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Want to Change Your Life? Take a Breath, Part 2

This conversation between host Charles L. Raison and Donald J. Noble, PhD, picks up where the first part of this series left off by extending our discussion of the potential health benefits of breathing into more esoteric domains. We explore breathholding and its role in advanced Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices before turning to a discussion of the psychedelic effects of rapid breathing, especially as exemplified by holotropic breathwork, a practice that reliably induces experiences akin to those occasioned by drugs such as LSD or psilocybin. Finally, we return to Dr. Noble’s primary area of research, which is the health benefits and neurological effects of slow deep breathing. We conclude by pondering the possibility that spiritual practices such as chanting, saying the rosary, and repeating mantras may function to entrain the brain in ways that promote neuroplasticity and thereby enhance brain health and emotional well-being.

This episode is Part 2 in a two-part series. Listen to Part 1 here.

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