Cover Image: The Breathing Cure

The Breathing Cure

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Member Reviews

I found The Breathing Cure by Patrick McKeown interesting. The topic of breath work seems to be very popular at the moment. The author describes various types of breathing and the associated benefits. I’m not sure I’ll put much of this into practice, but I did enjoy reading how breathing can affect things like stress and our overall health.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book.
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This is such a great book about the power of breath work. As part of taking care of our health we can establish breathing routines to help us with stress, anxiety, depression, and all kinds of things. There are different types of breathing and the author explains all the kinds of breath work. A great book that I will definitely continue to reference and ensure I focus on my breathing. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC.
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Thanks to the author, publishers Humanix Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

I did not finish this book, although I don’t regard it as a typical DNF. My interactions with this book were to use it more as a work of reference material, rather than a book that I would read from cover to cover.

The nasal breathing COVID-19 related content was topical, while as an avid runner I was looking for tips that I might be able to glean that might make my aerobic engine work more efficiently. The chapter describing how to breathe properly was very interesting, while the different breathing exercises given to help you physically, mentally, and emotionally in different areas of life were very useful.

Other areas of the book that went a bit deeper into topics such as how breathing can affect you physiologically and can impact on your blood pressure and hormones were not relevant for me so I did not read them, however I have no doubt that the author deals with those topics with the same level of detail and care that went into those that I did read, and that other readers would find them equally as useful.
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A reasonable approach to breathing. However, as a healthcare professional trained in physiology, I question many of the over generalities regarding breathing physiology. I couldn't get past these.
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This book is good for health and relaxation. Studies show that we are not breathing correctly which doesn’t help handle stress in our lives. This book helps you take steps on breathing better.
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I have been doing breathwork for the last two years. I discovered it early in the pandemic and learned all the Wim Hof, Soma Breath, DMT breathing, you name it, I've probably tried it. I love breathwork as what can honestly be better for you than breathing. 
The Breathing Cure does a great job of breaking down the science behind breathwork, the methods to test your lungs, and how to use different breathing techniques to achieve different results. I personally love a written guide to breathwork because I also enjoy knowing the science behind what I'm doing. When you feel it working but then have science to back it up, it reinforces the practice and the process. 

The terms can seem complex but the techniques are easy to execute especially for the new users. But if you are advanced or don't care about the science behind why breathwork works, then this isn't the book for you. This isn't a pure instruction manual, there are heavy explanations throughout which could be cumbersome for some readers. But regardless, you should give it a chance. The science behind breathwork helps to highlight why it may be a practice to cement in your life. There are sections for breathwork with children (safely obviously) which is great because my kids love breathwork. So this was exciting to share with them.
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The author is a well respected expert and he did his job in convincing me how important it is to breathe correctly and not to mouth breathe (even when exercising, sick or sleeping). I appreciate the exercises and he gives you all the info you need and more. He gives you the exercises in the front of the book because he says most people want to skip to them right away anyway and they are so important, but the result of this was after reading them and the first 100 or so pages about why it was so important to follow his advice, I wondered why I needed to keep reading and reading. It's such a deep dive and the basic advice can truly be summed up with breathe through your nose, practice air hunger a lot, breathe slower and fix breathing issues you have while you sleep. Breathing right will make all the difference in a huge variety of health issues including how easily you catch illnesses since the nose is designed to be the first line of your defense system.

I have adapted breathing through my nose since reading this and have lectured my family members on it (hubby just argued and ignored it completely), but I don't know if I can really keep up with the rest of the exercises for life as I dislike some of them so much. I really dislike being air hungry and the idea of having to do those exercises daily for life just makes me a bit stabby if I'm being honest. I still highly recommend the book, or at least the first half or so, and do plan to continue to try to keep up with at least some of the exercises.

I read a digital ARC of this book for review.
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Even if you’ve read the author’s previous book which I highly recommend, there is still a lot to learn in this book. Who would have thought that over breathing and breathing from one’s mouth could be so damaging for someone? The author even prescribes specific breathing exercises for specific things which go above and beyond anxiety which nearly everyone knows from the research how effective this can be. This book even offers ample citations to clearly delineate the research presented which makes this book beyond informative!

