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Island Scene Magazine Feature

January 9, 2013 at 02:19PM

A day after I opened for the Michael Winslow show, my friends and supporters on Facebook have been buzzing about seeing this:

It is HMSA's Island Scene Magazine's Winter 2013 issue featuring the "Finding the Flow" article write up by Fernando Pacheco (on page 34). Island Scene Magazine is Hawaii's premier health and wellness magazine. It is the largest distributed magazine in Hawaii, delivered quarterly to the households of HMSA's 700,000 members.

Bring your copy to a show and I will sign it!

Finding the Flow:
A beatboxer's victory over asthma.
By Fernando Pacheco

Imagine standing on a stage in front of hundreds or thousands of fans. cameras of every type are focused on you as bright stage lights blind you. now imagine that you are also wheezing and coughing and short of breath. Such is the case with today's entertainers living with asthma, including Honolulu's Jason Tom.

Tom is a nationally known beatboxer and fashion designer who has asthma. His musical profession presents unique difficulties for someone with airflow issues. Like many vocalists, his only instrument is his mouth. A beatboxer is solely responsible for vocally producing all of the musical sounds (beat, melody, etc.) in a song, so they typically perform solo. They do not have the luxury of taking mid-song breaks to catch their breath. This literally puts Tom's life on the line at every performance.

Tom agreed to speak to Island Scene about his history with asthma and how it affects his life as an entertainer.

At what age are you diagnosed with asthma?
During the third grade, so around the age of 8 or 9 years old. I grew out of it and then it came back during my early beatboxing years.

Do you know what level of asthma you have? Intermittent, mild, moderate, severe?
At the time I had asthma, it might have been from moderate to severe. There were times I thought I could not breath or function normally during the more intense attack episodes.

Researchers are looking into possible genetic factors that may cause asthma. Does anyone else in your immediate family have asthma?
They used to, but not currently.

Do you notice anything specific that triggers your asthma attacks?
Secondhand smoke, weather and climate changes, anxiety, pressure, and stress. Lately, I've been keeping my spirit strong and have been healthy overall.

Do you worry about having an asthma attack on stage?
I've performed while recovering from asthma allergies on occasion. Performing while recovering allows me to combat asthma and kick it in its tush. I do not worry about having an attack, but I have opted out from a few gigs after an attack if rest is really what I needed.

Does asthma hinder your beatboxing in anyway? Are there any specific beatboxing tricks you can't do because of the asthma?
Sometimes I'll lose my voice on my high notes, and so I can't perform my high synthesizer techniques at all or my bass techniques without having to choke shortly after.

Clearing my sinuses is important, and hot spices are great for strengthening my immune system and clearing up my sinuses. If my nose is clogged up, then my throat has to work twice as hard to send oxygen to my lungs. I was not a fan of hot spices growing up, but I now include them in meals on occasion, because they benefit my overall health.

Going to the beach and getting sunshine and going in the water also help as well.

Do you use any specific methods to control your asthma?
Prayer in the spirit helps me tenfold to strengthen my overall health. Exercise is important. Even beatboxing while I've lost my voice tends to help me recover faster than if I were to stay silent and do nothing.

Any inspiring words for our readers with asthma who may be hesitant to engage in physical activities?
Don't be afraid of getting into physical activities once you talk to your doctor. Get out there, go out for hikes, go to the beach, take a walk, get out and dance. I've found that the more I exercise, the better it is for my overall health and condition to combat asthma.

It's when I do nothing or feel hopeless that my asthma condition, allergy, and attacks take far longer to go away. You are not without hope or help. You can win.

More than 22 million Americans have asthma, including nearly 6 million children.
​Source US Department of Health and Human Services

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Honolulu native Jason Tom, Hawaiʻi's Human Beatbox, is an American award-winning master beatboxer, TEDx presenter, speaker, voice actor, host, mathematician, moonwalker, and author of the Jason Tom Music, Hip Hop And Faith Life Blog that boasts 2.1 million views by 1.9 million unique visitors and adoring readers like you from around the world. Disclaimer: He is not a rapper. "Quality over quantity."

