Drugs tend to serve temporary relief instead of offering better solutions to help people heal. In this episode, Niraj Naik, a holistic health expert and founder of Soma Breath joins Rodney Flowers to discuss the importance of holistic health and improving health and well-being. They talk about the dangers of taking prescription drugs and the over-dependence of people on these drugs that can’t heal you completely. Being an ex-pharmacist turned holistic expert, Niraj tackles the crisis everyone is going through and stresses the importance of perseverance, determination, and being smart to get by and survive. Get to know why drugs are band-aids for real problems and what you should do and change in your lifestyle to be physically and mentally healthy.
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Holistic Health: Improving Health And Well-Being With Niraj Naik
As always, I am excited about this show. I have Niraj Naik with me, and he is an ex-pharmacist, turned holistic health expert. He’s the Founder of the International School of Breathwork SOMA Breath. After working for several years as a community pharmacist, Niraj saw firsthand how ineffective and even damaging pharmaceutical drugs can be. When he found himself a patient of stress-related depression and ulcerative colitis, he embarked on a journey of profound self-healing in education. Known internationally as the Renegade Pharmacist, Niraj is dedicated to educating others on topics of holistic health, breathwork, meditation, and more. Welcome to the show, Niraj.
It’s a pleasure to be here, Rodney.
I know it’s been somewhat of a challenge to get together and have a conversation about health and nutrition. I’m a person having bounced back from a devastating spinal cord injury, I understand how important health and nutrition is. I took an approach to deliberately and consciously put my health in a place that was going to be conducive to my recovery and to me achieving the goals that I wanted to achieve in life. I realized how important it wasn’t. A lot of my injury was physical having to regenerate the spinal cord, the nerves, build muscles, combat atrophy, and things like that. I knew if I didn’t focus on my nutrition and my health, I wouldn’t have a shot.
By doing that, it gave me the possibility of turning things around from a nutrition perspective. Even in life, when we bounce back from challenges, obstacles, change the game in our lives, I believe that health and nutrition are a pillar in that process. It’s part of the foundation. I wanted to talk about someone who’s been in the pharmaceutical industry, with all the supplements out there and prescription drugs for different types of illnesses. What are some of the things we need to be aware of when it comes to taking prescription drugs and taking care of ourselves in general?
We are all going through a big challenge, everyone across the world. We’re all going through a crisis and it’s perseverance, determination, being smart and wise is what gets people through these situations. That also means a lot more awareness has come of things on the medical industry and different options we have to treat various things. The thing with the healthcare system is that doctors are supposed to swear an oath. It’s the Hippocratic Oath, first, do no harm. They also have another oath that they’re supposed to abide by. This is what Hippocrates, the Father of medicine said, the Hippocratic Oath. That’s apparent and questionable if that’s actually what’s going on in many different areas of health. I learned the hard way.
Firstly, I was a pharmacist. I was the one dishing out the medicines every single day. I was blindly following the system and something that triggered me was the fact that many people going away with shopping bags filled with drugs every single month. It didn’t seem to be getting any better. I was like, “Are there other solutions to these problems that we have?” Through research and things like that and eventually getting a taste of my own medicine. I became sick myself. The chronic illness ulcerative colitis left me housebound for a year. It was brought on by disillusionment and stress of working in a system that I didn’t feel aligned to anymore.
This healing crisis I went through, I was usually going to the toilet 40 times a day, bleeding out in the backside. I lost three. It’s a horrible disease to have. A lot of people suffer from it. These were the only two options because the drugs were not working and I was getting serious with the symptoms. That was one, a guinea pig for the drug that hasn’t been tried yet or have my colon removed. I was like, “No, I’m not.” They say God stands a gift of desperation. This was a moment that I became desperate. Luckily someone came to the rescue, she was on me and she said to me, “You’ve got a gift. If you can recover from this, you could be a great role model or other people.” I surrendered and she told me the foundations of Ayurveda Pranayama and yoga are more primarily around getting somebody back into full healing. Going through this, I realized that what makes us sick is a combination of many different factors, which a singular drug cannot solve on his own. I realized the drugs have a place there in emergency situations and they can save people’s lives. If you’ve gone for a major traumatic accident and you need life-saving surgery, they’re amazing. They have a place there, but what’s happened is the drugs have become a Band-Aid for the real problems.
