You’d be surprised at the number of muscles involved when you take every breath. Since most of my pain is in my upper body, it literally hurts to breathe. When I take a breath, my shoulders, my neck, and the back of my head cry out: That hurts!
I didn’t really discover this until I stopped taking prescription medications, as it appears they helped manage this kind of pain. So, I had to learn another way to breath — from my stomach. Try it: When you breath in, push out your stomach and try not to move your shoulders or your chest.
When I use this breathing technique, my stomach muscles (what’s left of them) push up against my diaphragm and some of the pressure against my upper body is eased, allowing me to take deeper breaths. It’s those really deep inhales that help me to relax some of the tension in my body caused by chronic pain.
One of the reasons I use music therapy is because when I sing along to a song (hey, that rhymes), I can use and strengthen this breathing technique.
Most people don’t really take any time to consider the interesting work that goes on in the body when they sing. They seem to assume that the voice just magically “appears” whenever they will it to.
Nearly everyone has probably heard expressions like “sing from the diaphragm (or belly)” and “support the breath (or voice)”, used frequently by many singing teachers. However, if a student doesn’t understand some basic human anatomy that is related to making breath and sound, these common expressions can become encased in mystery…
Vocal technique is as much a science as singing is an art form. While, initially, a student may have to concentrate very hard on his or her breathing, tone placement and muscle control, these techniques will become easier, more natural and even automatic in time, making singing much more enjoyable…
Singing is indeed an “athletic” activity, in that it involves toning and strengthening muscles, and developing stamina in using them…
“My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.” Jimmy Durante