic health…

Our health is in our hands … WE make the decision to create the lifestyle changes that bring energy, vitality and resilient health… so let’s take the first step, however small, and walk purposefully and consistently towards those goals.

This post is part of my Immune Resilience Series – with this series, I’m making a commitment to my subscribers to provide helpful, evidence-based information and insights into what we can do with nutrition and lifestyle medicine to build immune resilience – the capacity of our immune system to respond to external challenges (such as the Covid-19 pandemic) and return to a healthy state of wellbeing.


If you’re struggling with stubborn weight gain, yo-yo dieting, hormonal or infertility problems, gut and digestive issues, stress or poor sleep; or want to tackle niggling health issues before they get out of hand, but don’t know where to start to feel more in control and less overwhelmed; or have a diagnosed, chronic, or degenerative health condition and need highly personalized and intensive support, you can be confident that a Femergy@40 Coaching Programme will help you.

Izabella Natrins

I'm here to inspire and support women at midlife and beyond to re-ignite purpose and meaning to take back control of their health and create the radical, resilient heath they want and deserve. As a whole-health expert with over 30 years experience in the field, a qualified Health and Wellness Coach and Ballymaloe-trained nutritional chef, my real food nutrition and lifestyle medicine programmes support women fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues. As an advocate for real food nutrition, regenerative agriculture and whole-health, my book 'The Real Food Solution' is an evidence-based treasury wisdom for energy, vitality and better health for people and planet and a call to action to change the way we grown, source and cook our food. As the CEO at The UK Health Coaches Association, I'm proud to continue the task of leading the first professional association for Health and Wellness Coaches in the world and the gold standard for the UK and Ireland.

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