The other factors, which are factors of lifestyle, which are emotional. I discovered through Pranayama that much of chronic illnesses, lifestyle diseases, diseases that take years to develop. There are chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, colitis, autoimmune, arthritis, and things like that. There’s a strong component that the drugs can solve on their own and that is an energetic disturbance in the body, a spiritual disturbance. This is often to do with the outlook people have of their situation. If you go for a checkup and the doctor gives you six months left to live, it’s almost like a death sentence there and there. Your mind then starts believing that to be true. You create a self-fulfilling prophecy and you may be able to relate to this stuff of people ruling out any sense of hope.True healing comes from fixing your past situations. Click To Tweet
In this situation, a lot of people have another reason to be scared and that is the economy. All these other factors, their jobs, and what’s going to happen? What my big shift in my situation was that I got given hope. I didn’t want to be a pharmacist anymore. I did want to help people. Swami told me, “If you can help yourself, you can become a great role model to other people.” That gave me a sense of purpose and mission to do something with my life other than having my colon removed and have a nappy for the rest of my life.
I got up, I took charge and I did everything that I learned. It was a good system and by studying people and modeling people who had already successfully healed from colitis and then looking at the science and these actual traditional techniques and mechanisms, I ended up developing a whole lifestyle mission. It became my way of life, which was helping others. I created a system that was based on these ancient techniques of changing the energy within, reconditioning the nervous system, and to create a more optimistic outlook of the world and to stop believing in the universe more as a sense of guidance and light spirits.
This has transformed into what we have with SOMA Breath. We trained instructors around the world to do this as well. We got over 600 instructors around the world using these techniques and these are holistic techniques. They’re simple. They probably have medicine on their own and maybe there’s a use for them. Let’s say somebody’s bleeding heavily. Certain drugs are good at bringing the wound down a little bit. The rest, the true healing comes from fixing your past situations, fixing how you breathe, your diet, mission, purpose is such a strong part of this and making peace with your situation.
A lot of people carry a lot of anger, jealousies, envies, all these low vibrational energies, which create a fire inside the body, they burn you from within and it causes stress on the body. Buddha says, “If you hold onto anger, the only one getting burned is yourself. If you’re holding to fire, the only getting burned is yourself.” It’s wise that we should let go of the past. The past doesn’t equal the future. We use a lot of techniques that are all about reshaping your mindset, and your outlook on the world and looking at this place in this situation that we’re going in. Even as a race, as a species is, I believe truly in order to shift it, we need start believing in the universe and that we’re going to all come out of this and we’re going to become amazing.
It’s going to make us better and stronger. There’s a saying that goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I’m a big believer and I’m optimistic, the power of gratitude for what we got. Looking back at the past and its learning and opportunities to grow and shift and then using the breath as a tool. These are the core practices from spirituality. They come from the Latin meaning of the word Spiritus is, which is life, spirit. The spiritual practices involving the breath have been around for a thousand years, we brought it back into a more accessible form.
One of the other big things I discovered was music, creativity, excising, in both hems and the brain. I have a big passion for music as a music producer but I lost that passion when I was younger and got sucked into the rat race. This also happens to a lot of people. You might be able to relate to this as though you’re in a band and in your school where you used to bash around on the drums, something at home in your spare time, you dreamed of being a DJ, an artist, or something like that. You lose all those hopes and dreams and you end up getting in the rat race. You’re getting emotional. You’re wondering how to end up doing this and your life becomes this.
One of the quick ways to shift them is to become an artist. This was one of the best things I did was go back into music. All of our techniques are driven by a company and we have a network of artists producing this spiritual music, but it’s not attached to our religion. It’s absolute peak, climax moments, third experience. They can see the situation a whole different way where our instructors do show they’re the modern-day spiritual masters who are armed with a tool to shift energy and people to an optimum peak state where they can transform fast. It’s been working like magic. You see some of the results we get and people in our community. You may have heard of people like Wim Hof, he’s a close friend of mine as well.
