I grew up with a clever rhyme about beans being a “magical fruit” due to the sounds they often produced after consumption.  Reflecting upon this still brings a chuckle but also is a reminder of how often flatulence, bloating, acid reflux and all sorts of bowel imbalances get normalized in American culture. In my practice, I often hear things like, “oh, this is just how I am” or “some amount of gas is normal, right?” In actuality, all of the above symptoms are signals that your digestion is less than optimal. Why does it matter? In short, poor digestion leads not only to discomfort and potentially embarrassing symptoms but also to systemic inflammation and can develop into more serious disease states. What can you do about it? While every individual is unique and is treated as such in clinic, what follows are a list of some common ways to optimize digestion on a day to day basis.

Build With Quality Raw Materials

Eat a balanced diet composed of fresh, organic vegetables (especially root veggies and dark leafy greens), fruits, nuts, seeds and grains along with grass fed or wild caught meats if you choose to eat meat. These foods provide nutrients for whole body health but also specifically B vitamins and minerals such as zinc and magnesium that are necessary for adequate production of stomach acid and proper assimilation of nutrients. Avoid conventionally grown (non -organic) foods along with processed foods and sugars as they often contain harmful pesticides and herbicides which are known to cause harm to the mucosa of your gut. This disruption of gut mucosa inhibits your ability to absorb nutrients and can further lead to autoimmune and more serious disease states. In addition, processed foods and sugars actually take more energy than they give, depleting your stores of B vitamins and minerals that are critical for normal digestion.

Simply Eat When You Eat

Let eating take center stage by settling down to nosh in a relaxed environment rather than eating while driving, standing or multi – tasking. Avoiding these activities when eating helps minimize the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn helps to regulate levels of stomach acid to ensure proper digestion.  Focus on chewing each bite thoroughly in order to maximize the digestive process that starts in your mouth. Allowing this mindfulness to continue after meals aids in attuning to foods that may provoke digestive upset and would be best avoided or prepared in alternate ways.

Drink Up Between Meals

Imagine concocting a rich, savory stew then pouring a bucket of ice water into it. Ridiculous right? But that’s what we, often unknowingly, do at mealtimes.  Drinking copious amounts of liquids with meals, reduces the production of stomach acid and dilutes the chemical soup of digestive enzymes, stomach acid and bacteria that aid in processing food. Shoot for drinking liquids in between meals in order to stay hydrated but not interfere with the digestive symphony at mealtime. If you desire to have a beverage with meals, choose one with digestive properties such as a cup of ginger or lemon tea, kombucha or occasionally a small amount of beer or wine. If you feel that you need a beverage to swallow your food this is often an indication that you are not chewing your food thoroughly enough.

Befriend Fermented Foods

Have you ever wondered why those little pickles, famously called cornichons, always end up with the charcuterie, the miso soup gets served before your favorite sushi or a bratwurst is often blanketed in kraut? Traditional cultures have long known that the secret to good digestion lies in a bacterial process. Fermented foods are fairly ubiquitous in various cultures, most commonly known in the above examples along with kimchi, yogurt, kefir, apple cider vinegar and kombucha. These fermented foods and beverages contain the trifecta of factors necessary for proper digestion: acid, enzymes and probiotics. In addition, the beneficial bacteria they contain, often known as probiotics, contribute to a balanced gut microbiome. Modern research has shown that a healthy microbiome is involved in normal function of just about every bodily system and helps regulate normal immune, hormone and stress responses as well as brain function. Want to embrace the power of these foods and beverages? Try adding ¼ to 1/2c cup of unpasteurized, fermented veggies or beverages to each meal and observe how you feel. If you notice that adding fermented food increases your digestive symptoms this is often a clue that you may have a bacterial imbalance that would best be corrected via acupuncture, herbs and dietary change.

Sprout It Out

Grains, nuts, beans and seeds all are contained in a convenient protective coating in order that they may survive until conditions are ripe for germination. If these foods are consumed before they have the opportunity to be sprouted, the protective outer coatings can cause digestive distress and inflammation due to the phytates and lectins they contain.  Once again, we take the nod from traditional culinary systems and see that sprouting these foods not only removes the protective coating with its inflammatory compounds but also improves nutrient assimilation by creating digestive enzymes. Sprouting is fairly easy to do but pre-sprouted products are also available in most health food stores and even some major grocery chains. If you’re keen to give sprouting or fermenting a try, a great resource is the cookbook, Nourishing Traditionsby Sally Fallon.

