Improve breathing with music therapy
If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and a growing number of Americans do, your doctor probably has prescribed medication or pulmonary rehabilitation to help you control the condition and improve your quality of life.
Recent research suggests you might want to add singing to your treatment regimen.
A recent study, published in the journal BMC Pulmonary Medicine, investigated how singing affected the lives of people with COPD. Some study participants attended an hour-long singing lesson twice a week for eight weeks and were encouraged to practice singing at home every day. A second group of participants attended a film class.
While both groups benefited from the social interaction, some unique benefits were found in those who sang their way through the study. Singing group members reported physical improvements from regular singing, specifically being more aware of their breathing and better able to control it.
Singing requires breath control and proper posture, both of which are important for people with COPD, because they help combat shortness of breath through deep breathing exercises.
The musical segment study had the added benefit of providing stress relief and relaxation. People with COPD are more prone to depression and anxiety. A number of studies show music—listening or performing—can have a positive effect on our well-being. Participants in the COPD singing study proved this, reporting improved moods.
Of course, experts don’t suggest you sing instead of taking other treatments for COPD. But singing can act as additional therapy. So pump up the volume and turn on your inner vocalist!