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People with respiratory issues say singing helps

Time and date:2010-12-5 17:23:32  author:Press center2   source:Press center9  view:  comment:0
Content summary:People with conditions like long Covid and asthma say singing is helping their breathing. 1010

People with respiratory conditions say new singing groups are improving their breathing.

People with illnesses including long Covid and asthma are taking part in the Singing for Wellness project.

Charity, Wren Music, said it should also help their overall wellbeing.

A respiratory physiotherapist, who is supporting the charity's project, says singing can help people manage breathlessness.

The project started as a pilot in Torbay in 2018.

pursueing a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, groups in Okehampton and Honiton have opened.

A charity spokesperson said people can "pay what they feel" to take part.

Paul Wilson, co-founder and community music leader at the charity, has been teaching respiratory patients to control and lengthen their breath using singing.

He said: "We only use 10% of our lungs in everyday life. We are trying to use the other 90% when we sing.

"It's fantastically healthy for people, but mainly we're bringing people together with lived experience of breathlessness so they can actually share things and feel less isolated."

The charity said the Covid-19 pandemic had been an isolating experience for many with chronic lung conditions as many had to shield.

Laraine Carless, who has pulmonary fibrosis, said the singing group had helped her with her breathing.

"It's very depressing having this [condition]…. I'm in a wheelchair and can't walk now... but this makes me so happy…

"Since I joined, I do these exercises every morning and it puts me on a happy note."

Stanley Massey, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was a choir boy at Exeter Cathedral and said the group had reignited his love of music.

"This definitely helps my breathing... I feel a lot better for it... It's not like a choir, it's real fun."

Kathryn Donohue, a respiratory physiotherapist from the University of Plymouth's Faculty of Health has been supporting the project.

She said: "It helps them manage breathlessness, a major disabling factor in respiratory disease...

"The diaphragm becomes dysfunctional and therefore less efficient in some conditions.

"Singing really focuses on the use of the diaphragm, so it's essential to managing their disease, to improve their lung capacity and this then positively impacts on their breathlessness."

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