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Harmonicas for Health Program Helps COPD Patients Breathe Easier

Older Asian man playing the harmonica

Dec. 28 2023

Blow out on six. Ready? Set? Go.

Using music to maximize the lungs is the idea behind Harmonicas for Health®, a nationwide program created by respiratory therapists with the COPD Foundation. It teaches patients to mimic pursed lip breathing, which provides a quick and easy way to slow the pace of breathing, making each breath more effective and exhaling more comfortable.

The biweekly program started at Lexington Medical Center about six years ago and took a slight pause during the pandemic.

According to Samara Green, supervisor of Respiratory Therapy for Outpatient Pulmonary
Services at Lexington Medical Center, participants need the social aspect of the meetings, too.

“They build lifelong friendships and just have a great time. They become social butterflies really, which is part of the whole process. We want them to be more attuned to being with people. The stigma of using oxygen or having lung disease includes extra coughing, and folks tend to shy away from activity and being out in public,” she said.

Participants find camaraderie in those feelings, and they also find a fun community. Although these patients share a lifelong challenge, one thing is for sure. The smiles and laughter are contagious.

“COPD does not have to be something that just completely limits your abilities to function and thrive,” said Samara.

Even if the tune is a little off key.

If you or a loved one would like to join Harmonicas for Health at Lexington Medical Center, call (803) 935-8260 for more information.

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.