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Science: Health: Aid
teach yourself to purr.   (+22)  [vote for, against]
well, it can’t be that hard, can it?

it appears that cats purr because it’s good for them. it strengthens bones and organs and helps to repair all manner of ills.

I am led to believe that cats purr at between 27 and 44 hertz (a measure of the number of cycles per second), and exposure to similar sound frequencies is known to improve bone density in humans. purring is also believed to have a similar effect to ultra-sound treatment on humans.

some time ago, NASA-funded scientists suggested that astronauts might prevent bone-loss (caused by weightlessness) by standing on a lightly vibrating plate for 10 to 20 minutes each day; held down with the aid of elastic straps, the astronaut could keep working on other tasks while they vibrate.

it has been suggested that lying down with a purring cat can be good for you and stroking a pet animal does wonders for the mood; that is due to, I believe, the release of a number of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin.

anyway, for various reasons, a lot of us can’t keep a cat and so I suggest perhaps evening classes where we can go and learn how to purr in the right way at the correct good vibrations.

-- po, Apr 06 2004

The Felid Purr: A healing mechanism?
Layperson's summary of von Muggenthaler's work, which has garned much press, but apparently not publication in a peer-reviewed journal. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

'Vibrating platform' cuts fracture risk (2001)
[jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Prof. Clinton T. Rubin http://www.bme.suny...aculty/c_rubin.html
Scroll down a page for a photo of Rubin sitting next to a vibrating platform with a chicken on it. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Exogen, a division of Smith & Nephew
Makers of low-intensity ultrasound devices. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(???) Psst, [po]. Pet Sounds
[jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

rabar's link. is this your site rabar?
link added - no fee. [po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

rabar's skypointing link
figgered out the link button - thanks [rabar, Oct 21 2004]

I just like the way this would look with the classes. +

I 'spose some humans have been doing this on some level when they teach themselves to burp.
-- sartep, Apr 06 2004

I purr at night. Oh wait, that's called snoring.
-- st3f, Apr 06 2004

Oh I don't know, Tabs. he usually looked quite relaxed.

great links, thanks!
-- po, Apr 06 2004

And those with dogs should send them to purr classes.
-- FarmerJohn, Apr 06 2004

I'm not certain that anyone has yet established exactly how cats purr, but when it's been figured out, sign me up for a class.
-- angel, Apr 06 2004

<wiggles rearend> I thought that was going wonders for me, but purring seems to get the ladies more often ...
-- Letsbuildafort, Apr 06 2004

pete and dud both look mighty confused. I think I might have said something rude.
-- jonthegeologist, Apr 06 2004

//I am led to believe that cats purr at between 27 and 44 hertz .... and exposure to similar sound frequencies is known to improve bone density in humans.//

Funny, when I drive down the road pumping out 27 - 44 Hz, people usually just yell at me to 'turn that shit off'...
-- Mr Burns, Apr 06 2004

Around here, the police intervene, Mr Burns.
-- Letsbuildafort, Apr 06 2004

Around here the police do the pumping at 27 - 44 Hz and if you yell at them they take you to jail, (if they hear you).
-- Bamboo, Apr 06 2004

Maybe it's bonehead density.
-- bristolz, Apr 06 2004

I purr at my pussies. Can I teach?

Side note: with my first computer that had multimedia capability, I recorded myself purring, looped it, and played it constantly at very low volume in the background whenever the computer was on. The cats loved it immensely.
-- quarterbaker, Apr 06 2004

you loopy thing!
-- po, Apr 06 2004

quarterbaker: Can you do it both inhaling and exhaling? How about continuously even between the inhale/exhale cycles?
-- supercat, Apr 06 2004

I can do it on exhale really well, and on inhale if I'm not too dry. The transition is noticeable, but not terribly bad.
-- quarterbaker, Apr 06 2004

Are we talking of vibrating the velum (soft palate) as if gargling and if so, can you do it while humming and whistling at the same time, sounding like a 50’s sci fi movie?
-- FarmerJohn, Apr 06 2004

I'd pay (not much) to see (hear) that.
-- yabba do yabba dabba, Apr 06 2004

I do it --- I think -- by vibrating my uvula against the back of my tongue. So yeah, kinda like gargling.

I tried to do what you asked, Farmer John, though I'd never tried before. Turns out I can purr while humming, or purr while whistling, but I cannot purr, humm, and whistle all at the same time (is it even possible to hum and whistle simultaneously?).

