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Hendrick program demonstrates how harmonica playing helps patients with COPD, Nov. 14

Hendrick program demonstrates how harmonica playing helps patients with COPD, Nov. 14

In conjunction with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Awareness Month, Hendrick Health’s Better Breathers Club will have for the first time “Harmonicas for Health: Music to Maximize the Lungs,” Nov. 14.

Using a harmonica mimics the pursed-lip breathing technique, which is an effective exercise to control breathing and improve oxygenation and relaxation. Learning how to play the harmonica can strengthen the muscles that pull air in and push air out of the lungs, which can help with shortness of breath.

The harmonica program will be Nov. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Davis Bereavement Center at Hendrick Hospice Care Center, 1651 Pine St. Harmonicas will be provided.

“Studies have shown that exercising and learning breathing techniques can improve quality of life for individuals with pulmonary diseases and disorders,” said Kelly Couch, a Hendrick respiratory therapist and facilitator of the club. “The harmonica can be a wonderful tool to strengthen the respiratory system and muscles of breathing.”

Harmonicas for Health is the first nationwide harmonica program created by the COPD Foundation. Greg Young, pharmacist and manager of operations at Hendrick Pharmacy on Ambler and an accomplished musician, will facilitate the harmonica program.

“Besides the health benefits, playing the harmonica is fun,” said Young.

In addition, joining a group of individuals who have similar circumstances has been shown to improve quality of life, said Couch.

The Better Breathers Club is a free community service by Hendrick Pulmonary Rehabilitation for individuals of all ages who are living with pulmonary disease. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, contact Hendrick Pulmonary Rehabilitation at 325-670-2280.