I produce all of the soundtracks for the Wim Hof Method. He’s a big proponent of overcoming fear, becoming optimistic and getting back into nature. There’s also Marisa Peer. I produced all the soundtracks for her stuff. She’s a famous tenor therapist and she’s worked with elite and people, celebrities, and royalty people. She combined some of these elements into an effective curriculum, a system of education where you can get a skill that you can use to help other people. That’s why we have many instructors doing this.
As a way for me to model what I was doing in the early days is helping people one-on-one. I was called the Renegade Pharmacists because, in the pharmacies, I was helping people get off the medications. Some of the doctors loved me. Some of the bosses of the pharmacies I worked weren’t big fans of mine. I had a crazy experience going through the corporate while seeing the system for what it is and seeing all the good in it as well. There’s a lot of good that it does as well but seeing the flaws. It made me optimistic with education and connecting with people like yourself, we can make a shift, a change to the healthcare system collectively.
It sounds like education is needed because it sounds like we’re using the drugs in the wrong way. A lot of times, we have a problem with instant gratification. We want things done now. We want to heal now. We want the magic wand if you will. Sometimes that’s what the drug is. We bypass the natural healing powers is what I hear you talk about within ourselves or the work that’s required to heal ourselves. If you take the pill, you paid them, if you got the money to pay for the pill then let the pill do work. It takes the work away from you because you depend on the pill, but there’s a consequence that comes with that.
The other problem with pills is that any chemical, any reduction is chemical that goes into your body, your body gets confused. It’s like, “This isn’t foreign. This is foreign. It’s not natural.” It shoves it straight into the liver for detoxification. What happens is if you keep taking chemicals, it doesn’t matter where it comes from. It could be medicine, it could be food, preservatives, it could weed killers and stuff in the air atmosphere, all those chemicals keep going to the liver and they start causing toxicity in the liver. We have a bigger problem called nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. Usually, it is cirrhosis of the liver, which is this disease of the liver that is caused by alcoholism. There’s a new disease of obesity, excess and also pharmaceutical drugs and too many synthetic chemicals. We can’t keep using the pills because it’s going to have side effects. These are the side effects. We must do the work. If we want to change, we want to get well into wellness, we must do it.
Talk to us about the modern-day lifestyle. With all of the foods, mass-produced, there’s a lot of antibiotics and drugs that are given to the animals in order to keep up with the population and the demand. There’s this concept that the modern-day diet is not as nutritious as it was relating to more traditional meals and diets. You have to supplement it. That’s what suggested on the market. You got to talk to your doctors. They’ll say you need to supplement with the vitamin D, vitamins, you’re not going to get them all in your food. You have to take some type of synthesized version of these vitamins and minerals. If you’re recommending that we don’t take the pills, how do we make sure that we’re getting the proper nutrition then?
I’m not saying don’t take the pills. Firstly, I’m saying you’ve got to follow the medical advice, but you shouldn’t be dependent on that. The idea should be that you steadily come off them because you’ve got better. You stop the side effects of long-term use. Some people, in some cases, you’ve got to take them. We’re not bucking the system. What I’m saying is to enhance the system to get people back to well, which is what every doctor wants. They want their patients well. Every doctor deep down has a soul. We need to do something else.
A lot of the doctors I spoke to when I was pharmacists didn’t know what to do. They didn’t have any answers. They didn’t have time with the patients. Talking about nutrition, what do people do then? Patients tend to go to the internet or their friends and things like that. Here’s the problem with the internet these days as well. Let’s be completely real is that there is also misinformation you’re dealing with. There are people who take supplements who make a fortune selling supplements. They want to create markets the same way as drug companies do. They may make some stories that exaggerate the lack of nutrition and foods, let’s say.
