Piston breathing, an ancient technique I’ve identified in a number of sources over the years in my research, is a very good method for oxidization and naturally exciting the sympathetic nervous system.

It’s a good technique to use when you’re tired or mentally foggy, preparing for some intense exercise whether it’s sprinting or weight-lifting or even when you’re ready to reach for a cup of coffee or another stimulant to give you a boost.

You may recall in a previous Breathing Tips video about anxiety, I showed you how to perform a technique with its roots in yoga and Chinese medicine called “taking out the garbage.” People who suffer from anxiety are overly stimulated in the sympathetic nervous system, thus relatively shut down in the parasympathetic system, so they need to calm down.

Piston breathing is a better way to rev up your sympathetic system and do it naturally. It can also be useful for people with anxiety whose bodily systems are running low on energy, and for very short periods (6-10 seconds) before reaching for caffeine.

Most of you can use piston breathing, but start on the low side (6-10 seconds) to see how your body responds. If it works well for you, build up progressively from there. If you can handle more, do another short set and work up to 6-10 sets of it.

My video shows you how to do piston breathing properly, breathing in through your nose with your tongue planted on the roof of your mouth, then pushing it out with some effort through your nose like a piston. (Be sure to have some Kleenex handy, so you don’t make a mess out of your clothes!)

If you want to learn much more beyond my video about piston breathing, I encourage you to read my book, How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, where it’s listed as one of my zone exercises.

Love and chi,