The Primal Pioneer Podcast teaches you how to improve the environment you live, work, and exercise in so you can achieve optimal health. Heathar’s leading-edge teachings and expert interviews with integrative health professions teach you the most effective, simple yet deeply transformative solutions to overcoming and preventing every chronic disease today. You’ll walk away from this podcast feeling invigorated, inspired, and confident about your body’s incredible and natural ability to heal!
Mouth Breathing: One of the Most Underplayed Health Problems Today
Today, I want to talk about a topic that has huge implications for our health, yet is very underplayed - mouth breathing. In episode 30 of the Primal Pioneer, I share my knowledge around mouth breathing, and the dangers around this. I also want to dive into why so many of us have made it our predominant way of breathing, and how you can overcome it.
But before we dive right in, let me introduce myself in case this is your first visit. I am your host, Heathar Shepard and I am incredibly passionate about helping people JUST LIKE YOU find the health and happiness they truly deserve.
Besides being an alternative healer and integrative health coach, I’m also a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor who struggled for 10 years until I discovered the MOST important factor for overall health: the environment we live and work in. And in The Primal Pioneer, I share what 98+% of doctors don’t tell you (or don’t even know!) about true health and wellness. You’ll learn about the importance of sunlight, as well as the foods and eating cycles that heal the root causes of chronic disease. And in an age dominated by technology, you’ll discover how EMF mitigation can drastically improve your life.
Everyone has their healing journey with their unique struggles...but I’m here to give you all the tools you need to make that healing happen!
So if you’re ready to learn more about mouth breathing and the overlooked health concerns around it, then keep reading! And for even more details, listen to ALL of episode 30 of The Primal Pioneer on your favorite streaming platform.
Mouth Breathing, Point #1: We need to look further into why someone would develop a mouth breathing pattern, this is one of the most overlooked causes of many of our health disorders today.
We have to start from breastfeeding - of course, there are many benefits to breastfeeding. You may be wondering what this has to do with mouth breathing, stick with me and it’ll make sense. The many benefits of breastfeeding include enhanced immunity, the necessary bond between mother and baby, positive stimulating neurochemicals, and breastfeeding lays the foundation for one’s hormone and metabolic health throughout life. If you’ve been breastfed, the longer you are breastfed, you have these hormones and metabolic signals in place that are very beneficial and will be used throughout your life.
These are the essential life-giving side effects of breastfeeding. One huge positive to breastfeeding is the development of jaw muscles. Newborns are using the muscles of the jaw of their mouth to breastfeed, this is crucial to their development and anatomical structure. The single act of breastfeeding allows for the solid health-supportive structure between the top of the ear down to the chin. The more solid and the anatomical structure, the better one can breathe. It all starts by developing the jaw muscles during breastfeeding. We don’t often think about how nose breathing can help us fend off pathogens and infections. Studies have shown where people who engage in mouth breathing become more susceptible to sinus infections and pathogens increasing in the nasal cavity. As soon as they switch to nose breathing, pathogens can leave the body.
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Mouth Breathing, Point #2: We don’t want to be sleeping with our mouths wide open.
Here’s an interesting thing, you’ll notice babies often sleep with their mouths open. Some kids and adults do as well, we can help break this habit. It’s a matter of a trained muscular response we develop, but we want to retrain how this occurs. Maybe you have a baby who's done it or have seen a baby falling asleep with their mouth open. This fuels and feeds mouth breathing. As a mother, we want to break this habit in our kids by simply closing the baby’s mouth while they are sleeping.
This may sound cruel to some of us modern people but it’s important to note that Native Americans and indigenous cultures took this very seriously. They would stay up, observe their babies while they were asleep. If the mouth was open, they would gently close it shut so they could start learning how to breathe through their nose. Laying a foundation to nose-breathe from birth strengthens muscles of the throat, mouth muscles, also emphasizes one to be a nose breather throughout their life, which we want to aim for.
Mouth Breathing, Point #3: The more we chew, the better breathers we become. Our jaws become strong, the palate can be wide, which opens up nasal passageways.
It is so important for our jaws to be used throughout our life to fuel our health. The more we chew, the better breathers we come. This is because our jaws are getting strong, the palate can be wide, which opens the nasal passageways and allows us to nose-breathe versus breathe through our mouth. Mouth breathing is one of the most detrimental things you can do for your health. If you notice yourself at night sleeping with your mouth open or checking your email and have the long drooping mouth, start paying attention to this and be more aware of your breathing.