If you want a greater quality of life then this book is a solid choice. Thank you to Humanix Books and NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I wanted to read this book to learn more breathing techniques, exercises to use for various health issues. I am familiar with Buteyko breathing method from other books and The Breathing Cure included interpretations of the technique as well as few exercises that were new to me. Overall I found this book a good resource for health care professionals, however when I tried using it to help manage breathing issues caused by COVID, it wasn't as helpful as I hoped it would be. I will be using some of the techniques I learned from this book and will recommend it as needed for clients with respiratory issues.
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just about every question you might have about the ancient Greeks and Romans is answered in this fact-filled book. The writing is good as is the scholarship. You'll find yourself compelled to keep reading because you are learning so much!
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I've known about Buteyko breathing techniques for a while thanks to my husband who has successfully used them to mean that he now no longer needs any inhalers for his asthma. I've tried to use the methods before but never been able to sustain the exercises for the long term. 
This book is very comprehensive (at over 500 pages!) although being in ebook format is probably not the easiest way to access all the information. It is good that the main exercises come early on in the book and that the more in-depth scientific explanations come after. This is helpful if you want to get going quickly and not wade through all the detail at the outset. I will probably buy a hard copy of this book as it's easier to refer to this way and look up the bits that I need. I have bookmarked the exercises and written them down and plan to start using them soon. They seem a lot easier than the ones I've read about before so I'm hoping that I'm able to stick to them and experience more success this way.
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I'm nowhere near finishing this book, in part because I have been taking copious notes; since I requested it weeks ago, it seems unfair to not leave at least some review at this point in the calendar. As a yoga teacher, I will be using some of the material in this book as a preliminary to teaching pranayama. (After all, how can one practice refining the breath if that breath is dysfunctional? In the Travis Illness-Wellness continuum, the reverse breathing/chest breathing that is the default of many modern people is on the left, while the majority of pranayama practice assumes you are starting from the neutral point.) There are several points where Mr. McKeown's language is more precise or more clear than the language I have been using to explain basic concepts about the biomechanics of breath and how breath and emotional state create a feedback loop.

I particularly like the organization of the book, though I do find it ballsy for a July 2021 release to include a chapter on SARS-COV-2 (aka COVID 19), especially when the chapter largely says "we can't say nose breathing prevents COVID, but it stands to reason..." The beginning, like in most books, sells you on the premise of the book: there is a way to breathe that is optimal for the human body, with consequences for not using it, and most of us are not using it. (It doesn't make the mistake of constantly citing to his past work, either.) After introductory material that alternates between making broad claims without supporting notes and then using notes for hyper-specific study citations, the second chapter (pages 27 to 113) covers all of the main breathing exercises. The remainder of the book explores specific topics in detail, such as breathing and the vagus nerve, and disordered breath during sleep. I've ordered a hard copy because I want to write in the book, which isn't something I do well in the protected pdf format offered for review.

Prior to reading this book, I had no idea Mr. McKeown has published several other books about the breath and breathing, and I had never heard of the Buteyko method. This is probably a good thing, as the Amazon page for The Oxygen Advantage (one of his past books) is peppered with blurbs from highly untrustworthy "celebrity" sources (e.g. Dr. Oz who is a cardiologist-turned-expert-at-everything and regularly hands out poor medical advice that is not evidence-based; Ben Greenfield the "biohacker"/tech-bro, etc.) and I can only assume these are cover blurbs; had I run across that book in a bookstore, I would never have opened one of Mr. McKeown's books had I seen that first. I'm very curious as to whether there just weren't any appropriate experts available to blurb the book--like how about a pulmonologist, or a bioscience professor, or someone who has actual knowledge by which to judge the content of the book?--or if the publisher targeted celebrities in the hopes of appealing to the average Joe.

I'm conflicted about the personal anecdotes in the book. I suppose it is helpful to know why Mr. McKeown chose to delve into this topic. Yet since we all know anecdotes are not data, it seems odd to include personal notes about individual people, rather than relying on something sturdier like epidemiologic data. I'm guessing these were included to try to make readers feel more connected to the book, or to make the techniques seem like the are universally accessible, but they give them impression that "hey, this worked for Bob/Jane, so it will work for you."

