How music is used to improve lung health

A mindful exercise at the beginning of the vocal training. Photo: CNP

A community group in Wales is using music to help improve the conditions of  patients with respiratory diseases.

Singing For Lung Health Group based in Abercynon  has set up sessions where patients with respiratory diseases take part in singing groups, with the intention of improving their conditions.

Tanya Dower, who is the music instructor of the group, told Cardiff News Plus on Thursday that they use certain type of songs  and exercises to help the participants breathe better.

“We are using singing as a tool to teach them how to use the muscles in the abdomen to breathe and thus help participants to breathe out deeper and in a more controlled way,” she said .

She added that no previous singing experience is necessary for those who join the group.

Ms. Tanya Dower is teaching on singing session. Photo: CNP

One of the methods used in the breathing exercises includes use of straws.

“The straw is a piece of equipment that narrows the channel of breath so it is about controlling the breath,” said Tanya.

Straw exercise to improve breathing. Photo: CNP

According to a research done by  Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, group singing has been found to help improve the conditions of people with lung health problems.

The research that was published in 2016, shows that skills acquired during singing may help to avoid rapid ‘breath-stacking’ patterns.

These patterns of breathing occur in a group of lung conditions including bronchitis and emphysema , where dynamic hyperinflation worsens breathlessness.

The Singing For Lung Health Group has been in operation since November 2018 and has gradually picked up members.

Stuart Jarvis , a member of the group who has lung health problems, says the training has really been helpful and hopes more sessions like this can be provided for people like him.

“The singing training has taught me a lot on how to control my breathing. Also, this is a social society and being here makes me not feel lonely anymore,” he said.

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