Eventually got it fixed permanently, but yea...breathing is huge.
EDIT: The problem I had was called Nasal Valve Collapse. It’s something that happens in much older people, but essentially if I inhaled hard through my nose my nostrils collapsed so I’d have to breath through my mouth. It made aerobic exercise very difficult, taking deep breaths in general too.
I discovered how big of a deal it was when I tried on of those 9 Round gyms in my early 30s. The 1st round is jump rope and it tore my throat up. I was so exhausted after 3 minutes of jump rope that the rest of the workout was basically awful. I came back the next week (my throat was really sore for a week) with a Breathe Right strip on to see if it helped. I did the whole workout, jump rope included, like it was nothing.
After I saw the difference, I tried sleeping in them and woke up more alert than I had in recent memory. Great night sleep. Then eventually, I tried just wearing one all day when I was working from home and it was significant by the end of the day.
There was a point where I just realized that I felt so much better wearing them that I was literally wearing them all the time, including in the office.
Eventually I decided to visit an E.N.T. who diagnosed me and gave me a couple of surgical options...which were both kinda scary and didn’t have great success rate. I visited another to get a 2nd opinion and he was confident that it could be fixed with a slightly modified septoplasty.
I ended up doing the surgery and I’ll go ahead and tell you, the recovery is awful...but it worked. I still see a marginal benefit from using a Breathe Right but I probably have 70% of the improvement all the time from where I was before.
Sometimes the swelling would affect the rest of my airway and I'd feel like I couldn't take even a moderately deep breath. I'd be rushed to the ER but the doctors couldn't find anything other than an elevated heart rate (and some immediately went to their go-to diagnosis of it being stress or a panic attack). After going through that about 10 times, I got a good doctor who told me: "oh dear, you're actually choking." But then, things like hereditary angioedema were ruled out, and the cause remained elusive. I later discovered I could control my symptoms with diet.
I'm now looking into having somnoplasty to reduce the size of my turbinates, but it's unclear whether doing so will simply shift the problem to another narrow point of my swollen nasal passage.
I appear to have lost some kind of cosmic lottery because I also have severe digestive issues and must follow a very strict diet (which also reduces the airway swelling). As you touched upon, it is very hard to accept that you spent most of your life not being able to be yourself. I know I spent most of mine in a subdued fight or flight mode due to the chronic strain on my basic bodily functions. It's been a cruel existence thus far and I can't wait for the day I can rid myself of this torture definitively (my plan for fixing my problems is getting closer to fruition and I've had some success with some of the measures I've tried).
I've had an ENT surgeon explain some of the normal/traditional surgical methods of doing turbinate reduction, and it seems to be fairly complex; some methods preserve or reconstruct the underlying bone structure which may be needed for the turbinates to function correctly, while others just do a straight reduction and don't consider the final composition of what remains of the turbinates. I'm trying to find out how somnoplasty relates to this.
It comes and goes. The breathe right strips mentioned by another commenter helps. I find it feels more clear the next day after using them.
But i've found the biggest thing that helps is paying attention to.my stress and the way I hold the muscles in my face. I find making a concious effort to takes some time to do some deep breathing and focus on relaxing the muscles around my eyes and my jaw really helps. A few days of keeping up with that and I findy breathing and pain and such go away.
I also find it to.be a good way to gauge my stress levels. When the sinus infection cones back and stays for a bit. I know i've been slacking with being mindful and letting stress get on top of me.
She had been having vision issues for a while, and it surprised her whenever they figured out it was due to the collapse of her sinus cavity.
I've gone through not one but two turbinate reduction surgeries myself. One when I was young and another several years ago. Alas, my quality of breathing now is still pretty abysmal. It's just gotten to the point where I've come to accept having to breathe through just one nostril all the time, as much as a nuisance it is. Frustrating to have spent all that energy and funds to land back at square one.
Also went and tried CPAP for a while, which didn't really help me with breathing for restful sleep.
Where I notice this most is probably during heavy exercise. Having to breathe through the mouth during intense aerobic exercise makes me hit my limit much faster.
The strips eventually ruin my skin, or don't stick through the night (they come off and eventually stick to my foot, or my cats...). So I finally turned to "nose cones". The ones on Amazon and the local pharmacies are barely passable, so I did the unthinkable in this day and age and ordered some "Max Air Nose Cones" directly from the manufacturer. Don't want to seem a link shill, so Google/Duck, or just find it as the domain name is the product name. I use the Max Air for exercise (clear) and the Sinus (beige, a bit more stiff) for sleep.
Still not a perfect solution, but cheaper, reusable (still on first set), and less skin irritation than other solutions.
It looks like the nostril dilation muscles evolved for this purpose (keep the airways open) but they don't always get triggered automatically.
I do find myself yawning a lot, when it feels like I haven't had enough air. However, I've never had any trouble sprinting or doing athletic activity.
I’d definitely try the strips if you’re curious though. Really simple and effective.
