By Robert Claridge

Robert Claridge N.D.

Specialist Naturopath, Holistic Nutritionist, Herbalist, Homoeopath, R-System Specialist

After an exhausting couple years it seems that life is starting to return to a ‘Pre-COVID’ normal. However, from my clinical observations there seems to have been some residual impact.

Unfortunately, mental and physical fatigue, muscle tension, poor sleep patterns, weight gain and reduced stress coping seem to head up the list. So where do you start with a big list like this? In short, you might begin by simply stopping and breathing! In particular you need to focus on slow, nasal breathing.


The goal of breathing is to create the ideal carbon dioxide to oxygen ratio within your body. This ratio creates the ideal ‘internal weather’ for energy production, relaxed mood, increased metabolism and ultimately, optimum health. Carbon dioxide is an important cellular end product that helps to push oxygen into your cells. Without carbon dioxide, oxygen remains stranded outside of the cell, thus robbing the cell of its numerous benefits.

The key to getting the right amount of oxygen in and the right amount of oxygen out is your nose. Being part of your respiratory system, the nose contains unique architecture that ensures this essential ratio is maintained. Your mouth, on the other hand, being a part of the digestive tract has no such structure and therefore, remains an emergency breathing hole. For this reason, it should be no surprise that if you concentrate on nose breathing it will deliver great rewards.

As with any skill, practice makes perfect and so here’s a simple, but amazing strategy to help you improve your nose breathing whilst also giving you a grounding sense of relaxation. It is called the Vagal activating breathing technique.


Please start by keeping your mouth closed at all times during the technique. Then commence by breathing in slowly and deeply through your nose to a comfortable level. Pause briefly, and then breathe out through your nose for twice as long as your inspiration. For instance, if you take 3 seconds to breathe in, you should take 6 seconds to breathe out. Continue to breathe this rhythm for 10 minutes, aiming, if possible, to increase the depth of your inspiration and the duration of your expiration. Any improvement in your breathing efforts will be indicative of your level of relaxation. The more relaxed you are, the deeper you can breathe. It is important to note that if you do not achieve deeper respiration, you will still benefit from the techniques as it is still moving you toward better carbon dioxide and oxygen balance.

Please aim to spend a minimum of 10 minutes each day investing in this technique. If you persist, you will soon see the amazing effect of increasing the flow of oxygen into your cells. Enjoy!

Our team at Claridge Naturopathics – Sarah, Claire, Matthew and I are all tertiary trained specialists in lifestyle medicine and can help you with drug free strategies for any of your health concerns.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require caring, personalised and thorough health care.

In the meantime, please remember to ‘just breathe’.

Further Reading:

  • Breath by James Nestor, 2021
  • The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown, 2015
Robert Claridge

Specialist Naturopath, Holistic Nutritionist, Herbalist, Homoeopath, R-System Specialist

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