I’m not saying any names, but it does happen. Especially when there’s a lot of money to be made, people do unscrupulous stuff, or it could also be that they latched onto some small story and blew it out of proportion. It’s not black and white at that moment. There is an argument that over-farming does deplete the soil in certain areas. However, do we need as much nutrition as it’s been pointed out in alternative health sites? I go to the observations and I know some powerful, strong people who lived well and they don’t take any supplements. They eat hardly anything every day. That’s tiny meals, but they’re strong, active, and doing stuff.If you're holding to fire, the only one getting burned is yourself. Click To Tweet
The danger with lots of supplements is that a lot of people think they can take the pills and not doing anything else. They don’t exercise. They can sit in front of the computer all day. That becomes a challenge as well. I sometimes get lazy as well. The problem with too many supplements and I’ve stopped taking stuff. I used to be into all this stuff way more than I am. The problem with that is first, it can make you lazy. Secondly, how a lot of these supplements made? Are some of that also synthetic? A lot of people take these vitamins, but how are they manufactured? What goes into those capsules? Is that also subject to affect the liver? I don’t agree with the need, but there are also food-based supplements.
There are things like medicinal mushrooms. They more food-based to eat. They are not synthesized and they’re coming from food and nature and they’re shown to have some good evidence. In some people, there are elements that do make a difference and that is things like vitamin D. Harvard themselves have shown studies to show how effective vitamin D is. Almost like a 50% risk reduction by vitamin D supplementation for colds, flu, and respiratory diseases, which is massive. Why isn’t there a big push for vitamin D supplementation in places where there’s a lot of COVID cases? There is already a lot of evidence emerging about the fact that people who get COVID are deficient in vitamin D. Columbia University did a study on UV light that you use that eradicates viruses and there are sunlight lamps that you can use the same time give you an artificial piece of light that sorts your circadian rhythms out. You start to produce more melatonin properly and vitamin D, which is all-important for a healthy immune system. There are other things that we don’t do that are going to be better than supplements alone. That is getting out in nature, going out in the sun. I’m lucky I live in Thailand. We’re bombarded with sunshine all day.
When it gets dark and moody, when I go back to England, I’m a different person. My personality changed and I start getting colds. When I’m in different areas, it’s a different vibe and energy. What do we do if we’re living in those environments? You need to do things that you’re missing from nature, which is trying to spend more time in nature. Have vitamin D supplementation. There are lights, settings, and filters you can use for light frequencies that affect your melatonin production. Sleep is such an important factor in health, but these are all lifestyle advice things I’m saying. The deeper problem in people and the reason why they didn’t sleep and eat properly and do things that are irrational, they’ll gorge and eat a whole cake whilst watching TV, without even thinking about it. They drink a bottle of Coke and then a bunch of whiskey in it and wake up with a hangover and go, “Why didn’t I sleep?” It’s inhumane. You’re harming yourself every night. People do this regularly. Where is this coming from? It’s coming from a spiritual issue.
How do we deal with that spiritual disconnect? I believe that whether you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or maybe a traumatic incident like what happened to me, the real healing starts on the inside. We’re ready to fix the outside. I want to fix my spinal cord and the diabetes problem. That’s a physical thing, but I’ve learned that healing is an inner thing. In order for the physical to even begin to heal, you have to have the inner part because the body naturally wants to heal itself at all times. That’s natural. You don’t have this automatic. It’s always repairing and replacing itself. When something traumatic happens, that system continues but then there are expectations that you want to heal. There are other things that either are not activated or turned off that would allow you to heal things that may be considered unhealable, untreatable but the body is capable of healing those things. There’s a lot of inner work that gets involved in order to get to that level.
It’s beyond a small wound or something that you wouldn’t have to worry about healing. You know your body is going to heal that, but those things that could be determined terminal. We’re in a different realm of healing. This is advanced, intermediate type healing that’s required. Talk to us about, how we can activate that inner healing power that we have? I was asking it from a place of that true healing when you’re dealing with some type of traumatic injury or illness. It requires an advanced level of healing that comes from the inside. There’s inner work that you have to do in order to activate that level of healing. You’ve heard it before where people with advanced stages of cancer seemingly no way to recover, but they do this whole inner work thing. They discovered themselves from the inside and then all of a sudden, the cancer is gone. They live well beyond the doctor’s expectation something happened there, but it doesn’t happen for everyone. How could anyone in that situation turn that level of healing?