Thanks to your query, I've also discovered new expressions of awe and wonderment on the faces of my coworkers. At least that's how I am choosing to interpret the unusual looks they gave me.

I can do a different kind of purring using my vocal cords. It's more raspy sounding - not as smooth and pleasing as the uvula method - kinda like a stuttering hum.
-- quarterbaker, Apr 06 2004

showing off or what?

my cats are quite indifferent to what just manifests itself as an ommmmm sound! I do feel wonderfully relaxed though...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
-- po, Apr 06 2004

[qb] Uvula, that's it. //is it even possible to hum and whistle simultaneously?// Try blowing harder.
-- FarmerJohn, Apr 06 2004

//NASA-funded scientists suggested that astronauts might prevent bone-loss (caused by weightlessness) by standing on a lightly vibrating plate for 10 to 20 minutes each day//

How about - cats in space? Astronauts stroking cats whilst going about their daily duties. I think we need a special pouch for the cat in the space suit.
-- DenholmRicshaw, Apr 06 2004

I have always purred for my cats - excellent idea!
-- DrCurry, Apr 06 2004

Is there anything that cat can't do?
-- dpsyplc, Apr 06 2004

(throws stick)
-- Worldgineer, Apr 06 2004

Is there anything cats *do?*
-- RayfordSteele, Apr 06 2004

I can make purring noises with my tongue, but it's not the same as what cats do. If I did learn, I just know that I'd doze off in a lecture, or meeting or whatever, and start purring...
-- Detly, Apr 06 2004

I have been away from the halfbakery since january, well, away from home as well, really. I came back and everything seems to be different: my boyfriend dumped me, my sister has a new job, my car had been stolen. Then I come to the halfbakery and as soon as I read this idea's title I KNEW it had to be po's. So good to know some things will never change. It feels good to be back, gracias po!
-- Pericles, Apr 06 2004

Would cats in orbit still find a way to land on their feet?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 06 2004

If you had nine Schrodinger cat boxes, would it purr from at least one of them but would be impossible to know which?
-- FarmerJohn, Apr 07 2004

Scout I want to meet that girl.

Seriously though cool idea, but imagine how much it would mess with cats heads.
-- engineer1, Apr 07 2004

//is it even possible to hum and whistle simultaneously?//

Yes. I once went on a music camp (this one time, at band camp...) and the choir director demonstrated a version of Jingle Bells, where he whistled the tune and hummed an accompaniment. Show off.

I purr sometimes when content though I'm not sure I do it in the same way as a cat. No way of finding out without dissection either.

Nice to see you back Pericles!
-- hazel, Apr 07 2004

I once heard a cat purr and meow simultaneously. The cat was on my lap purring as I was stroking it; when I stopped stroking it, it kept purring but looked at me and meowed, instructing me to resume stroking.

Very odd sound, as the purr and meow intermodulate.
-- supercat, Apr 07 2004

So what you're suggesting, po, is that we go and learn how to make pet sounds so that we can create good vibrations? God only knows where you get these ideas, po, but that's not me. I know there's an answer, but I just wasn't made for these times. May be you could do it for me? Don't talk (just put your head on my shoulder) and purrr. Wouldn't it be nice, don't you think?
I'm waiting for the day...
-- goff, Apr 07 2004

I can already purr... does that therefore make this baked?
-- MikeOliver, Apr 07 2004

Only if you teach classes.

(Hi [Peri]. So you left paradise to return to chaos, and all you get in return is the halfbakery? Sounds like a fair trade.)
-- Worldgineer, Apr 07 2004

blissy if you keep him out of the room at night, does he kick the door down or something?

what are you saying goff? spit it out man!
-- po, Apr 07 2004

get another cat, bliss. he might leave you alone then.
-- po, Apr 07 2004

Get a dog and he definately will.
-- Worldgineer, Apr 07 2004

my cats love my dog better than each other.
-- po, Apr 07 2004

I can do the same as [quarterbaker]. I use it to make Chewbacca noises.
-- ghillie, Apr 07 2004

How do you keep from imprinting on your purr-fessor? (hi, [po]!)
-- k_sra, Apr 07 2004

with a teacher like quarterbaker, its hardly a worry.
-- po, Apr 07 2004

There is a fabulous story by Cordwainer Smith (who was actually a Johns Hopkins professor and CIA operative in the 50's) called the Game of Rats and Dragons. People and cats go into space and link their minds together in order to protect spaceships against the terrors of space. So there's your cats in space.

