So, yesterday, I put on my radio shows and interspersed them with the SEAL cadences, and I had a very interesting experience... At one point, I was nearing the end of one of the radio shows and nearing a point of breathing exertion that usually makes me slow down--it's the point where your breathing starts getting irregular and shallow and your footfalls lose their pacing. Then the show ended and a cadence started and all of sudden my breathing became deeper, more regular, more productive, and my running regained its pace.
I know that there have been quite a few nursing studies done on the effects of music on patients, but I wonder if there are any studies on cadences. Does this only work when you're running (i.e., the autonomic breathing is effected through the motor cortex but not the auditory cortex) or could it work when you're just listening?
I searched the CINAHL and Medline databases. CINAHL doesn't return anything related to "cadence" and "breathing" or "dyspnea." Medline returns an article that confirms my anecdote:
We describe a breath-by-breath method to test for entrainment of breathing and walking cycles... The majority of subjects showed some evidence of entrainment (29 +/- 23% of breaths on average), which occurred intermittently, usually lasting less than 10 breaths at a time. The precision of phase locking during spontaneous entrainment was similar to that in 10 subjects who attempted to maintain deliberate entrainment. The results suggest that the walking cadence provides a persuasive, but not dominant, input to the central breathing pattern generator.
Medline also returns an article on cadence at the cellular level:
Observing the macroscopic complexities of evolved species, the exceptional continuity that occurs among different cells, tissues and organs to respond coherently to the proper set of stimuli as a function of self/species survival is appreciable. Accordingly, it alludes to a central rhythm that resonates throughout the cell; nominated here as primary respiration (PR), which is capable of binding and synchronizing a diversity of physiological processes into a functional biological unity... In all probability, PR emerges within the crucial organelles, with special emphasis on the DNA (5), and propagated and transduced within the infrastructure of the cytoskeleton as wave harmonics (49). Collectively, this equivalent vibration for the subphylum Vertebrata emanates as craniosacral respiration (CSR), though its expression is more elaborate depending on the development of the CNS...These don't address my question, though. Could cadence be used to help control breathing in dyspneic patients? Can the appropriate brain centers be stimulated with electromagnets without physical activity? Food for thought... or research.
Revised 10/13/08 - I don't know if this is really kosher, but I've gone back and added a Researchblogging tag to this post. None of the content is changed...
- Hill et al. (1998). Short-term entrainment of ventilation to the walking cycle in humans Journal Of Applied Physiology, 65 (2), 570-578
- P Crisera (2001). The cytological implications of primary respiration Medical Hypotheses, 56 (1), 40-51 DOI: 10.1054/mehy.2000.1106