I've been practicing yoga for more than 10 years, a lot of Bikram hot yoga - so I feel you regarding the differences on energy level and at least how the heat and increased flow of air can help free up and clear the sinuses, and why long ago I gave up dairy, soy, and bananas - as I'd notice the decreased ability to breath and likewise my sleep would become worse - I believe because there'd be less ease of breathing while asleep.
- You might have an especially strong reaction to those foods, i.e. they produce more mucous in _you_
- You might have engaged in other mucous-reducing habits around the same time e.g. drinking more water or practicing yoga. Hard to identify a root cause in a study of one.
Getting a Neti pot (use distilled or previously boiled water only, along with adding a proper amount of non-iodized salt - Google search will give the answer) and trying that out to help clear the sinuses with warm water seems to help a lot of people as well.
The author traveled around the world and looked through history to find out if we always had such terrible posture. It turns out that industrialized societies put a large emphasis on good posture up until the early 20th century. Even today, great posture can be found in less-industrialized cultures.
The Gokhale method has been a game-changer for many, even though it flies in the face of a lot of modern theories about designing furniture and "good" posture. I've personally met people with arthritis and lower back problems who were able to reduce pain and prevent further damage with this book.
Some people jump straight to the big compounding lifts (because they are amazing for building strength) with no guidance from a trainer or much care for their form. You deadlift or squat heavy wrong and it's extremely easy to injure yourself or do more harm than good.
Yes, don’t start squatting and deadlifting without learning how to do it properly.
Yes, start light, you only have one spine and two knees.
No, it is not “extremely easy” to injure yourself if you show a modicum of good sense and avoid max lifting.
I agree with GP that squats and deadlifts will improve posture in a relatively short period of time. They are among the best exercises, period, for improving health and vitality, while being objectively less risky than, say, jogging.
But all it took was one day where I was probably too tired/stressed. It wasn't a serious injury, but that spot in my back is still tight and I haven't really been able to unlock it despite physio, massage etc
May have had pre-existing tension which made it more likely. Dunno. But injury can happen more easily than you think.
(Though jogging is still more injury prone, I think. I'm just saying: treat the lifts with caution.)
I severely injured my back, bulged disk, cause? Poor computer posture and near-total lack of exercise.
I'm fairly convinced that lifting has left me substantially less injury prone: I started when I noticed that I was experiencing knee pain when bending down to pick something up off the floor. That's been gone since about two months after starting training.
Definitely respect yourself and respect the weight. Best of luck with your recovery, I know how it is and it's a journey for sure.
All it takes is a lapse in concentration. In my case, my grip started to fail mid set. So I switched (from overhand to mixed), next rep that wasn't enough and, well, surely I can save this rep if I just engage my bi… Oh, snap! Surgery and a year later, mostly recovered, but still.
I'd just encourage the neophyte to be a bit cautious. Five minutes can lead to an injury that takes you out for a month, and leaves some persistent tension that will take work to get out.
And in particular I'd caution against going heavy if you're tired or stressed. I think my system in general became injury prone and tense during a period of stress. I've worked that out and feel better able to excercise compound lifts.
Of note, I'm not really functionally impaired by this tension. Like, I never say "my back, my back, I can't lift today". I just have some tense spots that reduce flexibility a little.
Is there a specific thing you should do after reading the book?
Your answer is a bit like the old joke: "Patient: doctor it hurts when I do this. Doctor: well, then don't do that".
The reality is that while these are great exercises, they are exercises that are easy to do badly, and that lot of people do badly without anyone ever pointing it out to them, because they think they know them and don't ask for help, and often people don't realize what the warning signs are.
To point out that there are risks with these exercises is sensible, and not FUD, because you can seriously harm both your back and your knees with them if you don't make sure you learn them properly, and a lot of people start out with insufficient flexibility to be able to do them properly.
I've done heavy compound lifts for 15+ years now, and my knees and back are stronger than they ever were before I lifted, but I also did manage to hurt my back when I first started, because I thought I'd learned how to do it properly but hadn't, and nobody corrected me, and I lacked the flexibility to even have a chance of doing them correctly. Thankfully I didn't hurt myself seriously, and took the opportunity to actually sort out the problems, but not everyone gets that lucky.
It's really quite rare that someone is deadlifting wrong the first time because they don't have the flexibility to do it properly compared to doing it wrong because they didn't ask for the right kind of help.
I wonder if lifting with a good coach would significantly reduce the risk of injuries.
I think the OP was making the point specifically that doing it wrong would make it extremely easy to injure yourself. Which it would be, and doing it wrong would also be extremely easy for a beginner to do.
Isn't that why they said it's easy to do if done improperly?
I'm fine now, but anytime I try to do squats again, my knees (patellar tendon) hurt.
It would be really nice to see the stats from an actual coach on every trainee of theirs, what their outcome was or why they stopped, with some before/after stats as well.