I don't recollect them teaching their people how to purr, though. I'd love to learn.

My uvula sounds more growly, quarterbaker. What's the secret?
-- grecosartre, Apr 07 2004

Just comes sorta natural. Purr, Purr.
-- The Kat, Apr 08 2004

First time post - hope this works: the whole purring/snoring method of resonating the chest can lead to amazing bliss states. For those interested:
-- rabar, Apr 17 2004

Ramon [rabar] is an interesting fellow. It appears he has discovered (during a snoring induced bliss-state) that God’s name is Henriette.
The whole purring/snoring issue makes me wonder—are aliens abducting humans as pets because they value the snoring?
-- ldischler, Apr 18 2004

Po, see Jutta's link. You might need to look elsewhere to identify all the tracks...
-- goff, Apr 23 2004

Very SMiLE-istic geoff.
-- Bamboo, Apr 23 2004

There's a book called _Mouthsounds_ that got me started with all sorts of noises. The simultaneous hum-and-whistle can make a pretty good ray-gun sound. I'm pretty sure there's a cat purr in the book--I do remember the dog whine.

A didgeridoo might make a good resonator for purring. I'll have to go home to try it. My best trick is to get a good drone going and then start humming at various pitches--the intermodulation is great.
-- baconbrain, Jul 30 2004

Imagine if everyone in the world thought like po....
-- wagster, Jul 31 2004

don't they?
-- po, Jul 31 2004

Found my way back here, googling on "purr" to see how many have discovered this path to nirvana. Thanks for all the input, folks! Check the latest version at the new link shown above, I now call it 'the tracheal flutter.' Seems that what makes for a great singing voice is what's called 'tracheal resonance.' One minute of 'flutter' equals ten of any other exercise. Or am I missing something?
-- rabar, Oct 21 2004

Thanks, Tabs. Searched a little further and found the link button.
-- rabar, Oct 21 2004

if i could purr i could lure more kittys into my cat traps MWOOAAAHH HA HA urgh urgh phew.
-- etherman, Oct 21 2004

Maybe a collar you can wear with a 27Hz transducer affixed to it?
-- bristolz, Oct 22 2004

It must be more enjoyable making something (or someone) else purr, than doing it yourself. Then again, I suppose people with the ability and inclination to purr might become highly popular houseguests.
"Coming round tonight Janice?"

-- zen_tom, Oct 22 2004

I know this is an old idea but I quite like it.

My contribution is thus: I think singing could be a decent substitute for purring, since both cause high levels of vibration in the body, which is the key factor in the supposed benefits of purring.
-- Spacecoyote, Oct 08 2007

singing is obviously beneficial partly due to the hearty intake of oxygen. its probably the reason why you see smiley faces at the end of a concert and happy people at the end of a church service.
-- po, Oct 08 2007

If that were true, the musical 'Cats' would be the ultimate form of entertainment.
-- marklar, Oct 08 2007

Dr. Evil had a cat in space. The problem is in the defrosting process though.
-- quantum_flux, Oct 23 2007

At first I thought this was just another "cute" idea. But, after a lot of pain from a long drive this weekend, I was left with a horrible pain that medication wouldn't help.

I tried rubbing in a "purring" kind of way on my legs and the pain subsided a great deal. How about a device that could recreate the amplitude of a cat's purr that could be placed on painful areas?

Anything that could cut down on the amount of pain medication would be a blessing to people who suffer daily and who must maintain a level of drug-induced fogginess that is almost as bad as the pain. I wish I could [+] this idea again.
-- Klaatu, Oct 31 2007

thank you [klaatu] - glad it helped.
-- po, Oct 31 2007

much respect. i found halfbaked looking for human purrers online. try inward singing and outward until they settle on the same note.
-- Journal, Feb 16 2009

//cats purr because it’s good for them// hmm... it occurs to me that those vibrating-belt weightloss machines might have something going for them; not directly, but if you feel better you might be inclined to eat better.
-- FlyingToaster, Feb 16 2009

Ah, the purring, past compare! These sounds bright I share!...Was I ever like a Cheetah?
-- sninctown, Jun 12 2014

how very poetic! purrrrrr
-- po, Jun 13 2014

random, halfbakery