Tuesday 12 December 2017

Now you can hum your way to good health

Caolann Brady, from Celbridge, with her project Picture: Keith Arkins
Caolann Brady, from Celbridge, with her project Picture: Keith Arkins
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Humming can improve lung function and improve your health in the long run.

This discovery is part of research that will be presented at a Los Angeles conference by Leaving Cert student Caolann Brady.

Caolann will represent Ireland at the Intel ISEF 2017 conference - the world's largest international pre-college science competition, involving some 1,700 students from over 75 countries competing for a prize fund totalling $4m (€4.75m).

Caolann secured her place at the international competition when she won the top award, the Science Foundation Ireland Intel ISEF award, at the SciFest 2016 national final last November. Her project focused on the treatment of asthma through humming and breathing techniques.

The student at St Wolstan's Community School, Celbridge, Co Kildare, was born with asthma and has suffered many asthma attacks which were treated by nebulisers.

This sparked her interest in the area and led to her award-winning project 'Hum your way to better health'.

Research has shown that the ventilation of the paranasal sinuses (inhaling and exhaling) increases greatly when a person practised specifically defined humming techniques. Caolann set about exploring whether this was true by conducting a series of experiments with 175 participants. Her results indicated that the prescribed humming technique improves lung function across a range of ages, genders and breathing capabilities by an average of 10pc. "I am very excited to travel to California and to present my work to some of the top STEM professionals in the world," Caolann said.

"I am also looking forward to meeting young people from all over the world and seeing the different projects that they are working on."

Irish Independent

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