Now I'm eagerly awaiting my hard copy. I do hope the bizarre switches from a highly readable serif font to a seemingly larger sans serif font were corrected before the book went to press.
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This is a very useful book for everyone.  There are many exercises and one or more will be useful for the majority of people with breathing or other issues.  I find myself doing exercises while reading and then realize I have adopted some of the techniques into my normal routine breathing.  Very happy I read this.  I would recommend everyone read this book and learn how to breath correctly.
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This was an interesting book. It explains very well how we might not breathe correctly and how this might affect us. It, also, presents exercises that should help the person in need to start breathing properly. Now I need to see if in time all these exercises will work. I hope they work and so I can ditch my asthma treatment.
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3.5 stars

Over the past year and a half, I've been more focused and intentional about breathing/deep breathing, so this was an interesting read. The exercises seem like they'll be easy to add in to a busy day, as well as beneficial. Some parts were a bit more detailed than what some average readers may prefer, but it was informative.
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It took me a while to read this and I didn’t get to finish it all by the time the book was removed from my list, but boy was this good ! I will be buying this and also sharing this with those I know need it. I learned so much from the chapters i was able to read and it’s really changed the way I see myself throughout the day
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Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley. My review opinions are my own. 

I appreciate the detail in this book and the remarkable breathing program the author has created. This comes at a time where we are all considerably more stressed and breathing incorrectly so it is a timely book to improve your breathing health.  The program is time intensive yet easy to follow and incorporate into your daily routine. Breathing correctly makes all the difference in your health and this book is worth exploring and learning from. 

I highly recommend this book .
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As someone who suffers from severe Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), I am always interested to read more about breathing, even though OSA only effects you while you sleep, and the medulla oblongata - the part of the brain that controls/regulates your breathing plays such a crucial role in prompting us to breathe that we should know more about how it functions. There is a lot of insightful and accessible information throughout the book and not only does it help you to understand breathing, why the way you breathe is important and how to breath in a healthier fashion, it also provides practical tips and exercises to carry out, too. The evidence of how breathing can lead to or exacerbate certain illnesses or disorders is thoroughly absorbing and worth remembering. Overall, an interesting read on a subject people ought to know about. After all, it is closely linked to heart rate and even the mechanism that allows you to swallow. We all do it so we all ideally should try to understand it a little more than we currently do. This goes for all biological processes and bodily functions.
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Patrick McKeown is a prominent teacher of the Buteyko Breathing Method. In The Breathing Cure, he summarizes a great deal of research on breathing and describes exercises to improve breathing efficiency. 

Although the language is generally understandable for the layperson, the book is densely detailed and exhaustively comprehensive. Fortunately, all you really need to read is the introduction and relevant portions of the first two chapters. That is enough to understand the reasoning for and benefits of this breathing method and to learn the exercises.

I appreciate that the author provides suggested training programs to resolve different breathing issues, as well as recommended resources such as downloadable apps, mouth tape, and nasal dilators. However, many of these suggested programs involve an hour or more of breathing exercises each day, and the author states that it may take months of diligent exercise to resolve some problems. During the short time that I have been working with these exercises and using the recommended mouth tape, I have noticed slight improvements, but it is too soon to say if this program will work for me.

Additional chapters provide more detailed discussions of how to optimize breathing and work with various medical conditions, such as stress and anxiety, sleep-disordered breathing, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, and sexual dysfunction. Most people should find something of interest here.

I wouldn’t read this for entertainment, but if you or someone you love snores or has sleep apnea, asthma, anxiety, or other breathing-related issues, this should be helpful assuming you have the patience and persistence to practice the exercises. 

I was provided an unproofed ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review.
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This is an amazing book about breathing. We breathe so many times a day that we don’t think about it. But breathing techniques are so powerful. I practice yoga and meditation and I am not new to breathing techniques. But I found this book very interesting, supported by research, and providing a lot of information and techniques. Those I tried were indeed very helpful and they gave me new opportunities. This is not a quick fix book though, it is very detailed and requires some level of dedication to get the benefits. An audio accompaniment would be helpful and make it easier to work with. This book definitely brings breathing to a whole new level.
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