"The Oxygen Advantage" of Patrick McKeown - Should You Read It?
When I first heard about this book from my saxophone teacher, I was intrigued. I thought it was exactly what I was missing. I've been training, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, but I needed a dot over the i that would push me to improve my performance not only on the saxophone but also in sports. Ba, will also push my clients to achieve results faster!
So I purchased the item as soon as possible. The description on the back cover stunned me:
Get the oxygen edge!
The medical world has long understood the importance of calorie restriction to health. The next health revolution involves limiting the air you breathe!
What do you mean? I take care all the time to breathe deeply, fill my lungs with air to the limit, and now I find out it's wrong? What's more, I teach my pupils the same and I am wrong? So I started reading. A year. A year to be exact.
What might you like about Oxygen Advantage?
On the big plus side is the attention to getting back to your roots. Personally, I'm a big proponent of drawing on the science that evolution and anthropology give us. That's why I immediately liked the statement that we have strayed far from our ancestors in breathing and should try to return to the best possible pattern as soon as possible. The author cites stress and lifestyle as negatively affecting our breathing pattern:
The process of breathing in and out has been completely distorted by stress, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, overheating of the home, and declining physical fitness. All of these factors contribute to poor breathing habits, which in turn are the first step towards apathy, obesity, sleeping problems, respiratory ailments or heart disease.
It's hard to disagree. Are you experiencing all these symptoms too? Would you like to get rid of them too? Well, let's ask how.
What can you do to get better? The solution!
Short and to the point:
Breathe through your nose, not your mouth. And breathe shallowly into your belly, slowly, holding your breath from time to time.
In principle, the book could end with these two sentences.
But the author will present a holistic approach to the subject, talking about treating injuries, losing weight, oxygenating the heart, preventing heart attacks, and improving sports performance. Everyone will find something for themselves, an area where they would like to take better care of themselves.
What's more, on your own and in the comfort of your home, you can do all the exercises recommended by the writer and expect the promised quick results. In fact, although the exercises are repetitive, in the era of current trends they can be called revolutionary.
Of special note is the fact that improvements in all health parameters are supposed to occur after doing the exercises and changing the way you breathe. Just one thing, one habit. Revelation, you say?
So what won't you like about the Oxygen Advantage?
I bet you might not like the fact that Patrick McKeown uses multiple chapters (as we read about sports performance, weight loss, heart oxygenation, injury prevention, among others) to convey the same information. In addition, he uses people's stories, which are basically the same and feel like they were sucked out of his finger. You and I can give the same stories about Mr. X to prove our theories in turn.
It is difficult to get rid of the feeling that this is too simple. Why are we given one solution for every problem and not told to eliminate the cause? According to Patrick, the cause of all problems is bad breathing - not stress, decreasing physical activity or unhealthy food, but bad breathing. Where is the cause and where is the effect?
My years in marketing have made me suspicious. I began to wonder if, by any chance, the book was a way of promoting another business McKeowna runs, such as selling breathing masks that make breathing difficult? Indeed, it is.
Do I recommend it?
Yes! Although the author often irritated me, I began to put his exercises into practice and focused more on the sensations of the breath. I also find myself thinking more often about whether everything that seems natural actually is. And this, I think, is one of the best ways to grow:)