Breathing Principles

Through science articles, books, classes, and my own experience, I have discovered three breathing principles to help control diabetes. These principles form the foundation of many breathing protocols used in the scientific literature, and are also used in many popular breathing techniques. However, I prefer principles over “techniques” because there are many different methods that fall within each principle. You choose which is right for you.

These principles are meant to complement your current diabetes care plan. If you just got diabetes or have not had luck with management in the past, breathing is a great place to start. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg describes what he calls “Keystone Habits”: habits that facilitate other good habits. I believe correct breathing is a keystone habit that forms the foundation of good health.

Correct breathing is a keystone habit that forms the foundation of good health.

Once you start noticing improvements in your blood sugars, energy, and well-being, you’ll be motivated to keep going. Of course, breathing alone will not fix everything, but it will make everything else easier!


1. Breathe slowly

If you’re like me, you probably hate the constant stress of fluctuating blood sugars. Anytime my sugar is below 60 or above 180, I’m usually a little frustrated. I think my least favorite thing in the world is waking up with high blood sugar. That physiological and emotional stress has negative long-term consequences…


2. Breathe through your nose at night—> tape your mouth

This is by far the easiest principle to implement and might also be the most important. As described in Principle 1, there are many benefits of breathing through your nose. Nose breathing warms and humidifies the incoming air, improves gas exchange in the lungs, naturally activates…


3. Hold your breath

When I began practicing the Oxygen Advantage®, I was performing breath holds as a way to boost performance. I was not training for anything in particular, but doing breath holds increased my energy and gave me more confidence when I went surfing. I now know that breath holds played…