Breathing Problems May Be Helped By Singing

Breathing problems may be helped by singing. At least that is the belief of London doctors whom have implemented a program for lung patients who suffer from respiratory diseases like asthma, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).

The aforementioned illness can cause breathing problems by creating inflammation, thus limiting lung capacity and gas exchange.

COPD, for example, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe as the condition can cause air sacs within the lungs to lose crucial elasticity or destroy them along with stimulating an over-production of clogging mucus, states the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Vocal exercises, associated with the practice of singing, can naturally strengthen the diaphragm and establishes a deeper breathing technique. Typically, the majority of people don’t pay attention to how they draw a breath. When they do so, it is often done in a shallow, upper-respiratory manner. Vocalists, however, learn to draw deep from their lungs.

According to a report in the Huffington Post, doctors at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital started a singing program after reasoning that the kind of breathing used by singers might also help lung patients.

Dr. Nicholas Hopkinson – a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College as well as an Honorary Consultant Chest Physician at The Royal Brompton Hospital – reasoned:

“Since many people enjoy singing, we thought it would help them associate controlling their breathing with something pleasant and positive rather than a standard physiotherapy technique … It’s almost accidental that they learn something about their breathing through singing.”

Although clinical trials conducted by Hopkinson and his colleagues have found little actual improvement in performed breathing tests, patients did report feeling physically better in contrast to those who didn’t attend regular singing therapy.

Even if it is the result of a placebo or psychosomatic effect, the alternative approach – though not replacing standard treatment – creates a sense of well-being, which is still beneficial to patients with breathing problems.

Do you like to sing? Are you one of a vast majority of people who are considered bad singers, lacking pitch and range? Regardless, do you still sing in the car or shower?

[Image via Shutterstock]