One of the most inspiring interviews yet, we had the pleasure of chatting with Todd Steinberg, founder of Komusō, a company that is changing the way we breathe, deal with stress, and calm down.
Komusō uses an approach to mental wellness inspired by 17th century Japanese monks. The Komusō monks used a tool similar to a flute, which allowed them to slow their breathing and meditate. “It’s like we’ve known these things for thousands of years, yet we kind of drift and we get lost in what becomes the hustle,”expressed Steinberg.
Komusō channeled this ancient wisdom and created The Shift, a pendant that is worn as a necklace and used for breath-work. With a precise circumference, The Shift supports a 10 second exhale. By focusing on our exhale through break-work, you can calm down your parasympathetic nervous system, decrease blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, loosen muscles, and slow heart rate.
“The problem is that not many people understand how to regulate their minds. When you take control of your breath, you change the neuroplasticity in your brain, allowing you to depend on yourself and your breathing to feel calm, not an external source.”
How Komuso is Disrupting Mental Health
Co-founder Todd Steinberg was inspired by his own struggle with alcohol and anxiety. “I was self-medicating and it was getting scary to me that I only felt comfortable when I was anxious if I had a drink.” Todd also shares, “oftentimes when people want to relax it’s Netflix and chill. They’re going to watch TV or scroll and scroll, but what’s happening is you’re just kind of covering it up. It’s a band-aid or if you’re like me, it was drinking.”
“We are growing with this codependency on notification, on average, we receive 150 notifications every day, and I don’t think we were supposed to go through our day with that kind of disruption and there’s consequences to that. That’s why anxiety is such an epidemic right now.” … “We’re saying, no, we don’t need the app. We don’t need the notifications. We don’t need the disruptions. We’re going to get you to feel better by simply breathing better.”
Komusō’s goal is to provide people with a tool that creates a habit to better understand their mind and body. Komusō also advocates for using tools that are accessible outside of their pendant such as 4-7-8 or box breathing.
While Komusō has created a tool that is truly changing the way people breathe and experience breath, they are also tackling what we think is a problem that needs to be addressed—mens mental health. Komusō offers a pendant specifically for men.
“The reason we do this is because we want to show males that this is for you. As a co-founder, I’m a guy who never thought about wearing a necklace until I created this thing. And, you know, I think of stereotypes, such as “tough it out or man,” what does that even mean to tough it out? To me, it just should mean that you’re in touch with yourself and you’re in touch with your own truth. Since starting three and a half years ago, the percentage of sales for men we’re about 5% and now it’s at 30%, that’s telling us something.”
Steinberg added, “it is clear to me that Komusō is changing the game, and doing it in a way that organically allows us to reconnect with ourselves without relying on outside sources.”
We asked Todd his best advice for a young entrepreneur: “My advice to myself four years ago would be to start small and keep taking baby steps. That compound interest will keep building and there will be growth because you’re going to make all these minor adjustments along the way.”
We cannot wait to see how Komusō continues to positively impact so many lives. Komusō is close to launching a kid friendly version of The Shift that allows children to slow down their breathing and form healthy habits that will last a lifetime. We are such huge fans of Todd – xheck out Komusō and be sure to use the code “StarterNoise” for 15% off!
Share your thoughts with us @starternoise.
Morgan is a student at the University of San Diego majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Entrepreneurship. Not afraid to run a 10k or test out a new product for review, Morgan is our go-to for all things spirituality, health, wellness, and the hottest spots to check out in Denver and San Diego. Also a podcast junkie, Morgan can always recommend a killer listen ranging from the newest data on MDMA research to ways we can begin understanding the microbiome.