Unsafe Sax-To Circular Breathe or Not



  • There was an interesting article published in 1999 in the highly respected British Medical Journal on the lower life expectancy of sax players compared to other musicians and looking for reasons as to why this may be so. The authors come to an assumed conclusion that it may likely be do to the damaging effects of circular breathing on the lungs. Give it a read and see if you agree (or not).

    https://www.bmj.com/content/319/7225/1612

    Then Discuss!



  • I read it. Interesting, just keep in mind that Kenny G. will most likely be the outlier here. He can circular breath with the best of them. Could smoother jazz be healthier than hard bop? Another study may be in order!



  • @Doodlin said in Unsafe Sax-To Circular Breath or Not:

    ...just keep in mind that Kenny G. will most likely be the outlier here. He can circular breath with the best of them....!

    I believe Kenny G holds the world record in holding the longest note, I believe it was for 55 minutes!



  • @Doodlin said in Unsafe Sax-To Circular Breath or Not:

    ...Another study may be in order!

    Already done. In 2014 I had the misfortune of being in an ICU bed for 3 weeks with tubes coming out of many many parts of my body. I had my wife bring in my pocket trumpet with my Yamaha silent mute, and I played in my hospital bed for hours a day. I decided with all the monitoring devices to "study" the circular breathing effects on my lung and heart function. The results: My pulse oximeter reading should my oxygen saturation INCREASED on average by 6%. So pulmonary function increased. My pulse actually dropped by 10 beats per minute (relaxed cardiac function) and blood pressure remained in normal range. So, I personally feel pulmonary function is enhanced by circular breathing.

    This actually reinforces the benefit of positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) on increasing (not fibrosing or decreasing) alveolar function. This increases the volume of our end airway sacs and improves the surface area for oxygen absorption. This would counter any physiological argument for interstitial thickening (or fibrosis) as is suggested in that BMJ article.

    The discussion of this article in the Editorial section by many actually suggest the author was a bit light hearted (joking) regarding his conclusions as to cause and effect for earlier mortality for sax players.



  • I didn't see anything in the article suggesting that the cleanliness of the instrument could be a factor. A sax mouthpiece has got to be relatively more difficult to keep clean than a metal mouthpiece plated in silver.



  • @Dr-GO
    In a similar “vein”, I think that you will find the following July, 2017 case series report on the use of “Musical Endotrachial Tubes” equally as enlightening. It comes from a highly respected journal as well.
    I have introduced the “MET” to our small critical access community hospital and have founded an ICU New Horizons Band.

    https://gomerblog.com/2017/07/musical-endotracheal-tubes/



  • @SSmith1226 said in Unsafe Sax-To Circular Breath or Not:

    @Dr-GO
    ...the following July, 2017 case series report on the use of “Musical Endotrachial Tubes” equally as enlightening.
    https://gomerblog.com/2017/07/musical-endotracheal-tubes/

    Interesting. I have heard some interesting sounds come from ventilators so this tongue in cheek (or endotrachial tube in airway) article could resonate with some validity. I am wondering if this really was done with family present as to how the families would really respond.

    On another note: Would love to hear audio clips of your ICU band!

    [Originally comments edited after much appreciated feedback from SSmith1226. Thanks so much Dr. SSmith for the messaging. Very helpful and great to get your feedback!]



  • @Dr-GO
    All tongue in cheek. No patients or families were harmed in creating my post!!!
    Just a figment of my dry sense of humor.


Log in to reply