Dr. Jack Feldman: Breathing for Mental & Physical Health & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast #54

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This episode my guest is Dr. Jack Feldman, Start ->Our Breath Collective 00:10:35 <- Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles and a pioneering world expert in the science of respiration (breathing). We discuss how and why humans breathe the way we do, the function of the diaphragm and how it serves to increase oxygenation of the brain and body. We discuss how breathing influences mental state, fear, memory, reaction time, and more. And we discuss specific breathing protocols such as box-breathing, cyclic hyperventilation (similar to Wim Hof breathing), nasal versus mouth breathing, unilateral breathing, and how these each affect the brain and body. We discuss physiological sighs, peptides expressed by specific neurons controlling breathing, and magnesium compounds that can improve cognitive ability and how they work. This conversation serves as a sort of “Master Class” on the science of breathing and breathing related tools for health and performance.

Timestamps: 00:00:00 Introducing Dr. Jack Feldman 00:03:05 Sponsors: Thesis, Athletic Greens, Headspace, Our Breath Collective 00:10:35 Why We Breathe 00:14:35 Neural Control of Breathing: “Pre-Botzinger Complex” 00:16:20 Nose vs Mouth Breathing 00:18:18 Skeletal vs. Smooth Muscles: Diaphragm, Intracostals & Airway Muscles 00:20:11 Two Breathing Oscillators: Pre-Botzinger Complex & Parafacial Nucleus 00:26:20 How We Breathe Is Special (Compared to Non-Mammals) 00:33:40 Stomach & Chest Movements During Breathing 00:36:23 Physiological Sighs, Alveoli Re-Filling, Bombesin 00:49:39 If We Don’t Sigh, Our Lung (& General) Health Suffers 01:00:42 Breathing, Brain States & Emotions 01:05:34 Meditating Mice, Eliminating Fear 01:11:00 Brain States, Amygdala, Locked-In Syndrome, Laughing 01:16:25 Facial Expressions 01:19:00 Locus Coeruleus & Alertness 01:29:40 Breath Holds, Apnea, Episodic Hypoxia, Hypercapnia 01:35:22 Stroke, Muscle Strength, TBI 01:38:08 Cyclic Hyperventilation 01:39:50 Hyperbaric Chambers 01:40:41 Nasal Breathing, Memory, Right vs. Left Nostril 01:44:50 Breathing Coordinates Everything: Reaction Time, Fear, etc. 01:57:13 Dr. Feldman’s Breathwork Protocols, Post-Lunch 02:02:05 Deliberately Variable Breathwork: The Feldman Protocol 02:06:29 Magnesium Threonate & Cognition & Memory 02:18:27 Gratitude for Dr. Feldman’s Highly Impactful Work 02:20:53 Zero-Cost Support, Sponsors, Patreon, Instagram, Twitter, Thorne.

Andrew Huberman Andrew Huberman

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