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Singing Your Favorite Tune May Help Your COPD

14 Nov 2017
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“Music just soothes the soul,” is a well-known lyric from the Bob Seger song, Old Time Rock and Roll.

Basically, he means it helps calm people down and helps them step away from the day-to-day events of life.

Well, there is actually research that shows that “music soothes the body,” or, more specifically, “Singing soothes the body.”

We all have a favorite song, or musical group or artist, and we’ve all most likely sang along when a song we like comes on the radio.

It usually provides a few minutes of fun and relaxation.

For a while now it’s been known that listening to music has therapeutic effects on people.

A study from Canterbury Christ Church University in England wanted to find out if singing would positively affect the health and lives of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Belt Out a Tune for Better Health

And, the overwhelming result was, YES, singing can improve quality of life and reduce anxiety in patients with respiratory disease.

Additionally, they report there are no observable adverse consequences.

According to the research group’s study released in 2017, they wanted to find something other than a drug that might alleviate COPD symptoms and also have a benefit in daily life.

The study group consisted of 106 COPD patients in a 10-month/weekly singing class lasting one hour.

Teachers offered a variety of familiar songs along with current songs, and singers could offer input as well.

Along with the singing, teachers provided instruction on:

  • Posture
  • Relaxation
  • Vocal exercises

The findings noted that singing requires breath control and the COPD patients were able to develop skills to control their posture and control their breathing, and these skills could be transferred into everyday life.

They also wanted to determine whether a positive breathing experience – like singing with a group – would have a positive mental or psychological effect.

The Results Are In. Singing Helps!

After the 10 months, researchers found positive, though not major, improvement in FEV1 and FVC scores.

A FEV1 test is the amount of air exhaled in one second.

On average, patients reported an improvement of 30ml with 15 percent reporting an improvement of at least 120ml.

This was encouraging because FEV1 scores typically decline annually in a non-smoking adult over the age of 25. FVC scores measure the amount of air the lungs can hold and they also showed solid improvement, with most patients showing more lung capacity than they had at the beginning of the study.

The singers with COPD self-reported quality of life improvements and reported “fewer bad days,” and “more good days,” which researchers found encouraging because COPD is a progressive illness and a decline would be expected over nine to 10 months.

One participant noted that he had no hospital admissions during the study, while he had frequent admissions in previous years.

Quality of Life Improves as Well

Those in the singing group reported improved moods and general well-being.

Along with the physical improvements, the researchers also said the experience helped psychologically too.

Many indicated that being part of a social group was an important step in maintaining a good quality of life.

They also said the singing groups helped them to:

  • Form new friendships
  • Provide support for one another
  • Have a sense of achievement
  • Work as a team
  • Realize the beauty of the final result, which was a season-ending concert

To quote another song, The Doctor, from the rock and roll band, The Doobie Brothers, “Music is the Doctor of My Soul.”

So, join a choir or cue up the Karaoke machine and you may be helping your fight against COPD, while bringing enjoyment to yourself and others.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute offers a variety of adult stem cell treatment options.

Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 or fill out the form to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.

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