Take Your Breath Away

From the little I know about this man I guessed that he bought copies of his own book to get on the bestseller list. I can’t understand the hysteria. My library app is weird because it has a limited number of copies of certain books. So you have to put them on hold if they are popular. The estimated wait time on this one was 4 months! I got it in 2 months. I guess a lot of people returned it early like I did. I couldn’t finish it even though it was an audio and I could have just left it on in the background. I couldn’t do it. It was that offensive.

He tells you he was born with a V shaped palate which pushed into his nasal cavity and has caused him breathing problems most of his life. He then projects his deformity onto all of humanity, going back to when man first started farming and eating soft food which caused this “de-evolution” of the face muscles. This gave me pause but I gave the book a chance because I was still interested in the subject of breathing and the effects it can have on the mind and body.

He says he spent ten years on this book. It shows. It is very well researched. The problem for me was he mixed the science with pseudoscience and anecdotal evidence in a flashback form of writing. All of which left me confused and angry.

He started by talking about free divers breathing which made sense because they practice to expand their lungs to take in more air and air is our fuel so we are healthier. That sounds like a good way to breathe. Then he got weird with his math and the perfect breathing being 5.5 seconds per breath, 5.5 times per minute. The numbers worked but I think he went backwards. I think he did the math first and then said it was the perfect way to breathe. He wasn’t very clear on that. Then he had the 3rd perfect way to breathe. This was most unseemly. He says we have to starve our bodies of oxygen to get our carbon dioxide levels up because everyone is actually suffering from a CO2 deficiency! He ended up giving himself a runner’s high in a matter of minutes and almost passing out. He took that as proof of his theory.

I”m saving the best part of the book for last. He used it in the beginning. It seems he and his buddy each paid a college $6K of their own money to be in a “study” on breathing. They plugged up their noses and only breathed through their mouths for ten days to see if it was a bad idea. What do you think? Do you think we even need our noses for anything?

I put “study” in quotes because I don’t believe there was a “study.” I think they spent their money testing supplies for blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, etc… And renting a studio apartment in San Francisco for the duration. They never mentioned any practitioners visiting them in their home where all this took place and they even had to make many different attempts finding the right way to block their noses. I think a lot of this book was fiction disguised as non fiction.

I got so angry about halfway through I stopped the book and returned it to the library so I wouldn’t have to listen to another word. Then the next day I rode my bike 20 miles, only breathing through my nose and I didn’t gasp for air or even break a sweat. I was pushing hard the whole time. This was something he claimed no ordinary human could do. It should have left me delirious on the side of the road. Because I hadn’t been trained in his specialized breathing techniques.

If you can figure out which bestselling book this is I would advise you to skip on to another.

2 thoughts on “Take Your Breath Away

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