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MYTH: The diaphragm is involuntary


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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Mohan wrote:
...
The vast majority of modern medical literature agrees that the diaphragm’s contractions causing the inhalation of breath are an involuntary action, brought about by the phrenic nerve reacting to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, with the caveat that this is an action that can be briefly interrupted by consciously choosing to do certain things, such as holding one’s breath, playing a trumpet, etc. We don’t have to think about contracting the diaphragm while we’re asleep, for instance (or while reading this post). ...

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From the brief google searches and reading that I've done, it seems that medical literature does not discuss the role of the phrenic nerve or diaphragm muscle during deliberate inhalation / exhalation. To me, that seems like an obvious question that should have an easy answer, but I did not find anything that explicitly addresses it.

The real question being discussed in this thread is:
Is diaphragm muscle activity controlled during deliberate inhalation / exhalation?
The distinction between voluntary and involuntary is not relevant - only whether there is controlled activity.

From my layman's view, I cannot think of any reason why the diaphragm muscle would not be actively involved in deliberate in / ex.
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tptptp
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="John Mohan"]
tptptp wrote:
The diaphragm is not an "involuntary" muscle. Unlike the involuntary cardiac muscle, the diaphragm will not contract without a stimulus. What is involuntary is the pCO2-driven stimulus from the brain via the phrenic nerve.

But it is wrong to infer that this is a requirement for a muscle to be considered involuntary. The smooth muscles of the digestive tract contract in response to being stretched...... And they are certainly considered involuntary.

....The vast majority of modern medical literature agrees.... /quote]


I didn't infer. I stated, and I now repeat:
The diaphragm is not an involuntary muscle in that it can be voluntarily controlled by the patient. However, contraction and relaxation are, most of the time, involuntarily controlled as I described previously.

I'll clarify:
Cardiac muscle is involuntary in that it cannot be controlled by the patient.
Smooth muscles of the gut are involuntary in that they cannot be controlled by the patient.

And, unlike some, I haven't read "the vast majority of medical literature." I'm only a cardiologist.

It's all sort of nit-picking.
I'm out.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So, is the diaphragm a voluntary or an involuntary muscle?


While playing a tone on the instrument: voluntary.

Consciously managing the breath before, after, or between musical tones or phrases: voluntary

performing timed breathing exercises: voluntary.

So, related to trumpet practice and performance, undeniably voluntary. Not "isolated", but voluntary as part of conscious and voluntary control of inhalation and/or exhalation.

But you may get differing opinions on Sleep Herald or Sitting around watching TV Herald.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BTW, while doing any of the things you mention, voluntary vs involuntary makes absolutely zero difference.


Correct. It's nothing that one need be concerned about or talk about in the course of instruction. Why then is it obligatory language among many teachers and players? Which was kind of the point of my OP. What is the value to a student to say in a lesson or even in a lecture, THAT phrase?

I would say, none.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
So, is the diaphragm a voluntary or an involuntary muscle? :o

------------------------------
I think that categorizing muscles as EITHER voluntary or involuntary is not a big concern in physiology or neurology. Muscle category seems to be more concerned with the type of muscle fiber, and what specific nerve action is involved in control of the muscle.

I think that 'involuntary' means that the muscle CAN do its normal function without deliberate awareness or mental control - it doesn't mean that the muscle cannot function in a 'voluntary' manner.

Yes, the voluntary/involuntary terminology is still encountered - but it might not convey good information about all of the various ways in which a muscle can function.
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fleming
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 11:58 am    Post subject: Also…. Reply with quote

Also, some of the places I listed previously have medical schools, physics professors, and some probably offer acoustics. In addition to turning out top-flight professional musicians replete with voluntary and involuntary muscles.

You should check ‘em out, Darrell! Broadening horizons can be fun and lead to a more in-depth understanding.
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Also…. Reply with quote

fleming wrote:
Also, some of the places I listed previously have medical schools, physics professors, and some probably offer acoustics. In addition to turning out top-flight professional musicians replete with voluntary and involuntary muscles.

You should check ‘em out, Darrell! Broadening horizons can be fun and lead to a more in-depth understanding.
Stop being so annoying and childish. This is not a conservatory, it's a public message board where anybody can post what they want. If you don't like what somebody has to say, you can say that, but you are being a full on baboon.
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fleming
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:18 pm    Post subject: Baboons Reply with quote

“Full on baboon”

I kinda like baboons…..

Now I am truly thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Last edited by fleming on Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Baboons Reply with quote

fleming wrote:
“Full on baboon”

I kinda like baboons…..
You know somebody is up to no good when they keep editing their posts constantly.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: MYTH: The diaphragm is involuntary Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:
So please teachers, stop saying "The diaphragm is involuntary".

Because while playing, it isn't.

Sounds good.

I haven't ever said this, nor has any of the teachers I've ever studied with, but that sounds reasonable.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, that's settled.
Now, when we teach someone, do we say diaphragm breathing or abdominal breathing?
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Shifty
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
So, that's settled.
Now, when we teach someone, do we say diaphragm breathing or abdominal breathing?

Neither. Take a big (not too big, per Lynn Nicholson) breath and blow.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But do you take a breath from the top of your chest down or from your, er . . lower extremities up? Do you draw the air in with a vacuum caused by your abdomen or your diaphragm . . or your intercostals? Inquiring minds want to know.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way too much snark in this thread, especially from one person.

Cleaned up (somewhat) and locked.

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