Forums > Technical Discussion > Balloon Breathing Technique?

Login/Join to Participate

ImmortalAngel
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 578
Posted:I recently got a good supply of balloons from my friend's mother (A former clown, she didn't want them anymore, so I bought them off her. About 700 balloons or so in a few different colors).
I'm struggling to blow them up with out using a pump right now. I don't want to get hooked on the pump I'm using because then I'll never develop a good inflating technique with my own lungs :S While I can see why people would prefer pumps, especially if doing a large balloon sculpture, I just don't feel the same way about smaller balloon animals.
The balloons are the 260Q balloons from Qualatex.
I have already heard the tip about blowing straight from your lungs and not puffing out your cheeks.

I've been working at them on and off all day trying with out a pump and only managed to blow up a few...
My cheeks/jaw/entire mouth and lower face go tingly anytime I put something in my mouth which made for an interesting attempt at eating lunch.

I was wondering if we had anyone out there with tips or tricks on breathing techniques. I know we've got a few balloon sculpters on HoP (I've seen your gallery Charles!), so let's hear it guys/girls biggrin


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

Delete Topic

nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1626
Posted:The problem you seem to be having, in my experience, only comes from cheek puffage. I think you need to keep your cheeks really tensed up as you blow, otherwise you get that weird tingly thing.

I always think that's like bubbles of air getting up under your skin. It sure feels like it. Like The oxygen-bends.

Deep breath, tense cheeks, blow. None of this "takes a second to get started" crap, just get the air in the balloon. Show it who's boss.

Also, stretch the ballons before you blow them. Every time. Makes life so much easier.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

Delete

MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:Written by:
I always think that's like bubbles of air getting up under your skin. It sure fels like it. Like The oxygen-bends.


Hah, I thought I was the only one that happened to. I always thought the same thing. I thought there were little pockets in my cheeks like hampsters have that would catch some air whenever I inflated my cheeks too much. I would always look for those pockets to no avail though frown


Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

Delete

DoktorSkell
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

DoktorSkell

addict
Location: Van Diemans Land, Australia

Total posts: 475
Posted:

ahhh oxygen..... the original high

i like the oxy tingle


Fair luna bright, fair luna moon
it shines at night but fades too soon
fair luna moon, fair luna bright
forever we dance
we dance under starlight

Delete

mech
BRONZE Member since Jun 2003

mech

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: "In your ear", United Kingdom

Total posts: 6207
Posted:unless you have a lung capasity and the ability to effectivly deliver that to the balloon, then you are buggered

i have a 4.5 lt lung capasity, but my chest muscles are not strong enought to blow the balloon up

i use a pump for a spimple reason, mainly as im doing several balloons one after another, i dont wnat to get a light head and fain t when im working at a party or something.

I have only seen a few people blow a balloon from scratch, one being dave knox, and even he goes bright red when doing them, but he blows a 260 to full in one go! eek


Step (el-nombrie)

Delete

nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Bring it on, I can biggrin I'm very big so I have a big lung capacity, and I do sit-ups so I have good stomach muscles (and I guess chest muscles). I never really thought about that being beneficial to balloon-blowing before, but I can easily blow up any balloon I've ever tried in one go, so long as I don't do the old puffy-cheeks thing. Because then I have to stop.

Because the inside of my face is itching.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

Delete

ImmortalAngel
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 578
Posted:I've got a great lung cappacity (the last time I was at the hospital for Xrays in my chest the Dr said my lungs reminded her of a horse's because they were very big and long ^.^...I'm not sure if it was a compliment or an insult) but I still have trouble with them.
And even when I manage to do one I feel very light headed afterwards.
I don't think I'll be able to do an entire 260 in one go, but I think I should be able to (if not now, then eventually) blow one up by mouth at least.
As well, I've heard of people who have gotten shoulder injuries from using the pump to much ^.^'
So I've got to decide now, shoulder injuries, or puffy cheek problems lol.
Thanks for all the info so far guys biggrin


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

Delete

TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:
Just use a pump, it makes much more sense than blowing them up by mouth, unless you've been practising lots.

If you do really want to mouth inflate the balloons then you're right about not puffing your cheeks out. If you let them puff out it'll eventually stretch the cheeks and you'll end up with flappy jowls, not really most people's idea of fun.

