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The past 20 years have seen rapid growth in scientific research into the physical and mental health benefits of both Breathing Practices and Singing; in some ways these two areas can be seen as fundamentally linked as our breath fuels our singing voice and singing involves the conscious control of the breath. I am excited to be involved in this emergent area of study, using my MA in Singing for Health to find ways of blending breathwork practices and singing to support physical and mental health with compassion and care.  


Scroll down to read some of the research highlights I have assimilated from recent academic studies:

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Bernardi, N. F., Snow, S., Peretz, I., Orozco Perez, H. D., Sabet-Kassouf, N., & Lehmann, A. (2017). Cardiorespiratory optimization during improvised singing and toning. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1–8.

Brown, R. P., Gerbarg, P. L., & Muench, F. (2013). Breathing Practices for Treatment of Psychiatric and Stress-Related Medical Conditions. In Psychiatric Clinics of North America (Vol. 36, Issue 1, pp. 121–140). Elsevier.

Chen, Y. F., Huang, X. Y., Chien, C. H., & Cheng, J. F. (2017). The Effectiveness of Diaphragmatic Breathing Relaxation Training for Reducing Anxiety. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 53(4), 329–336.

Fancourt, D., Williamon, A., Carvalho, L. A., Steptoe, A., Dow, R., & Lewis, I. (2016). Singing modulates mood, stress, cortisol, cytokine and neuropeptide activity in cancer patients and carers. Ecancermedicalscience.

Gerbarg, P. L., & Brown, R. P. (2016). Neurobiology and neurophysiology of breath practices in psychiatric care. Psychiatric Times, 33(11).

Gerritsen, R. J. S., & Band, G. P. H. (2018). Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 9.

Heck, D. H., McAfee, S. S., Liu, Y., Babajani-Feremi, A., Rezaie, R., Freeman, W. J., Wheless, J. W., Papanicolaou, A. C., Ruszinkó, M., Sokolov, Y., & Kozma, R. (2017). Breathing as a fundamental rhythm of brain function. Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 10(January), 1–8.

Kang, J., Scholp, A., & Jiang, J. J. (2018). A Review of the Physiological Effects and Mechanisms of Singing. Journal of Voice, 32(4), 390–395.

Kreutz, G., Bongard, S., Rohrmann, S., Hodapp, V., & Grebe, D. (2004). Effects of choir singing or listening on secretory immunoglobulin A, cortisol, and emotional state. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27(6), 623–635.

Noble, D. J., & Hochman, S. (2019). Hypothesis: Pulmonary Afferent Activity Patterns During Slow, Deep Breathing Contribute to the Neural Induction of Physiological Relaxation. Frontiers in Physiology, 10(September), 1–17.

Perciavalle, V., Blandini, M., Fecarotta, P., Buscemi, A., Di Corrado, D., Bertolo, L., Fichera, F., & Coco, M. (2017). The role of deep breathing on stress. Neurological Sciences, 38(3), 451–458.

Philip, K. E. J., Lewis, A., Buttery, S. C., McCabe, C., Manivannan, B., Fancourt, D., Orton, C. M., Polkey, M. I., & Hopkinson, N. S. (2021). Physiological demands of singing for lung health compared with treadmill walking. BMJ Open Respiratory Research, 8(1), 1–7.

Philip, K. E. J., Owles, H., McVey, S., Pagnuco, T., Bruce, K., Brunjes, H., Banya, W., Mollica, J., Lound, A., Zumpe, S., Abrahams, A. M., Padmanaban, V., Hardy, T. H., Lewis, A., Lalvani, A., Elkin, S., & Hopkinson, N. S. (2022). An online breathing and wellbeing programme (ENO Breathe) for people with persistent symptoms following COVID-19: a parallel-group, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. Respiratory Medicine, 2600(22), 1–12.

Porter, S., McConnell, T., McLaughlin, K., Lynn, F., Cardwell, C., Braiden, H. J., Boylan, J., Holmes, V., Rogan, S., Clinician, L., Diamond, K., Allen, J., Reilly, C., Davidson, F., McDowell, C., Boyd, R., Oldfield, A., Mullowney, M., Downes, C., … Heale, A. (2017). Music therapy for children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 58(5), 586–594.

Schwerdtfeger, A. R., Schwarz, G., Pfurtscheller, K., Thayer, J. F., Jarczok, M. N., & Pfurtscheller, G. (2020). Heart rate variability (HRV): From brain death to resonance breathing at 6 breaths per minute. Clinical Neurophysiology, 131(3), 676–693.

Smith, A. M., Kleinerman, K., & Cohen, A. J. (2021). Singing lessons as a path to well-being in later life. Psychology of Music.

Smith, G., Sprouse-Blum, A. S., Sugai, D., & Parsa, F. D. (2010). Understanding endorphins and their importance in pain management. Hawaii Medical Journal, 69(3), 70–71.

Smith, J. C., Abdala, A. P. L., Borgmann1, A., Rybak, I. A., & Paton, J. F. R. (2012). Brainstem respiratory networks: building blocks and microcircuits. Bone, 23(1), 1–7.

Streeter, C. C., Gerbarg, P. L., Saper, R. B., Ciraulo, D. A., & Brown, R. P. (2012). Effects of yoga on the autonomic nervous system, gamma-aminobutyric-acid, and allostasis in epilepsy, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical Hypotheses, 78(5), 571–579.

Wei, G. X., Li, Y. F., Yue, X. L., Ma, X., Chang, Y. K., Yi, L. Y., Li, J. C., & Zuo, X. N. (2016). Tai Chi Chuan modulates heart rate variability during abdominal breathing in elderly adults. PsyCh Journal, 5(1), 69–77.

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