Saturday, January 28

didgeridoo playing cures snoring

Regular playing of the didgeridoo—the aboriginal Australian instrument made from a length of tree trunk hollowed out by termites—works as a treatment for sleep apnea and snoring, concludes a study published in the British Medical Journal. (Link to the study.) What's perhaps even more surprising is that the study calls regular didg-playing "an effective treatment alternative well accepted by patients." It's a bit hard to imagine anyone picking this up who doesn't do it already.

I imagine the benefits have something to do with a technique called circular breathing that players use to be able to play continuously for long many minutes. They breathe in through their nose, while holding extra air in their cheeks and slowly and continually exhaling through their lips, pursed against the end of the didgeridoo. The hollowed-out trunk transforms the sound from that of a snarky raspberry to a deep rumbling.

On the plus side, dressing like the guy in the photo is not obligatory for the treatment to succeed. (Doesn't he look like some regular guy, with his gelled hair, playing an aborgine in some kind of human zoo?)


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