Try Pilates, Save Your Cords
So what does Pilates have to do with vocal nodes and hemorrhages? Breath is one of the six core principles of Pilates (along with concentration, control, centering, flow and precision). Diaphragmatic breathing ensures that full inhalation and exhalation occurs with the most optimal and efficient body mechanics. Pilates newbies can have a difficult time initially with the breath, however I think we can all agree that the pattern becomes natural and automatic with practice. As we breath in, the diaphragm lowers in the thoracic cavity and the ribs raise outwards in a "bucket handle" manner, creating space for the lungs to expand with air. At exhale, the central tendon of the diaphragm lengthens, lifting the diaphragm up and the ribs swing back in and help to push the exhale out. Like visuals? Click Here.
Diaphragmatic breathing is vital for voice professionals. Taking in an optimal inhalation with as little biomechanical effort possible enables the performer to fuel their voice deeply, without the need to strain the upper respiratory tract and vocal cords. It's the repetitive and traumatic straining of the vocal cords, combined with insufficient vocal rest, that leads to inflammation, nodules, and even hemorrhage.
So lets put it all together:
Do Pilates > Improve Your Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique > Have a Bigger, Bolder Voice with Less Effort > Less Downtime for Nodes!