Original Research

Diaphragmatic-intercostal breathing and the occurrence of gastroesophageal reflux disease in singers

Beverley du Plessis, Santisa Viljoen, Petra Bester
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 10, No 2 | a102 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v10i2.102 | © 2014 Beverley du Plessis, Santisa Viljoen, Petra Bester | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 February 2016 | Published: 30 November 2014

About the author(s)

Beverley du Plessis, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa
Santisa Viljoen, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa
Petra Bester, Nursing and Midwifery, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa

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Abstract

This article was inspired by our awareness of an increasing number of voice students and professional singers who specialize in Western art music and who present with symptoms relating to gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). In our attempts to understand this phenomenon, we began questioning the relationship between diaphragmatic-intercostal breathing (DIB) and the occurrence of GERD. This study uses two of the methods by which qualitative research can be done, namely literature reviews and case studies. The results of the literature review show that the way in which the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) functions during DIB has direct bearing on the possible movement of gastric acids via the esophagus into the pharynx and the larynx. Acknowledging the fact that we are not medical experts, we then used the data from the case studies to suggest how singers might adjust their life styles in order to restrict or prevent occurrences of GERD.

Keywords

Diaphragmatic-intercostal breathing; diaphragm; gastroesophagheal reflux disease; lower esophagheal sphincter

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