For my part it took months and hurting my back (thankfully not seriously) before I realized my entire posterior chain was basically too tight for me to be able to keep my back firm enough to do especially squats, but deadlifts too to a certain extent, safely at all but the very lightest weights.
Deadlifts and squats with low weight are good ways of seeing if you have sufficient flexibility, though. If you can't do them with good form even at low weights, then it's definitively a sign you need to do more stretches.
(I literally just got a massage where the bodyworker told me my hip was tilted majority, so it’s a stricking thing to read here...)
A far, far better book is "The New Rules of Posture".  See my review at  which also briefly explains why "8 Steps" is bad.
The only drawback I felt was a kind of nervous energy which made it slightly harder to focus on a long piece of text etc., similar to having too much coffee in one go.
Circulate it through the Microcosmic Orbit to balance it. You're driving too much energy up to your head. You need to bring it back down.
I beg your pardon?
Put the tongue on the roof of the mouth and move your awareness from your head down through your tongue and on down the front centre line about an inch inside the body. Someone jacked up on some of these breathing practices might also have over-stimulated their adrenals, so it's also important to concentrate on relaxing. Once you can go right down the front line, loop back under the trunk of your body and go up the spine. Just keep moving your awareness around this loop while relaxing, making sure to finish at the belly.
Failing that, try walking barefoot while allowing yourself to relax more and more. It should have a similar effect.
You might be interested in "Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao" by Mantak Chia  (there's also "Healing Light of the Tao" but it goes on a bit and TBH it isn't very easy to learn from a book).
Tai Chi - like yoga asanas actually - can be done as purely physical movements, or you can be more mindful and trace your awareness through your body along these pathways to tap into the energetic/qi level. It goes for any exercise really - I do it in the gym on the cross-trainers. I just relax more and more and feel my hip bones pumping tingles up from my feet to my head and back down. I get off feeling very different compared to just doing it as a purely physical exercise.
It'd probably only take you a couple of days practice to feel something moving in the Microcosmic Orbit - definitely not years of practice.
My teacher is very much about awareness and the way it moves through the body; the interplay of will, qi, and strength. I'm slow mostly because I started out with some pretty gruesome hip immobility issues, and have treated taiji like physical therapy for the past two years. I'm only just coming out of the gross mechanical problems now, and starting to become more aware of the subtler issues at play.
Having said that - Wim Hof method is very different from any techniques mentioned in the article and is rather a complementary technology.
(there are numerous studies supporting the lack of an increase in mucus due to dairy which can be found by searching "milk mucus increase")
Therefore isn't a thickening of phlegm (a form of mucus) an increase in quantity, therefore we can say it increases?
The doctor who wrote the response in your link is saying "Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus that drips down the back of your throat when you have a cold. Although drinking milk may make phlegm thicker and more irritating to your throat than it would normally be, milk doesn't cause your body to make more phlegm. In fact, frozen dairy products can soothe a sore throat and provide calories when you otherwise may not eat."
However as we just read: "Phlegm ... is a form of mucus produced by the lower airways — not by the nose and sinuses" - so it can't be a "Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus that drips down the back of your throat when you have a cold."
So is the doctor wrong? Is Google's top result wrong with its "mucus vs. phlegm" answer?
Also that link you provided links to no scientific research. The quick search I did on other scientific research, the methods don't seem too sound for controls - likewise if mucus production is caused by inflammation - if that person is only removing say dairy from their diet, however their body already has significant or "maximum" inflammation (leading to them producing their maximum amount of mucus they otherwise would) then they're not going to have an increase simply by adding another inflammatory factor, unless they reduce inflammation "completely" first.
> Therefore isn't a thickening of phlegm (a form of mucus) an increase in quantity, therefore we can say it increases?
I don't necessarily agree with this. You can change the viscosity of water by adding gelatin, but you didn't add more water to make it thicker.
But I am most certainly not a doctor and I realize I have no idea what exactly phlegm is!
I'm not sure it's true, at least not generally.
Anyone knows why that is?
"a 1987 survey of cardiac arrests at the Menninger Clinic (quoted with great regularity in Rodale Press's various publications) reported that all heart attack victims represented in that survey sample were high chest breathers"
As opposed to belly/abodminal breathers. I can't find the actual survey though.
Plenty more great quotes to be had in that book, for sure...
Of course. Who's claiming otherwise?
But sadhguru and ram dev baba were famous in India for yoga and meditation.
Sadhguru speaks in English, if it helps.
By the way sadhguru speeches are just awesome.
Sadhguru and ram dev baba were famous in India for yoga and meditation.
> By the way sadhguru speeches are just awesome.
I would have expected to find this opinion on Quora, not HN.
My non-24 schedule is much closer to normal now. I no longer wake up with a completely dry tongue / nasty taste in my mouth.
Additionally my surgeon found and got rid of polyps in my nose which were the cause of my anosmia. I can finally sense smells again.
If you're interested in the surgery, contact an ENT for a diagnosis and a pneumologist for a sleep study.
Next pneumologist appointment I'll ask about this and inhalation too.