You tried spreading the part where the grip connects to the lower? I've had to use a whole lot of force in the past.
...Slow, deep breath in followed by two quick, shallow exhales, then one long breath out. It should sound like "HEE HEE HOOOOOOOOooooooo...HEE HEE HOOOOOOOOooooooo". Once your comfortable with that breathing pattern, try to sync the tempo up with your heart rate. "Lub-dub...HEE HEE HOOOOOOOOooooooo... etc". ~ CBruce