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God loves you too. His love for everyone of us is unconditional love. In math terms..it is limiteless.

Hello! Great dancer and beatboxer. Would be honored to cruise with this awesome guy.

Go Jason!!! Keep climbing that ladder and and make us all proud!!!

Congratulations!!!!!! Youpiiiii

Wow !! Congratulations !!! My friend from Hawaï !!! I hope to meet and work with you one day !! Peace and maximum respect !!

Congrats!

Congratulations Jason, you’ve worked so hard to get to where you are today and I hope you keep growing

Congratulations. Your very famous. Meet new people and let popularity grow.

Congrats Jason! Keep following your dreams & spreading those positive sounds & vibrations!

Wow! So awesome! Congratulations! This is God’s favor on your life. You are doing what God has called you to do. Continue to use the gifts & talents God has given you and may you give all honor & glory to Him. As God continues to anoint you with this amazing gift, He will increase your abilities, empower you and equip you for greater things. Enjoy this incredible journey He has for you. The best is yet to come!

Congratulations Jason!! You are a beautiful soul & very worthy of Oprah knocking on your door.
Your heart is unique in that one really doesn't have to have met you physically to feel your kindness & love. I have never physically met you, but I feel like I have.
Your love for people & God are truly felt. You are wonderful keep reaching for the stars.☝

Congrats Jason! You're truly blessed and God's best is yet to come. Alright!

Braddah Jason you are the man

Congrats Jason!! That's awesome!!

Hey Jason, congratulations on the views and feedback that your audience post on your blogs. God has blessed you with the talents and skills that you have to glorify Him.

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Jason Tom is an American award-winning beatboxer, speaker, voice actor, mathematician, and author of his Music, Hip Hop And Faith Life Blog.

Know the fruit of your labor is your labor of love. If you know that, no one can take that from you. When you recognize that, know your worth is eternally internal, not external. When we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully and bear much fruit that is far bigger than ourselves, what is in our posessions. No earthly riches can fulfill what Father God can. When someone cannot see we are highly favored and the harvest coming our way, know that for him or her though seeing, do not see. Keep on moving and recognize we have more than enough. We need not another person's approval for the fruit of our labor that bears much fruit. Be glad and rejoice for this is the Day that the Lord has made called Today. Know that Father God approves of us, our work ethic and dedication. It is you who Father God is well pleased.
Jason Tom And Olivia Thai
We have to set a standard and raise it once we reach them. Sometimes well tell ourselves, \
The other night after a show I met an 82-year-old lady who is involved with helping communities and she invited me to join her for dinner. We reinforced things about one another. Some of the things she mentioned of me is that she said I have an \
The other night after a show I met an 82-year-old lady who is involved with helping communities and she invited me to join her for dinner. We reinforced things about one another. Some of the things she mentioned of me is that she said I have an \
Watch Jason Tom King of Pop Jam: Michael Jackson Medley on HI Sessions Acoustic Live! Filmed on location at Koolau Ballrooms in Kaneohe.
Watch Jason Tom play Tic Tac Toe on HI Sessions Acoustic Live! Filmed at Koolau Ballrooms in Kaneohe.
Watch Jason Tom's King of Pop Jam: Michael Jackson Medley on HI Sessions Acoustic Live!
Be bold! When a topic is controversial and you feel strongly about it, be unafraid to speak out in public even when in error. Most of us don't care about how politically correct a person can be over how authentic and real he or she is. It's how we learn from one another as long as we're appropriate to one another. Most of the time when we are in error we learn more. That does not mean to be intentionally in error like a troll would be, but it is good to give our best effort to speak out on tough and sensitive topics. No one cares if we are always right. Even a mathematically cannot always be right, but that mathematician will find a way to learn from his or her math errors. If you only spoke out when you are right, then you will not grow into tackling tougher topics. The moment you feel you need to stay silent on tough issues is the moment you've allowed yourself to be passive about an issue that does concern you. We have a voice for our generation. Be that voice. Use your voice. Be passionate and use your voice to advocate on the topics you want to be heard.

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