Aperitif anyone?

Digestive bitters, traditionally derived from plants such as gentian root, have long been utilized to improve digestion, often in pre- dinner cocktails. Their efficacy lies in the ability of the plants’ bitter compounds, once detected by taste buds, to signal a release of stomach acid enzymes, and bile thus priming the body for digestion. Prepared bitters are widely available in a variety of flavors but check to make sure they are free of artificial colorings or flavors. If you feel inspired, you can also make your own concoction.  And no booze is necessary to enjoy. Try a bit of your favorite bitters in a small amount of sparkling or still water with a wedge of citrus. Refreshing and effective!

Harness The Power of Herbs

Once again, we look to the wisdom of cultures past who have traditionally incorporated herbs and spices into daily cooking not only for their flavor but also for their digestive benefits. Chances are you may have some helpful medicine hiding out in your cupboard or fridge right now!  In fact, many commonly used herbs such as ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, black and red peppers, and various mints have powerful digestive properties. If you’d like to explore utilizing culinary herbs as medicine, a great resource is Alchemy of Herbsby Rosalee De La Foret.  This book provides great insight and recipes on how to incorporate common herbs into your diet and also speaks to the unique properties of each herb that may make them more suited to one type of person over the other. If this peaks your interest in utilizing herbs more intensively as medicine, keep in mind that practicing herbal medicine safely and effectively takes years of study. Therefore, it is best to seek guidance from a trained herbalist if you wish to incorporate more concentrated forms of herbs such as pills, powders or tinctures into your treatment regime. A trained professional can best assess what combination of herbs will best support your unique constitution and chief complaints.

Back Away From The Tums!

Antacids and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are often used to treat acid reflux or indigestion. Initially these might sound like a helpful solution as they can neutralize acidity but they in truth make reflux even worse. Here’s why: Adequate levels of stomach acid are crucial to breaking down food, in particular proteins and fats. When the pH of the stomach becomes more basic, food (especially proteins and minerals) will sit and essentially compost, creating heat that rises up in the form of bloating or reflux. In addition, low stomach acid levels leave your body more prone to pathogenic bacteria such as H. Pylori which can cause and exacerbate acid reflux. So instead of reaching for an antacid, focus on utilizing a fermented food or digestive bitters with each meal to help restore the proper balance of stomach acid and bacteria. Sometimes these measures are enough to correct reflux but more stubborn cases respond best to a regime of herbs, acupuncture and dietary change.

Give It a Rest

Minimize snacking between meals and stop eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow your digestive system a chance to rest and reboot. In addition, implementing periods of intermittent fasting of 12 or more hours per day has been shown to not only improve digestion but also to lower insulin and cortisol levels, improve mental clarity and help maintain healthy weight. If you are drawn to try intermittent fasting start slowly, fasting 8-10 hours per day between dinner and breakfast. If you do not experience weakness, headaches or dizziness you can increase the length of the fast slowly. Some patients report feeling their best fasting 14-16 hours per day, but every individual can have a different response to extended fasts. Please note that intermittent fasting is not indicated for everyone. If you are a diabetic, elderly, frail or have a history of eating disorders intermittent fasting is not advised without the supervision of a medical provider.

While this list contains only a handful of suggestions, even these can be overwhelming for some individuals. If you feel led to experiment with some changes, try integrating just one this week and observe how it impacts your digestion and overall well – being. Then try adding in other tools, one at a time. Many patients find it helpful to keep a journal in order to keep track of  strategies they’ve implemented along with the symptomatic changes they’ve observed. Finally, in all things the key to change is mindfulness. Keep paying attention and your body’s inherent wisdom will start to point you to lifegiving dietary rhythms and a more harmonious digestive system!

Soaking Up Summer’s Splendor

“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Like a carnival of color and activity, the Summer season sweeps in bringing luxurious growth, abundance and vigorous activity in the natural world!  In this time of warmth and plenty we also are invited to maximize our own growth, expansion and joy.

