Q: As a longtime smoker, I began real tight-lacing to a wasp waist some months ago.  As smokers usually do, I had a slight cough in the morning for some minutes. Now, since I sleep corseted moderately and lace very tight after rising, this cough has absolutely gone! But there are some spells, sometimes very intense, when I unlace completely, for bathing or the such. Do you think that my lungs are incapable of getting the "dirt" out when I'm laced to the maximum? My goal is a permanent reshaping of my ribcage.  Please give me some advice! -- Gerard (6/13/02)

A: In tight-lacing (see my articles on Corseting the Human Body), the compression of the lower chest restricts the lower lung sections such that mucous can build up. In the smoker, the air passages in the lungs contract as well as being subjected to being covered with a tar-like substance.  I would strongly suggest not combining both activities, as it compromises the ability of the lower lung segments to clear themselves, as you aptly point out.  If you want to enjoy tight-lacing safely, I would suggest two actions:

1. Start with upper body left/right rotating exercises (keeping the feet  in position), such that the upper torso is twisted left/right. This will begin to loosen up the ribcage sector and the lungs with it.

2. Give up smoking!


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