restrictions of tight clothing?" Now you shrug your shoulders and say, with a little irritation, perhaps, "O, now she is goingto scold about corsets and tight-lacing, and I do not wear my clothes tight." But I am not now going to talk of lacing; I amgoing to talk about singing, and speaking, and real living. The highest class of living creatures are those that have mostpower to breathe. The cold-blooded animals breathe little, and are slow-moving creatures with deficient sensation andsmall powers of action. Man has large lung-capacity and should be full of life and power, and will be, if he understandshimself. One benefit of exercise is the added impulse given to the heart and lungs, calling for more breath, and bringingmore blood to the lungs to receive the added supply of oxygen.ToC
If we were wise we would practise the art of deep, voluntary breathing, as a daily form of gymnastics. What would it dofor us? Wonderful things, if we may believe the doctors. Even in the old Greek and Roman times the doctorsrecommended deep breathing, the voluntary holding of air in the lungs, believing that this exercise cleansed the systemof impurities and gave strength. And all our scientific discoverers have proven that they were right, and modern doctorshave only learned more of the process and added to the wisdom of the ancients. Professor Lehwess says that he usesdeep breathing not only as a health remedy but as a cure for muscular convulsions, especially chronic spasms; and hesays that he bases his method for the cure of stuttering mainly upon respiratory and vocal exercises, "whereby," he says,"we work on enervated muscles, and make their function bring them into permanent activity and make them obedient toour will." Thus not only will the respiratory system be enlarged and quickened, and the lungs strengthened, but the bloodcirculation is promoted and those injurious influences overcome which often take away the stutterer's courage forspeaking.Dr. Niemeyer, of Leipzig, urges breathing in these words: "Prize air; use good, pure air; breathe fresh air in your roomby night and day." Dr. Bicking says that respiratory gymnastics are the only effectual remedy for pulmonary affection,especially for consumption. The Marquise Ciccolina claims that by the teaching of breathing gymnastics she has curedpeople of a tendency to take cold easily; she has benefited cases of lung and heart trouble, and she has cured nervousasthma even in cases that have lasted from childhood to maturity. Dr. Kitchen asserts that if the various structures of thebody, including the lungs, are in a sufficiently healthy state, consumption cannot find a soil in which to commence itsravages, or, if already commenced, can be cured by attention to the general health, by pure air and deep breathing.