After graduation from the Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1949, Carl Stough established a successful career organizing and conducting large choral performing groups in New York City and environs. Because of his outstanding reputation for training natural voices of all ages, in 1958 Carl Stough was invited to participate in a series of medically supervised research studies sponsored by several East Coast United States Veteran Administration hospitals. The goal of the studies was to help emphysema patients to improve respiratory function.
Between 1958 and 1968 this research allowed Carl Stough to develop an approach to recoordinating all of the muscles involved in moving air out of and into the lungs, with special attention to the diaphragm, the primary muscle of respiration. After ten years of teaching and clinical research, Stough was able to envision many applications of his discoveries about optimal respiratory function to people in vibrant good health, as well as those with compromised function.
In 1965 a non-profit organization, The Stough Institute of Breathing Coordination, was formed by Carl and his wife Reece Stough to enlarge the scope and applications of his teachings. In 1968 Stough was asked to prepare the U.S. Olympic Field and Track Team for competition at high altitude in Mexico City. At those games the U.S. team won more gold medals than ever before in the history of the Olympics, and none of the U.S athletes required supplementary oxygen at high altitude competition.
Until his death in 2000, Carl continued to work with athletes, dancers, actors, Metropolitan Opera singers, and many other people seeking to achieve maximum efficiency of their respiratory systems with minimum effort.