I believe it comes from primarily self-awareness, awareness, wisdom, by learning about who you truly are. Also, understanding a bit of about your own biology, learning about how your body works, and becoming aware or we take too much for granted. We rely too much on other people. We need to become self-aware. We need to educate ourselves. I’ll try and make it as simple as possible. If you believe in a theory of evolution, it was millions of years ago there were tiny cells like bacterial cells and they were constantly fighting with each other. Colonies would multiply, some would beat the others. Others would swamp the others. They would be a constant fight going on. Until one day, they were sick of fighting each other and two cells came together, the basis of trust, love, and cooperation. They decided to form a multicellular organism. That became a stronger stable version of the others before that.
They started taking over and then that evolved eventually to become us. Ultimately, even in the womb, as we divide the cells to come together and form an actual organism, which is us. Each cell comes together on the same foundations of love, trust, and cooperation. That means every cell has a consciousness of his own. That’s why they join with other cells. Disease happens is when there’s a disturbance when a cell’s consciousness has become disrupted and starts to see threats, this contains cancer, autoimmune diseases. It could turn into these degenerative diseases where the cells die.
What causes that disruption is the psyche as well, the mind. If you are filled with negative emotion from the past, if you’re always blaming someone else, if you’re blaming the world, and you’re angry at everyone else. You’re not taking any responsibility to yourself, but it’s everyone else’s fault. What happens is over time, the stress of this fear of the future, anxiety that worry of the future, and negative trauma from the past, holding onto these emotions, it creates this disruption. Over time, the nervous system gets weak. Different things happened inside. You get a much weakened nervous system. You’re not producing the neuropeptides, neurotransmitters that you need to feel good.
You’re not producing those hormones adequately and other things happen like you don’t breathe properly because fear and stress also trigger adrenaline. You start to retreat from battle and danger, but you’re not. You’re just emotionally stressed. Those same thoughts of worry create the same fear of attacking or defending the same physiological actions. You start to breathe much faster and produce more insulin, and then you get disruption with your whole blood sugars systems, your nervous system, you can get depression and anxiety.
All this leads to then by bad choices and habits. The disease can kick in, which can also present as an autoimmune as it did with me. I have, from the past, damaged myself from a young age, from different factors, from going into an environment in which I didn’t belong, in the corporate world, the pharmaceutical industry. A lot of stress and all that negativity, the anger, getting sucked into a lot of the darkness in the world and my mind to being polluted. It was toxic. I was angry as well, straight to humanity. I wanted to do something good in the world, but I wasn’t able to, and I was blocked. It took its toll on me.
What we can do to fix that is awareness of where my true source of stress is coming from. What is affecting me? What’s on my mind all the time? What’s that thought process going on and on? What’s it trying to tell me? What the feeding sensation and body that I’m ignoring and numbing with the pain off? What’s my actual core telling me? How much of the time am I listening to myself or am I following blindly other people’s orders and instructions? People who don’t have my best interests, how are they using me? All of these things we’ve got to reshape, we have to change and see the world as more of an optimistic, positive place where the universe conspires to make us successful. When we start to shift that up, that changes the energy straight away.
You stand straighter. You have more self-confidence, your posture changes. All we have to do is you have to prevent the problems of over-breathing and overstress. That is changing the way of breath and understanding that your nervous system is connected to your breath. How you breathe is connected to your thoughts and how you think. I like to use this framework and that is, what is it that people want in their life? They want a positive result. What happens if they’re not getting those positive results, you end up trying to change actions all the time. People are telling you to do this and that and you never get to where the problem is. Where are those negative actions coming from?
You end up going around and around in circles, trying to solve problems in the outer world. Whereas all of the problems are coming from the inner world, which is what comes before an action? It’s a decision. What we want to be doing is making good decisions. Where did our decisions come from? It comes from our thoughts. Quality of your thought is determined so much by how you feel your emotions. If you are having a bad day, things that seem to get worse until you shake off that mindset. You may have experienced it yourself. When you’re having a bad day, you are starting to get this bad luck. It happens to me all the time.
When you’re having a good day, it seems like the universe is conspiring. These little shifts are going on the inner world, your physiology, different moments, but we can produce these at will. We don’t have to wait for lucky moments to come in to get up first of dopamine and adrenaline that makes us feel pumped and ready to take action and make good quality, thoughts, and decisions. We can produce it through our breath. With breathing techniques, you can create this sense of self-esteem, self-confidence, motivation, drive, feeling good and optimistic. Through Pranayama techniques, you have your own medicine, your own best drug. Nothing affects your physiology more than your breath. When you breathe in oxygen, you are coming to an insignia, changing the pH of your bloodstream. When you change the rate of your breath, when you breathe out, you send your activation. You’re calming the nervous system down.
