When I was in graduate school studying music composition, my singing professor told me that I was not using my ‘real’ voice when I spoke. I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought the voice you had was the voice you would always have. She then explained that the pitch of my habitual speaking voice was too high and that my ‘real’ or true voice was lower by several steps. |
What I also did not know that was in order to achieve that warmer, deeper, more mature sound, I had to not only use my chest cavity to power my sound but I had to breathe with the support of my diaphragm as well, a technique that would change my life, and the lives of my clients, forever.
I started researching diaphragmatic breathing and discovered that 99% of the population do not breathe correctly. We are renowned for being shallow or lazy breathers. While all mammals breathe with the support of the diaphragm, it is only the most intelligent of the mammals that stops this practice sometime during childhood development!
What happens with shallow or upper chest breathing is that you are unable to rid your body of toxins which are present in the blood. In fact, shallow breathing actually increases the toxins which increase your stress. Do you know the first thing you are told to do if you are experiencing a panic attack? Breathe with the support of your diaphragm.
Many of the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing deal with this elimination of the toxins in the blood because it results in greater relaxation. This is why yoga and meditation are so popular today. People are stressed and are looking for ways to deal with the stress. My experience, as well as that of my clients, is that if you make diaphragmatic breathing a habit, you will discover that you are handling your stress and even minor pain much more effectively and, in many cases, eliminating it.
What I was noticing with my clients was that they not only sounded better in their ‘before & after’ videos, but they looked better as well. Their posture improved and they stood with confidence. Some people told me that they were getting more uninterrupted sleep and that they were falling asleep faster at night.
A young criminal lawyer reported that she got rid of a tension headache by practicing the breathing exercises on her way home from work. I am certainly not going to tell you that diaphragmatic breathing is a cure-all for headaches; but, as this woman’s headache was being caused by stress, she was able to breathe her stress away.
When it comes to physical fitness and working out, I had another lawyer tell me that he was able to run longer when jogging. Admittedly, his muscles were not accustomed to the longer stretch, but his breathing made it possible. A professional golfer told me she was hitting the ball better because she started breathing with support when addressing the ball. Thus, her swing was more relaxed.
The clincher was a government official with whom I worked. This man said that when he breathed with support while on his exercise bike in the morning, his blood pressure dropped! However, if he reverted to shallow breathing, his blood pressure went up.
Imagine adding 4-1/2 years to your lifespan by changing 1 simple technique. Learn to breathe correctly, find your ‘real’ voice, and discover the benefits that await. It can change your life forever.
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to see a dramatic ‘before & after’ clip, visit Voice Training Website and check out Craig’s video.
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