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  • Susannah

    I’m an opera singer, and I can tell you that during inhalation, the diaphragm contracts regardless of how deep or shallow the breath is. Thus, the term “diaphragmatic breathing” doesn’t really make any sense if it’s supposed to be a separate thing from “regular” breathing. The lungs do not expand on their own. In order for them to take in any air, the diaphragm and the ribs have to pull on them (diaphragm pulls them down, ribs pull on them laterally and sagittally), thereby creating an expanded chest cavity and allowing air to come in and fill the lungs. What you’re seeing when the belly expands during inhalation is the diaphragm displacing the viscera and the pelvic floor releasing to make room for them. Also, it is impossible for air to get into the belly, so if a child is going to practice this, they should understand that “belly breathing” is a myth in that way. Good voice teachers constantly tell young singers to find a “low” breath, with the stipulation that they’re not actually taking in any air past the lungs. Practicing deep breathing is a great thing, but both kids and adults should be aware of the truth of how their bodies work.

    • Dan Roberts

      Susannah, I think you missed the point. It’s not about you and your vast knowledge of opera, breathing and human anatomy… it’s about a technique that can improve the quality of life for children and adults.

      • Bill R.

        Dan: Susannah’s comment contained useful, relevant information. Your “It’s not about …” reply tends to imply that it somehow would have been better had she not made the comment, which is not the case, and your “you and your vast knowledge” and “…” wording further denigrates what is in fact an apropos comment that contributes positively to the discussion.

  • Megz

    When calm I teach my daughter to “smell the flowers, and blow out the candles.” Another time when she was really upset and wouldn’t do her breathing I told her to “blow me over” which ended up turning into a fun game and lots of giggling.