hello and welcome back to elocution solution I'm Anne I'm Harriet and I'm Bonnie we're going to begin our series on voice and diction and today we're going to focus on diaphragmatic breathing and vocal hygiene everyone who uses their voice for more than everyday conversation knows how important it is to have a strong flexible and well supported voice and that starts with diaphragmatic breathing diaphragmatic breathing is the most natural form of breathing because we're born doing it it's also the most efficient form of breathing because it gets the greatest amount of air to the lungs and the greatest amount of support for that air and this will reduce tension to your vocal cords we're going to start by just taking a breath and see what you feel did you feel your shoulders and your chest rising up because if you did then you weren't taking a diaphragmatic breath all right now we're going to take another breath and this time I want you to stand up put your hand on your stomach with your middle finger on your belly button now exhale all your air then open your mouth and just let the air come in what did you feel this time you should feel your stomach pushing against your hand and your shoulders and chest shouldn't be moving at all now if you have trouble doing this try it lying down either on the floor or on the bed because it will become much more naturally in this position keep your hand on your stomach when you're doing it so you can monitor there are many exercises you can do to increase your lung capacity and to increase your breath support today we're going to show you two of those exercises and we're going to begin with good posture so remain standing and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart your knees slightly flexed pelvis tucked under stomach nice and relaxed chest held high your spine nice and straight shoulders down and your head and neck should be in alignment with your spine this is good posture okay now we're going to put our hands back on our stomachs with the middle finger on your belly button and we're going to take a slow breath in to the count of three but this time you're going to breathe through your nose and as you take that breath in you're going to feel your stomach pushing out against your hand and when you breathe out for the count of six you're going to feel your stomach going back into its natural position let's try that breathe in two three out two three four five six good okay now as you get better at that as you practice you can increase the time that you breathe in and the time you breathe out two four and eight and as you get even better at it you can keep increasing the breathing in time and the breathing out time remember that the breathing out time is always twice that of the breathing in time okay now we have enough air to our lungs now we need to support it and the support comes from the diaphragm pushing the air out in a controlled manner so keeping in our nice good posture we're going to try this exercise take three fingers and you're going to put it on top of your abdomen on the muscle right below your sternum you're going to breathe in through the nose and you're going to say four forceful short sounds then you will do one long Shh sound and stop suddenly as you do this you're going to feel your stomach moving in on all the shifts the four short shush sounds and you'll feel this muscle up here is going to remain firmed out and pushing against your fingers the whole time okay let's try that breathe in and one two three great how did that go for you I hope you were as good as they were so just a reminder now when you practice these exercises you might tend to feel light-headed after you do them because you're not used to all that air coming into your lungs so in in case that happens just stop doing it and do it again later as you practice and get better at it this won't happen anymore so now that you can breathe we're going to learn about vocal hygiene we want to impress upon you the importance of maintaining a healthy voice here are a few things you should know about vocal hygiene be sure you stay hydrated drink plenty of water and room temperature is best and this will keep the cords moist dairy products create extra phlegm so you want to avoid eating or drinking them before public speaking other things that we need to avoid breathing through your mouth some medications especially allergy medications caffeine alcohol and of course smoking these will dry the vocal cords and affect the quality of your voice frequent throat clearing and speaking over loud noises will actually injure the vocal cords over time relaxation and posture are also important for a healthy voice correct posture provides the straightest pathway for the air and your voice to come out and relaxing the jaw neck and shoulders will eliminate tension around the vocal cords well thank you for tuning in our upcoming videos will feature hitch resonance and diction we'll see you next time don't forget to visit us at our website at www.petland.com

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Methew Wade

6 thoughts on “Diaphragmatic Breathing & Vocal Hygiene”

  1. Hi, That's a good comment. The diaphragm lowers so the air can rush in and the stomach responds by expanding. It happens together. Some people call it stomach breathing.

  2. hi, how do i know how to breath correctly? it is from the diaphragm or stomach? because at the beginning you mention the stomach and do that stomach inhale, exhale exercises.

  3. Hi DeniedHealthCare- The lovely lady on the far right is from Brooklyn NY. But I have lived in Los Angeles for many years.

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