Pressure related maladies

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jim miller, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Harald

    Harald New Friend

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    Sorry, but one of the subjects in the study by Elghozi was Philippe Fritsch, Professor of saxhorn-euphonium at the Conservatoire National Superior de Musique de Paris. He is among the best tuba players in the world. The blood pressure increase is real and I am sure you will have a similar increase in blood pressure when you are playing high notes. Here is the link to the study I referred to:
    SpringerLink - Journal Article

    But again, these BP surges are brief episodes and in most people not harmful. There are however medical conditions (cerebral aneurysms) where playing high notes can rupture blood vessels (the aneurysm is a pathologically formed blood vessel with very thin walls). Seriously, if I had a cerebral aneurysm, I would not play trumpet any more.

    Regards,

    Harald
     
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  2. dlewis

    dlewis Piano User

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    Rowuk you are the man
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Harald,
    I had high blood pressure which was caused by a weight and sleep apea issue. I lost a bunch of weight and have an APAP maschine for the nights. I have had the blood pressure maschine on during practice sessions, rehearsals and concerts. I can speak for my own research on MY BODY first hand with no acedemic or financial agenda (ever wonder who sponsors university studies.........?). Based on my body, I know that this problem is NOT universal. I never did measure myself when playing tuba though.........

    As for Messieur Fritsch, check this picture out: Google-Ergebnis für http://saxhorneuphonium.free.fr/images/pupitre_garde.jpg

    I think his blood pressure would be endangered even without the tuba
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  4. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

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    rofl
     
  5. Harald

    Harald New Friend

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    Iowa City, IA

    Dear ROWUK,

    Thank you for your reply. That is interesting. Yes, losing weight reduces blood pressure (in average 2 mmHg per kg weight loss).

    I might have not explained the blood pressure response properly. Blood pressure increases at the onset of playing a high note, then during holding the note the blood pressure decreases, and finally, after the end of holding the note (when you inspire again) the blood pressure increases again. These blood pressure surges at the beginning and ending of playing a high note are brief episodes of 5-10 seconds duration. I assume you used a blood pressure recording device with a cuff around your arm. These devices cannot measure such brief blood pressure bursts because they need to first inflate the cuff and then deflate the cuff which typically takes at least 1 minute. Therefore, the short lasting blood pressure bursts at the beginning and ending of playing a high note cannot be detected with the blood pressure device that you most likely have used.

    One needs a special blood pressure recording device that can record blood pressure continuously on a beat-by-beat basis (for each single heart beat). In the study by Elghozi such a device was used. You may have heard of Valsalva’s maneuver. This is basically it.

    And yes, you do have the blood pressure increases at the onset and end of each note you play. If you don't have a problem with your blood vessels (e.g., cerebral aneurysms) these blood pressure increases will not harm you. In fact, I believe that trumpet playing is healthy as it is a way of physical exercise.

    By the way nice picture of Prof. Fritsch. Looks like he is a funny person (I have never met him personally). Also, I would like to tell you that I really appreciate your comments on the forum. They are most often funny, but also very educational. You have already helped me a lot with some other issues (like the fanfare, natural trumpet, baroque trumpet topics).

    Thanks a lot,

    Harald
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Harald,
    Valsalva was covered here once in painful detail. I did some research and discovered that there are very differing opinions even in the medical community. My experiment used two different types of measuring devices. One cuff type that you mentioned and a harddrive based device that I had when we were checking out my apnea.

    I personally do not believe that brass playing and Valsalva correlate. There are so many players playing so incorrectly (and overweight, and not getting regular sleep, and fighting with their spouses.....), they would be dropping like flies if this was universal. The relaxed approach to playing that I take and teach , really avoids "pressure" by replacing it with efficiency. It does not achieve results as fast as pressure, but seems to function with most everybody that I have worked with. I call it the circle of breath (you will find many references here at TM) and it is basically exhaling.
    This does not mean that no brass player has the problem, it means there may be a better way.

    Robin
     
  7. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

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    Oh no... I thought we killed Valsalva...
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Mike,
    I think it is a real issue for SOME players, a theoretical issue for others and a non-issue for me. As long as the posters are willing to allow for other opinions/facts, it is OK. When it becomes the sole truth, there is nothing that we can do except damage control.
     
  9. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

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    Point taken, Robin!
     
  10. westview1900

    westview1900 Piano User

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    Has anyone seen any actuarial tables regarding how brass players' blood pressure is affected, if at all? Bud Herseth majored in math and had intended to be an actuary, so perhaps these fears are overblown.
    The Bud Herseth Appreciation Page
     

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