The incentive spirometer, or Inspiron [Inspirx®]. It is a device used in hospitals to give respiratory patients a visual demonstration of how much air they can inhale. While the instrument was designed for inhalation, if it is turned upside down, it can also be used for exhalation. There is a gauge to measure resistance, with the most open position providing the most resistance.
Place the tube between the teeth and on top of the tongue so as not to obstruct the air passage. With the gauge set to maximum resistance, inhale and move the ball to the top. If there is a problem, lower the resistance. Just before exhalation, turn the Inspiron upside down and when exhaling, move the ball to the top. Continue the inhalation/exhalation series.
Keep inhalations and exhalations as slow as possible and exaggerate. Next, lower the resistance and keep the cycles as long as possible. Reduce suction and control the ball. Observe the body motions in a mirror.
Another use of the inspiron is in conjunction with mouthpiece practice. Remove the large hose at the base, replace with a four-inch rubber hose, and place a mouthpiece in the other end. The Inspiron must be upside down [the exhalation position]. Adjust the resistance so the ball can remain in the up position while buzzing several notes on the mouthpiece. Imagine that the air supporting the ball is a fountain of water--its height will vary but it should not hit the bottom between notes. The object is to play throughout the range of the instrument while keeping the ball suspended. When moving into the high range any attempt to increase pressure while decreasing the rate of air flow will cause the ball to drop. One of the most important uses of the incentive spirometer is to teach the relaxed low pressure/high flow rate concept of playing.
With any of these devices, remember that oxygen is being breathed in and hyperventilation can easily occur. Do only three or four inhalation/exhalation cycles in a row. When dizziness starts, rest for a few minutes and let the oxygen content of the blood return to normal levels.