When you breathe in and hold your breath in and pull down on your pelvic floor, you send up the adrenaline. You are stimulating the vagus nerve and you’re calming the entire nervous system. With rhythms and practices, you can do that. You can also hold your breath. When you hold your breath for extended periods of time, longer than you think you can, there are ways of trick that, you produce this positive stress response in the body. This is where you take control over stress. You make stress your friend, and you can use the power of your intention to reshape fear, to mold fear into your tool and weapon against the darkness in the world.The past doesn't equal the future. Click To Tweet
You can change the fear is coming at you and transmute it into something positive. These are the amazing things you can do through the power of breathing practices, Pranayama, and meditation. You can also make yourself super-efficient using oxygen. This is where we’re getting deep. There’s a famous scientist called Helmut Sies. He invented the term Oxidative Stress. He says, “Although it’s impossible for us to live without oxygen, it’s also difficult for us to live with oxygen.” The reason why is because of oxidative stress. Oxygen goes into your body and it creates a rusting effect in your system over time. Oxidative stress is one of the reasons why we age. Over breathing means you create too much oxygen byproducts as well, which leads to cell death and degeneration. You can see how the breath is not related to stress in the body that you can create more stress by over-breathing.
The whole system of Pranayama is also about slowing your breathing right down to the point where you hardly need to breathe. A true yogi is a silent breath. They hardly breathe in and out and they use techniques that strengthen your ability to use as little oxygen as possible. It comes efficient. There’s a reason why yogis are going to live up in the Himalayas, where the oxygen levels are super low. These high carbon dioxide environments, it makes them live longer. What they saw in Pranayama is that animals that live a long period of time, like elephants, turtles breathe slow, 2 to 4 breaths per minute.
Animals that have a fast breathing pattern they don’t live a long time, mice, squirrels, but there’s a weird anomaly. The mole rats can leave to 30 years. The reason why is they live in hypoxic environments. They can hold their breath for eighteen minutes. They are living in low oxygen environments for long periods of time and they even inject them in cancer and they don’t get cancer. It’s incredible and it’s fascinating. Humans have the conscious ability to control the rate of our breath. We can speed the breathing up. We can slow it down. We can modulate. We can gain conscious control of the breath.
If we leave it to our reptilian brain that deals with survival, the moment we’re subjected with fear, the reptilian brain starts to make us breathe fast when we don’t need to because we’re sitting still. That emotional stress makes us breathe fast. The moment you take charge of that and you start to harm or the moment anxiety, tension, fear, just om it out, and it calms the nervous system down and changes the response to a calmer response. There are all these weird things you can do with the breath. You can turn a negative one into a positive one and then there is no such thing as a negative or positive emotion. They’re signals in the environment. You’re using them in the right context. You’re using the breadth that we shaped them, language, and visualization tools. These are the things that we do in SOMA. We teach in a lot more depth and we use music to guide the whole process. It’s a powerful experience. You have to try sometime and it makes you efficient using oxygen.
How can people find more information about SOMA or perhaps if they wanted to know more information about you and work with you? How can they connect with you?
The best place is to go to SOMABreath.com and sign up for the free webinar there. I go through all of this. I show you some techniques and how you can control your autonomic nervous system. I do a trick on using this. I’m raising my heart rate up and down. I’ll show you how to do that as well, which is proof that we can tap into the autonomic nervous system. This is a part of the nervous system that we’ve been told we can’t control without drugs or surgery. I’ll show you that using your breath we can have control over it, which is important if you want to take more control of our mind and how it affects the body, physiology, and things like that. I show you what about the inner pharmacy, how the inner pharmacy can be woken up? The fact that we have all these substance and nature already available also inside us and we can activate their effects. I teach you about the primary breathing practice from Pranayama, which anyone can do. The simple hacks, the tools that allow you to use your breath one-on-one with your autonomic nervous system and to start creating this positive stress response where you get into these deep meditative states.