How can you best keep in step with the rhythms of summer and maximize your health? Check out the following to get started…



According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the sunny summer season is, perhaps not surprisingly, associated with the element of fire. What does this mean for us? The appropriate tilt of the earth and the resulting long, warm days give us a wonderful opportunity to reap some of the benefits, verified through research, of safe sun exposure during the short summer season…

  1. Boosting Vitamin D Stores– Technically a hormone, Vitamin D is essential for life and must be taken in via food or manufactured by the body during sun exposure. Adequate Vitamin D levels are necessary for supporting healthy bone, muscle and neurological function and provide powerful mood balancing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.  In just 30 minutes of midday summer sun exposure, the body can produce up to 50,000 IU of Vitamin D in a fair skinned person! In those with darker skin pigmentation, it may take up to 2-3 hours to produce the same amount of Vitamin D. Individuals with sun sensitivity, kidney or liver dysfunction or those engaged in shift work may have difficulty producing adequate Vitamin D and require supplementation. The same is true for those living 37 degrees north or south of the equator during winter months. If any of these apply to you, it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you consult a doctor for regular testing (every 3-6 months) and use a balanced Vitamin D supplement as needed. Why is testing important? Many individuals are deficient in Vitamin D and excess supplementation of Vitamin D can lead to toxicity via an increase of calcium in the blood and subsequently nausea, vomiting, weakness, frequent urination and kidney stones.
  2. Improving Heart Health- Sunlight stimulates the production of a chemical in skin called Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide helps to relax and dilate blood vessels and thereby lower blood pressure, which is one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease. No wonder we all feel more relaxed after a sunny getaway!
  3. Improving Immune Function – At latitudes closer to the equator where populations are exposed to more intense sunlight, rates of lymphoma, breast, prostate, colon and ovarian cancers as well as autoimmune conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and  Type 1 Diabetes are significantly lower than in populations living further from the equator with less sun exposure. Increased exposure to sunlight has also been linked to lower rates of  asthma as well as viral and bacterial infectious diseases. What great reasons to enjoy some summer rays and help support your immune system in the process!

Note: It is strongly recommended that after 20-30 minutes of midday sun exposure or your skin becomes flushed, to cover up if you’ll continue to be outside. If you’ll be uncovered while swimming for prolonged times choose a clean sunscreen that utilizes non-nano zinc oxide such as those found here. Most sunscreens commonly found at grocery or drug stores contain toxic chemicals that can cause cancer and negatively affect hormone function. Yikes!



“Cool as a cucumber” is an apt phrase when we consider food medicine in summertime. Cucumber, melon, lettuces, sprouts, berries and citrus fruits all contain high volumes of water which aids the body in cooling and detoxifying. Conversely excesses of meat, eggs, nuts, seeds and grains tend to cause sluggishness, fatigue and overheating. Therefore it is best to plan your meals around light, fresh and local produce if possible.  If you aren’t already growing some of these foods in your own garden, they are usually readily available at your local farmers market or farm stand. So get out and enjoy the healthy bounty of summer!



For many folks, when they think of cooling herbs, various mints might come to mind. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the incredible cooling effects of a glass of mint tea on a hot summer day….or more decadently some mint-chip ice cream! Why do we feel cooler when consuming mint? Mints contain a natural chemical called menthol that triggers cold-receptors in the body and thereby creates a cooling sensation.  Ahh!

Perhaps less well known, is the power of hot natured spices such hot peppers, cayenne, fresh ginger, horseradish and black pepper to cool the body. While this may sound counterintuitive, these potent herbs induce sweating, thereby cooling the body…and adding lots of flavor in the process! It’s also noteworthy that most culinary herbs contain powerful immune and digestive boosting components so try to include at least one of these on a daily basis to reap the benefits!



In TCM, the summer season is associated with the heart and the emotion of joy in particular. With the extended daylight hours and slower pace, this is an ideal time to reflect on and include activities and connections that energize and bring you joy. Why is this important? Research continues to affirm what many of us know intuitively, that how we spend our time and who we spend it with has a significant impact on our quality of life. So how can you build up your storehouse of joy that will keep giving in the seasons ahead? You might consider the following…


1.What activities make me feel alive and joyful and how can I purpose to include these in my life on a regular basis? This might be a favorite sport, art, craft, project, music, dance, outdoor adventures, gardening, inspirational books or podcasts, volunteer opportunities…


2.What people help me cultivate joy and contentment? How can I regularly plan to connect with these folks in meaningful ways such as book clubs, shared meals, weekly walks or spiritual enrichment groups?


3.How can I change my work or home space to create a more joyful and pleasant environment? You might consider; reducing clutter, adding houseplants, including inspirational artwork,  changing furnishings or detoxifying your space (for tips on how to get started explore here).


4.How can I incorporate a daily gratitude practice into my life? The posture of gratitude has been shown to be incredibly healing, cultivating perspective, contentment and renewed purpose. Try setting aside a few minutes of time in the morning, at a meal or before bedtime to reflect on and speak out what you are grateful for that day. You might also consider developing a written or art based gratitude journal. Having a visual record of things for which you are grateful can be especially helpful, hope inducing and inspiring to look back on in the midst of challenging seasons.



