I wonder if this old ad from 1924 is really about a technique for breathing better or if there is something subliminal going on? Were women really looking back then to double their breathing capacity and gain ‘perfect breath control?’ Or were they seeking something else? Methinks things haven’t changed a lot in these past 80 something years.
Are these Psycho-Expanders (what a name!) still available? Anyone out there have one? I would love to see it.
(Link for full-sized picture)


  1. Dr Mike:
    Nope don’t have one but this reminded me of something that I would like to share with your fans.
    I have asthma and it’s the only thing that I haven’t been able to cure with my low carb diet, although it’s better.
    Taking baths and showers was always a problem for me because I would have such severe asthma attacks that even thinking of hitting the shower would trigger panic attacks. However, since I was still working and dealing with people on a daily basis, showers were not optional.
    Prying the prescription pad out of my Pulminary Specialist’s hand long enough for him to do research was also not a option. So, to make a long story short, after surfing the net, the research done in Europe on Asthmatic Children and swimming pools set off lightbulbs in my head.
    Chlorine filters on my shower head and in my kitchen now made my life so much more enjoyable. Hopefully, those with breathing problems can try this to alleviate their condition.
    Thanks for passing your research along.  I’m sure others will profit from it.

  2. “…fill out the hollows of neck, shoulders, arms…”
    Hrm. As I’ve lost my nearly 60 lbs on PPLP + High Intensity Intervals, the hollows of my neck have emptied more than filled. Like I have them now. Ditto neck. Not sure what they are talking about with shoulders and arms.
    At the same time, I’m pretty sure that my lifting and Intervals have improved my lung capacity too.
    Read something about Powerlifters using a denim vest that locks their arms into a particular movement and constricts their chest a little. Since there’s no aesthetic to powerlifting, I think it’s probably more functional than the Psycho-Expander. But the title sounds like something out of powerlifting.
    Hi Max–
    Take it and run with it.  You could probably get rich selling the Psycho-Expander.  I’m sure it’s out of patent now (if it ever were patented).  Just remember to send me my small check for putting you onto it.

  3. Before the invention of the Psycho-Expander, most women were wearing corsets. Merely taking those off would allow their minds and chests to expand, without the device.
    I don’t have one of these Psycho-Expanders, but I do use my mind to breathe properly. Whenever I find myself breathing shallowly and feeling tired (usually during long hours working at at desk or computer), I consciously take 10 deep breaths, taking them in and letting them out slowly.

  4. All I can say is that if it were a century ago, I’d be a doctor who dedicated his life to the task of giving women their medically prescribed hysterical releases.
    Don’t be so sure.  Most docs back then considered it a real drag.  I’m going to post on that very thing soon. 

  5. “Enlarge the chest to its full beauty…”
    I’m thinking that was the real reason for this little number but women could order it with the rationale that they were really going to improve their breath control first and foremost. Also, rounded arms and shoulders were considered very feminine back then, hence the added appeal that all those hollows would be filled in.

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