In these states reprogram, but at the same time, you’re holding your breath for extended periods of time. The breath retention techniques are this is what strengthens your ability to use oxygen efficiently. You get more blood flow when you do this as a practice to your organs and your muscles. You get more blood flow in your heart and your brain. You can even wake up dormant parts of the brain as a result. We only use certain parts of the brain and you can wake up extra functions. Yogis developed these techniques to develop higher cognitive abilities and powers. These are the things I’ve observed myself from creating music and my own business. I have a successful business around passion week. We trained people to become abundant and is business as in doing noble work. We’re transforming people’s lives. It feels good. I found something that works like medicine does with few, if no side effects, only positive side effects. Side effects were people become healthy and happy.
To wrap all of this up and I love this whole breath suggestion. I want to look into that because it’s powerful medicine. Doing all of this, what is your recommendation? If someone is reading this and they want to get into meditation and breathing practices, give them a framework about how often they would need to do this in a day? What would a typical day of someone who meditated and received positive results from this practice? Is this something they have to spend 2 or 3 hours a day doing or learning? Create a framework for us around that.
We call it the daily dose, it’s only for a few minutes. We have an independent study done by neuroscientists who show that had the same effects on the brain. As of those therapeutic brain activities and the same responses and questionnaires that were given about this, which shows that some profound changes are happening in the brain in 22 minutes. This breath could be a good breathing technique. It could be a good complementary to this newly emerging field of psychedelic therapy and also helping people with anxiety, depression, and stress issues.
For only 22 minutes in a day, you can get that benefit. I have a good friend, Ben Greenfield. He’s one of the top peak performance coaches in the world and athletes, as well. It helps with the spiritual mindset benefits, but also is good for this oxygen efficiency I’m telling you about. You’re getting more stamina, endurance, fitness, and being able to breathe less has amazing effects on your mental clarity, your focus, your ability to get into things, and master things. When you over breathe, your nervous system’s weak. It’s amazing the effect it has over your ability to get stuff done. When your nervous systems align, strong and coherent, I’m not saying with rhythmic breathing alone, we breathe in perfect rhythm in and out to a beat.
We provide the beats and the right timing for a few minutes a day of that, you can align the nervous system. When you breathe in, you stimulate the sympathetic. When you breathe out, you stimulate the parasympathetic. Your heart rate goes down a bit and it goes up a bit when you breathe in. It was down a bit when you breathe out. When you have perfect rhythm, it balances the nervous system to make it more centered. This affects your whole mood as well. Your wellbeing and mental clarity. We have different techniques with different situations that you go through during the day.
We also have a nighttime one where you do this extended exhalation rhythm and you can go to sleep. We have different tools for different periods of the day, but 22 minutes a day, which we give away for free in this webinar. Also, on our YouTube channel, you can check it out. We are SOMA Breath. You can do this and you can keep doing it. Some people do free stuff. They get amazing transformations. If you did that, it’d be great. I’ve got quite a few people to go on and become instructors because they love the techniques so much, they want to share it. We train people to do that.
My last question for you is as an athlete myself, one of the things I’ve been taught is that we want to make sure that you give your body oxygen because your muscles need oxygen to perform. You want to make sure you’re taking in a lot of oxygen, breathing properly, but it was with a sense of the more oxygen you can give your muscles, the better that they will perform. It’s a little contradictory to that. I want to understand that a little bit more if I could.
As I was saying, this problem of oxidative stress, where this problem is the worst, most effects are the blood itself. When you breathe in, you breathe in oxygen. It binds in the red blood cells, and it stays on your red blood cells and it’s transported around until it’s needed. Is the level of carbon dioxide there determines whether the oxygen stays on the red blood cells or if it goes into the cells of your tissues? Whereas carbon dioxide, which is the byproducts of respiration. It’s not a waste product. It’s essential. When you over breathe, you breathe out a lot of carbon dioxide. If you’re breathing like that, you’re breathing lots of carbon dioxide and a lot of people are like that.