How will you choose to embrace

the invitations of summer today?!


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Spring Into Life!

Spring, glorious spring! … a time when the stored energy of winter rises up and bursts forth in a fantastic array of green shoots and colorful flowers. As animals awaken from their long winter naps or move on to summer territories we are also invited to awaken and begin a new season of growth!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the season of Spring is associated with the Gallbladder and Liver organs. The health of the liver in particular is critical  for proper detoxification, digestion, iron storage, blood sugar regulation as well as the production of cholesterol, protein and beneficial immune factors.  Read on to explore how you can best support these vital organs via food and lifestyle…



Nature once again provides a nod to what will best serve us this season as it springs forth in new growth. We can live in harmony with this example and feel our best by following the suggestions below and eating earlier in the day to allow for proper digestion during sleep.

  1. LOAD UP ON GREENSsprouts, salad and dandelion greens, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies are rich in phytochemicals that aid your body’s natural detoxification processes and aid digestion. If these are new to you, consider starting with a simple goal of including at least one fresh, green plant food each day. Many farmers markets are now open and are great sources of these nutrient dense foods. Sprouting kits are also easy ways to quickly grow your own greens at home!
  2. CHOOSE MINIMALLY COOKED AND RAW FOODCook food for a shorter amount of time such as steaming or water sauteeing to preserve its cleansing properties. Include at least a small amount of raw food in your diet daily unless you are prone to loose-stools. If you have trouble with digestion, consider implementing some suggestions in the link below.
  3. LEAN ON LEGUMES FOR PROTEIN – beans, peas and lentils are excellent sources of protein that also contain phytochemicals and high amounts of fiber which aid in removing toxins, feed beneficial gut bacteria, promote regular elimination and maintaining a healthy weight. Avoid excesses of nuts, oils, meats, sugars and alcohol which can make the liver and gallbladder sluggish, impeding digestion and detoxification pathways. Have trouble digesting beans? Be sure that you’re preparing them properly by starting with dry beans and soaking overnight or buying pre – sprouted products. Explore more info here to help optimize your digestion today!


In TCM, the liver and gallbladder are associated with the Wood element and the body’s tendons which are nurtured through movement. A traditional picture of the body and the Wood element in healthy states is that of flexible and resilient bamboo, bending and flowing with the wind. Similarly, we are invited to choose daily movements that promote flexibility, increase circulation and overall resilience. Focus on trying activities that bring you joy… perhaps sports, swimming, hiking, cycling, dance or a hike in nature.Purpose to set aside even a short window of daily activity to reap the benefits Need more suggestions to get started? Consider the following…

  1. START SMALL – If you’ve been sedentary for a while, be encouraged that even a 15 – minute walk has been shown to improve mood and mental clarity, lower blood pressure, relieve pain and improve digestion. Start with small increments of daily movement and increase as you are able!
  2. MASSAGE FOR THE SOLE – Foot massage is an easy and relaxing way to help increase circulation, support detoxification and bring balance to the whole body. Start by soaking your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes followed by rolling a tennis or golf ball to massage the soles of the feet- spending extra time in the liver and gallbladder areas in the center of the feet as pictured here.
  3. EXPLORE YOGA, TAI QI OR QI GONG – These ancient practices are all centered on balance, flexibility and flow and have a myriad of health benefits for mind, body and spirit. Most local gyms and YMCAs offer at least one type of these classes or you can explore classes online. Keep in mind that any postures or forms that involve gentle twists and  those that open up the hips and sides of the body are especially good at improving circulation to the liver and gallbladder.


A winter of being couped up, especially amidst a global pandemic, can be enough to leave many folks feeling stuck, frustrated or irritated. TCM acknowledges that these negative emotions can cause the liver and gallbladder to become overloaded and stagnant, potentially translating into physical symptoms such as headaches, poor digestion, hormone imbalance, weight gain, skin issues and overall feelings of dis-ease. In addition, to supporting these organs via food and movement, help to cultivate a mindset of kindness and peace  via the following…

  1. GET CREATIVE! Living with a creative intention shifts the focus from old and entrenched ways and leaves space for something new to be born. Work in harmony with the new life of Spring and start a garden or do some landscaping. You might also consider taking up a new art form, learning to play an instrument, exploring photography, trying a new recipe, building that project you’ve been putting off or wherever else you creativity leads. Creativity not only helps us feel better but also translates into greater productivity!

