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I have had bronchial and asthmatic problems for a long time, due to allergies and other things.

When I am sick and having breathing problems I have found that practicing helps me, longtones especially. And it really helps me when I do this on soprano.

One time I went into emergency with breathing issues. The doctor gave me a test to test my resistence and was amazed that I could push the air as well as I could. I told him i was a saxophonist and he told me, "Keep playing."

Anyone else with these issues?
 

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My oldest daughter and I are asthmatics. When my daughter styarted playing sax escpially when she went to tenor her ashtma improved. Sax excercises the diaphram. A strong diaphram helps deal w/ lung diseases.
 

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Wow, a revelation! I used to have asthma (and got attacks when doing a lot of physical activity) when I was younger, and then it seemed to go away, and I didn't understand why or how. I never experienced any trouble, even in my college football playing days. I only just now made the connection between asthma and saxophone playing- I stopped having significant attacks the year that I started playing, and a year later I stopped having them completely.

Excellent!
 

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Same experience here. When at a doctor's visit for a RX renewl for inhaler medication part of the process was a referral to get a breathing test. The technician didn't believe I had asthma and wanted to induce an attack . Fortunately the practice of inducing asthma symptoms isn't required. Good thing since it can be a kind of Jeckyll and Hyde type reaction. I've been playing saxophone since 8 years of age. Playing a wind instrument does help diminish the frequency and severity of attacks, IME. :cool:
 

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When people are admitted with serious airways obstruction (particularly chronic obstructive lung disease, which is a condition related to asthma), part of the treatment may be CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a machine that provides an air pressure inside the airways that is higher than the atmospheric pressure. This treatment can also be used for pulmonary edema / acute heart failure. Blowing a saxophone, particularly long tones, will, in principle, have a somewhat similar effect on the airways as the CPAP.
 

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Saxophone definitely helps my asthma. Interestingly my doctor tells me that the only non-drug treatment that is well documented to help is Tai Chi, but he thinks that wind instruments help too.
 

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Now that I think about it, I used to have asthma when I was in 2nd grade. When I got into 7th grade it seemed like it disappeared completely. It might of been then when I played bari for a year. Now in high school I never have those problems running the mile or in PE, and I take my PE sports seriously :p
 

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I remember having a very severe attack as a teenager and I did an air velocity/capacity test at the doctor and even though I could barely breathe (I thought), the doctor asked if I played trombone because my readings were normal despite my incapacity.

When I have bronchitis, I find practicing helps me control my breathing and coughing.
 

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Me too. Went to the doctor today for breathing medicine. July in Calgary is dusty and filled with hay. I can't sleep cause of wheezing even if I'm on anti-histamines. But I have been practicing right through it and now the meds are kicking in I feel great.
 

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I have asthma as well.

Controlling my environment (allergic to pets and pretty much everything outside), putting in a hard workout everyday (outside for several hours of all things), and of course the saxophone everyday keeps the pipes clear and strong.

Staying skinny, eating right also go along way to keeping you strong.

A lot of asthmatics don't do very well simply because they aren't taking care of themselves or they are under the care of someone that isn't doing what's necessary, such as a parent/spouse/whatever refusing to get rid a pet, smoking or keeping the house clean.

As far as the breathing test at my peak I was testing 130% normal lung function. Tenor 9* Link with a hard reed about 10 years ago, my doctor a well know immunologist had mentioned that playing the saxophone is very good for asthma.

And I agree there have been times when I'm a little wheezy and two hours later on the horn I've cleared it all out and feel great.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you Ron Black for that link. I know that my breathing is doing very well and it has been about two years since my last bronchial attack. However, my allergies have been under control at this point. But gigging a lot helps a great deal in conjunction with a good daily practice regimen.
 

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Well, I used to have asthma and I didn't knew about that, it's interesting to know that the saxophone helps you in that. I'm learning now to play the saxophone, and now I can tell anyone what they can when learning to play it.

Wonderful Topic!

Omar
 

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I've been saxophone (alto and tenor) for about two years now, and I've noticed that my asthma is getting better. It's not totally gone, but maybe in a few years it will be. I can jog for about ten minutes without needing an inhaler, as opposed to my old five minutes. I'm not sure if it's all due to my saxophone playing, or maybe it's because of my new vegetarian lifestyle + daily jogging, but whatever I'm doing, it's working.

I hope that I can say goodbye to my inhaler for good one day. :)
 

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It depends if you asthma is exercise induced or perhaps also mixed in with allergies. It's an immune system that is overly active, stimulated by things it shouldn't be. Research indicates that you aren't born with asthma, and of course that's true in the sense that you have your moms immune system the first few months of life.

For me my asthma is from as young as I can remember. Sickly child from birth. I'm sure my dads smoking didn't help matters and research has indicated that asthma might be linked to your environment when your growing up.

Anyways I'm a vegetarian as well. Eating meat and dairy cause inflammation. By eating clean foods, avoiding saturated fats, getting vegetables, fruits, healthy nuts you feel better and look better. And the exercise will go along way towards helping your asthma. Get that heart rate up and keep it up for as long as you can.

You might try taking a puff off the inhaler before you start a hard workout. That's what I do and often I'll leave the inhaler at home when I go out as there's a temptation to want to take a puff when your lungs start burning during your workouts. It's one of those things you just have to work past.
 

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The sax helps my breathing and my bowing.
I have learned to play the sax for a while before picking up the cello.
The sax relaxes my chest and back and arms and brain.
Not ready to tell my cello prof I am quitting him for the sax yet.
:D
 

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While saxophone playing may aid asthmatics, please realize that the fact that "Atopic asthma symptoms often disappear around puberty." Since many players start at about this time, I'm not sure of the validity of thinking that disappearing symptoms are caused by starting sax. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/446396 Oh, and CHASAX, don't quit cello. You have a greater chance of making a living playing cello than sax.
 

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I took up Cello for awhile. Love the sound of that instrument(when it's played by someone else other than me).

Problem was it was that dang bowing. I don't know how anyone can do it for hours everyday without lots of pain in their shoulder. The instrument is murder on your body. I found myself tensing up big time until by back and shoulder were a mess. Supposedly String players have the highest rates of tendonitis and chronic overuse injuries amoung musicians.
 
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