Also, it's very much about building up the muscles that you should be using - they're not used to trying to force air into a balloon under relatively high pressure. Try using a pump to inflate a balloon a few times, just letting the air out afterwards. Then try mouth inflating it.
When you've practised that and it's going well, try it again but don't inflate the balloon so many times with the pump first.
It'll take time, but you can work your way down to not having to inflate it with the pump first at all.

If you can, try to work down to not having to stretch the balloon beforehand - it's weakening it to let you inflate it with less effort, but it also means it's more likely to pop when it shouldn't.

Major point, if you're starting to feel lightheaded or you're going bright red when you try to inflate the balloon, just stop - it's only a balloon and it's not worth screwing a body part up over.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

Delete

onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: TheBovrilMonkey






Major point, if you're starting to feel lightheaded or you're going bright red when you try to inflate the balloon, just stop - it's only a balloon and it's not worth screwing a body part up over.





Concise and nice- they should put it on every packet sold smile


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

ImmortalAngel
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 578
Posted:Written by: TheBovrilMonkey


Just use a pump, it makes much more sense than blowing them up by mouth, unless you've been practising lots.

If you do really want to mouth inflate the balloons then you're right about not puffing your cheeks out. If you let them puff out it'll eventually stretch the cheeks and you'll end up with flappy jowls, not really most people's idea of fun.

Also, it's very much about building up the muscles that you should be using - they're not used to trying to force air into a balloon under relatively high pressure. Try using a pump to inflate a balloon a few times, just letting the air out afterwards. Then try mouth inflating it.
When you've practised that and it's going well, try it again but don't inflate the balloon so many times with the pump first.
It'll take time, but you can work your way down to not having to inflate it with the pump first at all.

If you can, try to work down to not having to stretch the balloon beforehand - it's weakening it to let you inflate it with less effort, but it also means it's more likely to pop when it shouldn't.

Major point, if you're starting to feel lightheaded or you're going bright red when you try to inflate the balloon, just stop - it's only a balloon and it's not worth screwing a body part up over.



This is just about what I'm trying to do now. Using a pump when ever I am making balloons to actually use, and have already started something similar to the pump then mouth technique you suggested...

It's good to know I'm on the right track though smile
And I agree about the stopping part. That is why I stopped trying and sought advice from other people before going on. I don't see any reason why I need to destroy my head (more so) for something even in practice ^.^'


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

Delete

Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Sorry if this is a bit late, only just found this thread now! frown

The first thing to do is to read the instructions on the bag of 260q's.

Particularly number 4., as follows "Do not inflate by mouth. Use an air inflator or helium inflation regulator."

Qualatex have never officially released why they say this, but the most worrying in the international community is that no-one is 100% sure what the powder is that is inside the balloon to stop it sticking to itself.

Another concern is that several balloon artists a year get partially or fully blinded in one eye when an imperfection near the end of the balloon makes it burst, and it travels at close to the speed of sound from the end to your face. I have personally had this several times, but it did not hit my eye, it hit my cheek and left a nasty red welt for several days afterwards.

A third is that many balloon artists, especially those mouth-inflating for years, start to get awful migraines, and/or lose the ability to mouth inflate. They then have to start over by using a pump. The body is not designed to breath out with such force so often, and sometimes it just quits.

A fourth is that balloons just aren't as cool when they are full of your airborne germs, saliva and dead skin cells from inside your mouth. This is fine if keeping them all for yourself, but if you hand it to someone else, you may as well be giving them a saliva bomb...

Finally, if doing balloons for children, blowing them up by mouth encourages the children to put the balloons in their mouths. It happens automatically, as if the children are programmed to follow watching a mouth-inflator by putting the knot in their mouth once receiving a balloon. If thats the case, you may as wel be licking their tongue, as the spit being swapped and swallowed is so fresh! eek


Hope thats enough to make people think whether they really want to mouth inflate or not, but, any questions, ask away or go to www.BalloonHq.com and ask others as well.

For a few examples of complex balloon creations I have made (with a pump!) check out my photos on HoP or go to www.CharlesDolbel.BalloonHq.com .

smile


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Delete

ImmortalAngel
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 578
Posted:Better late than never Charles!
and thanks for the info):


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

Delete