A SPECIAL DISCUSSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCE AS RELATED TO THE VOCALIST – BREATHING, FOOD AND ENERGY
With this lesson begins a very important part of this course. The question of correct breathing will now be treated in an exact and scientific manner, based upon close analysis of all the organs involved. Correct living and the influence of food upon physical energy should be considered in connection with the study of voice, and a consideration of these points will introduce the special lessons on correct breathing.
Every now and them someone announces a specific cure of all body ills by adopting special diets. In the domain of the voice there have been many who claimed to develop the voice merely by the observation of a special foot diet, special breathing exercises, mental processes and even hypnotic suggestion.
The law of God and the laws of Nature never change. If these laws are observed, you will enjoy physical and mental health and, in modest measure, all the happiness which is possible in the present state of society.
But if you violate any of the laws you will suffer, not as a punishment, but as the natural and logical consequence of your act. You cannot evade these consequences by any specific prescription: the only way is to conform to the law and when you are again in harmony with the law, health and happiness will again be yours.
The laws of health may be violated without your will, even without your knowledge, nevertheless you will suffer until equilibrium is restored. You are not to be blamed for having a toothache, for instance; the cause of this is beyond your power of prevention, but modern science of dentistry has discovered that decayed teeth expose the nerves and that by filling the cavity of a tooth, the nerve resumes its normal healthy condition.
If you should be so unfortunate as to break an arm, a good surgeon will reset it and in time the pain will cease and your arm will be restored to usefulness. The way to a resumption of natural conditions was observed in both cases.
The voice is so much a part of your individuality, that anything which tends to interfere with it, is s sure sign of severe disobedience of some natural law.
Now whether a defective vocal organ is the cause of other bodily ills such as consumption, nervousness, mental depression, etc., or whether these are the causes of a defective vocal organ, cannot be stated positively.
The important point is that a practical remedy has been found to develop the vocal organ to the highest state of perfection; and the assumption, backed by experience, is that a perfectly developed vocal organ will invariably produce a normal function of the entire throat track and improve the physical condition of all the parts connected with the throat. Even the stomach must of necessity depend, to some extent at least, upon a sound throat because the esophagus or food pipe reaches from the tongue downward into the stomach. Of course the opposite is just as true, that whatever affects the stomach or any part of the digestive tract, will in time injure the voice.
No special diet need be observed by those seeking a superior voice, but certainly they should observe the laws of hygienic and moral living in addition to the direct physical practice of developing the vocal organ.
The object of taking breath is not so much that of filling the lungs with air, as of obtaining the oxygen in the air we breathe. So in taking food, the object is to obtain certain chemical properties contained in the food we eat and which are just as necessary for the body as the oxygen which transforms the food into its original elements.
More than one-half of the earth crust consists of oxygen. The water we drink is eight-ninths oxygen by weight, the air we breathe and the food we eat are largely oxygen.
A treatise upon breathing should contain some information on the subject of food and its necessity to the well-being of the body. (The lengthy lesson of food in this lesson has been omitted)