Date: 2006-10-20 22:40
Sorry to hear of your illness.
The only thing I have ever heard about oboe playing vis-a-vis pulmonary function is that it tends to IMPROVE it -- that playing the oboe is tantamount to respiratory therapy.
I don't know if this is true or not, but I've heard it alleged more than once. Long ago, when I had allergic asthma, I underwent a course of respiratory therapy. One of the exercises was something that, for all intents and purposes, was similar to what we do when we play the oboe. It involved taking a big breath, and then expelling it very, very gradually but steadily for as long as possible, while trying to keep a ball floating inside a tube.
I am aware that we have to more-or-less hold our breath (or at least, hold it back) while we play, but I can't think that means that mean we "trap" the air in the same way that you mean. If that were true, then it seems to me that many professional oboists would experience chronic COPD.