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Breathe Better - Help COPD and Panic With Harmonica

Updated on November 17, 2020
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A medical background and interest in research created Audrey Selig's interest in writing about medical issues.

Breathe Better with Harmonica

Playing the harmonica creates a feeling of ecstasy if you have breathing problems. The mouth organ, as it is sometimes called, creates sounds as you inhale and exhale through the reeds. You will learn how this tiny metal instrument can relax you and help you to breathe better. A brief tutorial helps you choose a harmonica and then start the process.Unusual studies show how this method helps COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and panic. The music helps breathing so much that you may feel like you are soaring like a bird while creating sound. You will learn how patients can improve from the pleasure of the harmonica and how to purchase and use the instrument.

Man Playing Harmonica
Man Playing Harmonica

Musician with Transplants Improves Life for Patients

Larry Rawdon, a musician, had already undergone one lung transplant and was about to have a second transplant. He gave up hope of improvement. However, he met a thoracic surgeon who told him about improving breathing with harmonica. His wife gave him two instruments as Christmas presents, which delighted him. He soon learned how to play the instrument by watching a video, and began giving lessons at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. He found, through his own breathing, the improvement after use of the harmonica. His classes began in 2006, and patients had fun and enjoyed better breathing. He even contacted a music company and persuaded them to donate instruments to help the class. In the meantime, other studies showed the harmonica helps anxiety and panic.

Cupping Hands for Better Breathing

Man Cupping Hands Playing Harmonica
Man Cupping Hands Playing Harmonica | Source

How to Buy and Use Harmonica for Beginners

You can buy a harmonica for under $20.00 at a music store. At a later time, you may desire a better instrument.

When you first acquire it, play with it for a while. Place it by your lips and start breathing in and out. Make sure you breathe from your diaphragm and not your upper chest. You might practice breathing without the harmonica for a little while. Some people are not used to diaphragm breathing. Only the diaphragm should move up and down and not the upper chest.

After you master this technique, start gently with the in and out breath. You can practice for a few minutes the first day. When you get used to breathing with gentle breaths, you can graduate to more powerful breaths or vary the breaths. Try going up and down the scale.

After you have done this for a few weeks, you might try cupping your hands and making more music. Without taking lessons, you can gradually make chords and little tunes, Someday, you may wish to learn by watching a video on the computer. The video below will help you with breathing and playing the instrument.

Harmonica, Anxiety, and Panic

In 2008, Delta Psychiatric Hospital in the Netherlands began a program using the harmonica to help patients with anxiety and more serious illnesses. The head of Delta says such teaching is all over the world.

Another man in the US, David Harp, has taught thousands to play - those with breathing problems, and those who want to have mindfulness and be calm in the moment. Some students can do four breaths a minute.

This author began using the instrument in 2002 after reading about it. She had a heart ailment which brought on episodes of breathlessness and panic. Using it alone and with the help of a therapist, she had a breakthrough. Her breathlessness subsided, and she could maintain a longer breath. Playing was like being in Heaven, and her joy comes from knowing it can help others.

It helps to use the harmonica regularly each day. The author uses it about twice a day and anytime she feels breathless. It can prepare you for just about anything. There are times when the breathing does not work as well, but most of the time, it works by not allowing a full fledged attack.

This Little Harmonica Can Perform Miracles for Panic and COPD

A brand new harmonica to help patients breathe
A brand new harmonica to help patients breathe | Source


Could harmonica help this man?
Could harmonica help this man? | Source


The harmonica is a unique musical instrument. Pleasant sounds emanate from this small metal piece of the music world. Along the way, someone decided it would create better breathing, and help panic and COPD. Several people in the United States and a center in the Netherlands, encouraged by research, began to teach people with health problems to play the instrument. From those scenarios was born help for COPD and panic, and just plain fun for other musicians. The patients who use it for medical reasons use it in conjunction with other available therapies. The magic for the patients comes, not only from the health factor, but the music that moves their souls. Music is a healer, and, combined with the other benefits, can certainly change lives forever. The tiny instrument may improve longevity and allow patients to soar and sing like angels about their new mortality


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Better Breathing With Harmonica


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