Adults today, even if you grew up and you weren't breastfed or had a predominant soft foods diet, you can still work on this. You have the ability to build bone and muscle in your jaw simply by chewing more and training yourself to be a nose breather. These things set the stage to be a mouth breather when we aren’t breastfed, fed soft foods through adulthood, jaw muscles weaken and have incredible health implications. Like the popular saying, If you don’t use it, you lose it. This pertains to our jaws and chewing. Chew more, take time when you’re at the table. Take into consideration the diets of our ancient ancestors, they didn’t have mac and cheese or pizza and all these soft foods. They’d go out, hunt animals, they did a lot of chewing.
Hi, I am Heathar
With over 12 years experience as an alternative healer, integrative health coach and one who has been through severe physical injury trying every remedy under the sun to heal myself with no avail…I’m here to tell you, all of those things are not only attainable but are foundational to achieving optimal health and are core elements to overcoming all chronic and stubborn diseases.
At the age of 23 I suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) preventing me from the ability to engage in physical activity for over 12 years post my car accident. Today, I know I could have recovered from this injury much quicker if I had known then what I know now! But….the accident lead me down the healing path. A path that I was destined to take to help myself heal and to learn how to help others heal complicated and chronic disorders as well.
During this time, I learned two things: How to harness the healing power of sunlight and how to utilize frequency based medicine to facilitate biological transformations in the body - all the way down to the mitochondrial level.
Today, I lead an active life and you can bet I’m uber passionate about teaching others how they can overcome even the most daunting health experiences that most medical professionals have band-aid solutions for, at best.
And today, my health continues to improve each day and I now lead an active, healthy lifestyle - all of which I thought would never be possible to achieve again. All it took was discovering the most effective path to health and healing to get me there and now, to help my clients get there as well!
Mouth Breathing, Point #4: Braces are a really bad idea - they tighten the jaw, narrow the nasal pathways, and fuel mouth breathing.
If we don't breastfeed and give a soft food diet, ultimately we find that our kids' teeth grow crooked. Then what do we do? We bring the kid to the orthodontist, and here come the braces. I’ve heard some holistic orthodontists predict that the profession will one day be viewed as one of the biggest contributions to modern disease and respiratory disorders. That’s not to be taken lightly, braces are such a bad idea. We have to try to prevent this and the need for this, if your child’s teeth aren’t that bad, I would encourage you to not rush into an orthodontist. Talk to a holistic dentist if anything, braces tighten the jaw, narrow the jaw, the nasal pathways, this only fuels mouth breathing in really big ways.
What happens is once the child gets braces, they become more susceptible to sinus infections, they can’t breathe, they’re susceptible to asthma and developing scoliosis. It's a very interesting correlation between mouth breathing and scoliosis. Having the braces tightened narrowed all these important anatomical structures in the body, ultimately weakening the bone structure and immune system. This is detrimental, if you have braces it’s a given you will have wisdom teeth removed. It’s such a common practice, that is trying to make the jaw wider and nasal passages wider. You should try to be able to keep the wisdom teeth in, and do other things to expand the palate and the jaw so that the wisdom teeth can be in there and not cause crowding.
The Bottom Line of Mouth Breathing: One of the Most Underplayed Health Problems Today
What do you do to start training yourself to overcome mouth breathing and be more of a nose breather? First of all, bring your attention to how you breathe throughout your day. Breathe through your nose as often as you can. Just by nose breathing, you will be improving the strength of your nasal passageways, your jaw muscles, and you will expand on the space down in the throat. This is huge when it comes to improving your immunity as well as how your cells use oxygen and carbon dioxide more efficiently.
If you enjoyed this episode, I would appreciate it if you took one minute to rate and review. Each review helps more people just like you learn the deeper truths about health, healing, and what’s driving our epidemic rates of poor health today. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of the episode, share it on your Instagram stories, and tag me @sunlight_rx. Thanks for tuning in and see you next week!
Episode Resources & Useful Links
Breath by James Nestor: an amazing read and deep dive into mouth breathing vs nasal breathing and how to improve your breathing to support your health.
Breath Work Classes Take a weekend workshop to improve your breathing by visiting www.artofliving.org
Free on-line Tummo breath work sessions with Chuck McGee - a Wim Hof method instructor - every Monday evening at 9pm Pacific Time.
Here’s a video of Dr Weil demonstrating a 4-7-8 breathing exercise to help with relaxation, regulation of blood pressure, improve sleep and decrease anxiety levels.
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