Intentional breath work is a powerful way to shift your overall well-being quickly.

Consider engaging in a simple practice of mindful breath work as follows…

WHILE INHALING SLOWLY: Focus on breathing in thoughts of possibility, kindness and peace

WHILE EXHALING COMPLETLY: Focus on intentionally releasing anger, frustration and stresses 

To explore mindful breathing techniques and to further understand the benefits of proper breathing read more here.

 3. CLEAN IT UP – Research indicates that folks living in clean and clutter – free environments report feeling happier, less stressed, more focused and energetic and reported more restful sleep. So this season is great opportunity to do that “Spring Cleaning” you’ve been putting off. If the prospect of cleaning a whole home is overwhelming, start small with one room, closet or drawer. Be mindful of the cleaning products you choose to use as many conventional products contain harmful allergens, carcinogens and hormone disruptors. This is also a great season to clean out your personal care products as they too often contain harmful chemicals.

Ewg.org offers helpful resources to aid in detoxing your cleaning regimes or get more information here for home detox tips and here for cleaning up your personal care routine. 




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The Power of Breath


To meditate with mindful breathing is to bring body and mind back to the present moment so that you do not miss your appointment with life.

– Thich Nhat Hanh


“When one gives undivided attention to the vital breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of pliancy, he can become as a tender babe.”


If you had access to a FREE TOOL that could help induce states of calm, improve your overall health and well – being today and prevent disease would you use it?

If the answer is yes then…

 Breathe in- 2-3-4-5 and out-2-3-4-5 … and again…and again…

Breathing is essential for life and therefore we are designed to do it automatically, without thinking. However, we also have the ability to consciously change our respiration with intention.



Ancient Chinese, Indian and Greek texts are replete with the importance of proper breathing for vibrant health. Likewise, old spiritual traditions have long known that the key to unlock states of calm, greater awareness and connectivity is through mindful breathwork. Essentially the ancients knew that improper breathing prevented healing and was a precursor to disease…or dis-ease. Conversely, mindful breathwork was universally understood as a powerful and immediate way to change the mind and improve overall health immediately. If you didn’t catch that incredibly significant bit here it is again…


Ok, you might say, that worked for the ancients, but we live in a modern world full of technological advances. Is mindful breathing still important today?  Let’s explore what the research suggests…



It seems that what was once true is still true when it comes to the power of breath in maintaining and improving health. Modern research studies have revealed that utilizing ancient breathing practices can provide a myriad of health benefits that include; decreasing stress, relieving anxiety and depression, preventing panic attacks, improving quality of sleep and relieving apnea, improving lung function and reducing or relieving asthma, lowering blood pressure, regulating abnormal heart rhythms, improving immune, digestive and cognitive function, maintaining healthy weight, regulating hormones, increasing athletic performance and decreasing pain.




Our noses are incredible organs that are designed to warm, filter and humidify air to condition it before arriving in our lungs. This helps to protect our delicate lungs from airborne pathogens and SIGNIFICANTLY improves breathing efficiency. Unfortunately, many of us tend to breathe through our mouths while waking or sleeping. Why does this matter? Mouth breathing shrinks our airways, dries out the mucosal membranes in our throats and exposes our lungs to cold, unfiltered air and harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.

  • Nasal breathing provides 20% more oxygen as compared to mouth breathing!
  • Nasal breathing has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Nasal breathing can help to reduce the incidence of snoring and sleep apnea
  • Nasal breathing stimulates the production of Nitric oxide which sterilizes the air, dilates airways and enhances the o2 taken up by the blood
  • Nitric oxide, which is produced via nasal breathing is antiviral and currently the subject of COVID-19 trials
  • Nasal breathing helps to maintain open airways and proper facial bone structure. Conversely, mouth breathing changes the shape of our faces, causing airways to close

In our stressed – out modern worlds, many of us are stuck in chronic over breathing patterns. Over breathing throws off the delicate oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) balance which is necessary to induce states of calm and to properly oxygenate every cell in the body. Spending more time in exhalation allows levels of carbon dioxide to build up which might sound harmful BUT without adequate levels of C02 in our body we will never fully thrive. Why?

