“I can feel the muscles loosen and the blood flow to my arms,” said Carol Hrbek, a patient.
And that’s the goal.
Long Island health experts are using musical instrument therapy to help treat long-term lung and cardiovascular issues from COVID, like coughing and shortness of breath.
“It really motivates you. It helps your heart rate. Makes you breathe easier, and you like that. You put your whole body into it,” said patient Marcella Taylor.
The idea is that using music as a form of physical therapy will increase patient engagement and ultimately speed up recovery.
“If you can get a patient to do their rehab and do what needs to be done and get them to breathe, and have fun at the same time, and want to do it. That’s the whole point,” said Lisa Penziner, director. special projects for Paragon Management.
In this case, a harmonica is used instead of typical devices to help people with shortness of breath.
One of the reasons for the success of this program is that playing the harmonica is actually fun instead of using a device called an incentive spirometer to improve your breathing.
Meanwhile, makeshift drums are used to increase your heart rate
“It’s helpful because it makes the time go by much faster and it makes you enjoy what you’re doing. Whereas if you go one, two, three, four. Yeah! After a while it becomes a bit tiring,” says Hrbek.
These new methods are useful for treating the specific effects of COVID, especially on older people, but music therapy program officials say it can be helpful for people of all ages.
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