When you’re talking, you also hyperventilate to a certain degree for breathing a lot of carbon dioxide. What happens is that oxygen stays on your red blood cells. It doesn’t go to where it’s needed. Your blood pressure goes up, just talking and talking can make your blood pressure go up like I’m doing this show. That’s why we need some time to counter it and slow the breathing in and out. Where we want the oxygen to go is to the muscles if they’re staying stuck to the red blood cells before you exercise, the workout to get the oxygen where it needs to go.The quality of your thought is determined so much by how you feel, your emotions. Click To Tweet
There is this rhythmic breathing, followed by breath retention. You hold your breath. When you hold it for a period, after doing the breathing, and we show you all this in a webinar, you create this positive stress response and the oxygen floods into the tissue cells. Getting the carbon dioxide levels up and be able to handle higher amounts of carbon dioxide in your body through practice and training means you’re going to have more ability to get oxygen to where it needs to go and you have less risk of oxidative stress.
These breathing techniques can be used as a preparation for fitness, endurance, and stamina. They utilize high altitude training. In the Mexican Olympics in 1968, there were winning records, all-time breaking records and the reason why they discover because it was a high altitude. There are people training in a low-oxygen environment. They climatize. They have more red blood cells and better blood flow around the body. It was incredible. This developed later on into high altitude training. High altitude training is a known thing to improve physical stamina and fitness. It’s one of these secret hacks, but we can do it ourselves. Pranayama techniques simulate altitude training to a certain degree with breath retention. The technique is called kumbhaka.
We teach you all of this. We have the science of this much in-depth, how to use it for physical fitness? The overall reason why you do a lot of fitness and things like that as well is to bring your heart rate down. Your resting heart rate is lower. Athletes resting heart rate is generally lower. The same thing with your breathing rates, when you exercise your breath in this way, the breath retention techniques that go hand in hand the heart rate. When your heart rate is higher, you’re breathing faster. You start to breathe more to supply the oxygen.
Thank you for breaking that down. This is invaluable knowledge. I thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing that with us. Before we go, I would like to ask you one more question, which is, what is a game-changing message you would like to leave with us?
One message is to the healthcare industry and that is to remember those two oaths that you’re supposed to swear by, the first, “Do no harm and never make a profit in the sick room.” That’s what’s going to lead to corruption. If you make a profit out of people getting sick, you never want a cured patient. One of the ways you can solve this and I don’t think this will ever happen because people aren’t ready for it is to make us doctors only get paid big amounts to not have patients. When our doctors are paid to have patients, why not get paid to not have patients? They don’t need to come see you. That’s when you know that your patients well. They are going to stop going to the doctor.
Doctors should be measured by success, how successful he is, and patients not seeing them. That will mean that they can get incentivized to have less patients. Imagine that whole paradox, but the healthcare industry is incentivizing doctors to have patients, which is wrong. They’re going to do things to get more patients, not less, which means more sick people. Do you see the logic here why it doesn’t work if you want to be a good healthy society? The other thing is first, do no harm. Let’s try to look for solutions that don’t cause harm and go after those first. We’re far away from that yet.
Let’s see how things unfold with this situation. Maybe things will be better people we were aligned. The other thing is because those people who think more with greed, they’re I people as in the first letter I of Illness is I. They’re all about them all about money. I want all the money, me and my little cabal that’s what it’s like in a lot of industries there’s a lot of profit. There are people holding on to them. We need to start becoming more “we” focused. We people, wellness is we. The first of wellness is we. When you start seeing collectively, as we’re all in the same, we all have the same blood. We all breathe the same air. We’re all going to go away with exactly what we came with. Why are we holding on to all of this stupidity, huge risk, and this disease of greed, jealousy, envy, power, and all these things that we don’t need to be happy? This is a message that I would like to give is to understand the real difference between I and we in wellness.
Thank you, Niraj, for coming on the show. This has been such a blessing. Thank you so much.
It’s my pleasure. Much love.
- SOMA Breath
- Wim Hof Method
- Marisa Peer
- Ben Greenfield
- SOMA Breath – YouTube
- Is Life Knocking You Down? Read Rodney’s inspiring story – Get Up! I Can’t. I Will. I Did… Here’s How! https://rodneyflowers.com/get-up-book/
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About Niraj Naik
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