  • In a process is known as the Bohr Effect (named after Nobel Prize winning physicist Christian Bohr who discovered it) C02 is necessary to offload 02 from the blood to be used by the cells. More specifically, hemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood to the cells and C02 must be present to cause the release of O2 in the blood into the cells.
  • CO2 dilates the smooth muscles in the walls of the airways and blood vessels to increase breathing efficiency and blood flow to all areas of the body. This results in increased O2 delivery to all bodily tissues and organs, and has been shown to improve asthma, heart and skin conditions, improve athletic performance and even help to dissolve fat
  • When we over breathe, less O2 is released to the muscles and tissues and they work less effectively and efficiently. It is noteworthy that over breathing for just a few minutes can reduce blood flow to the brain by 40%!
  • Adequate levels of C02 ensure adequate O2 levels which regulates a neutral blood pH, a necessity to promote cell life
  • Adequate levels of CO2 are necessary to produce calming neurotransmitters and human studies reveal that long slow exhalations increase CO2 and helps to prevent panic attacks!

Not only is thorough chewing essential for proper digestion, it is vital for the formation of healthy airways and dentition. Skeletal records show that as little as 400 years ago, before the advent of braces, human skulls had completely straight teeth, broad faces and well – defined jaws. Records show that the diet of ancient civilizations included large amounts of fibrous vegetables, nuts, seeds animal matter and ligamentous animal protein that required a significant amount of chewing. Compare that to a standard modern diet that is highly processed, soft and fiber poor which results in a need to chew very little. What affects does chewing less have upon our health?

  • Chewing causes the release of stem cells in the skull that help to build new bone in the face, resulting in better jaw alignment, improved head posture, wider and stronger airways and a more youthful and balanced appearance. Contrary to previously thought, humans are capable of regenerating facial bone well into their 70s and possibly beyond
  • Breast fed babies have a significantly lower incidence of crooked teeth, snoring and sleep apnea as compared to bottle fed babies. This is due to the increased positive stress of chewing and sucking during breast feeding that does not occur with bottle feeding
  • Lack of chewing can lead to facial bone loss which results in not only “sagging” faces but also airway obstruction as the soft tissues in the throat have less bone to attach to, often resulting in increased incidences of snoring and sleep apnea
  • Chewing gum (especially harder varieties like mastic gum) and a variety of palate expanders have also been shown to build facial bone, even in adults. To explore the latter, contact a dental professional who specializes in functional orthodontics.




Maximize your breathing efficiency by focusing intentionally on nose breathing even for just a few minutes at a time. You may choose to do this while on a walk or during a prayer or meditative practice. You might also begin to simply observe yourself throughout the day and notice how often you find yourself breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. If you have trouble breathing through your nose, you can explore the resources listed below for tools. Both books offer simple techniques that may be helpful in clearing your nose. If these are not helpful you might consider booking an appointment with Dr. Schmidt to assess possible causes of nasal obstruction and treatment via acupuncture, herbs and lifestyle change.


There are limitless ways to do this, but you may start by experimenting with either of the following commonly used patterns…

  • EXHALE MORE FOR GREATER CALM – experiment with a breathing cadence that focuses more time in exhalation. Try inhaling to a count of 4 and exhaling to a count of 6 or longer. Experiment with extending your exhalations with the intention of fully emptying the lungs of breath
  • EXPLORE THE OPTIMAL CADENCE – 5.5 -6 BREATHS/MINUTE – try breathing in for 5-6 seconds and exhale for 5-6 seconds for several minutes. This pattern has been shown to be the most efficient breathing rhythm with a myriad of health benefits and is interestingly the cadence of many ancient mantras and prayers such as the Catholic rosary.

Be a curious observer of yourself and pay attention to how experimenting with different breathing practices affects your physiology either through subjective observation or with the use of a tool.

  • SUBJECTIVELY – after several minutes of breathing you may note increased feelings of calm, sensations of warmth, a rosy color in the cheeks, reductions in tension and pain or increased saliva in the mouth. All of the above are signs that your nervous system is shifting into a calming parasympathetic state, where healing, rest and proper digestion can occur!
  • VIA TECHNOLOGY – Want to measure the physiological changes mindful breathing makes? Consider using a simple and easily accessible tool such as a blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter or a heart rate variability monitor. Take a measurement before beginning a breathing practice and then again after 5 or more minutes of practice and observe the differences.



WANT TO LEARN MORE? Check out the following resources full of research references and practical tools…

Krasowski, J. A. (2020). Breath, The new science of a lost art: by James Nestor, New York, NY, USA, Riverhead Books.

McKeown, P. (2015). The Oxygen Advantage: The simple, scientifically proven breathing technique that will revolutionize your health and fitness. Hachette UK.


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