The idea of playing harmonica might sound strange to those who have breathing problems or lung conditions. Yet, it’s actually one of the more potentially useful tools to help people breathe easier. Of course, it’s difficult to see how playing this instrument would help you breathe a little easier but harmonicas are actually uniquely designed. Medical professionals are also looking at harmonicas in addition to routine treatments.
So, how does harmonica playing work, and can it help your breathing?
Understanding How Harmonicas Work
Harmonicas have several reeds and you must place your lips over these chambers (the little gaps at the side of the instrument) to produce sound. To play harmonica, the musician has to draw air into the instrument by blowing into the reed chambers. This will vibrate the air in the chambers and create sounds. Essentially, you breathe against the resistance from the instrument. The lungs and diaphragm are utilized to play. Deep breaths are used to create the sound and it can take a lot of practice to be successful at playing a harmonious tune.
Those with lung conditions, including COPD, could use harmonicas to exercise their muscles surrounding each lung. Of course, speaking to your doctor would be recommended before you attempt this.
Helping Those with COPD
Harmonicas require a lot of practice and patience but are easy to learn even when you haven’t played them before. You can use a variety of exercises and techniques, including deep breathing and diaphragmatic breathing. Learning new abdominal breathing techniques can be very useful for those living with pulmonary disease or COPD. As you play, your muscles contract and through practice, get stronger. Playing harmonicas may teach you to breathe the right way or certainly in an effective manner. It’s about exercising the muscles so you can inhale and exhale air sufficiently. It may also improve your abdominal muscles.
Harmonicas exercise the muscles and there are many breathing exercises you can use to improve how sufficient your lungs are, including how you breathe. This allows you to control how you breathe and regulate the air coming into your body too.
Advantages of Breathing Exercises
Belly breathing is a smart breathing technique because it’s easy to use and incredibly beneficial to your body. Harmonicas require good breathing techniques and there are lots of exercises to use. You’ll also use deep breathing exercises and they’ll enable you to improve how you breathe. Playing harmonicas can help in so many ways including being able to increase your lung capacity and power. What’s more, they may enable you to find a suitable outlet to reduce your stress levels and get control of your anxieties too.
Of course, as you improve your abdominal breathing, you may lower or stabilize your blood pressure. This is especially important for those who’ve struggled with high blood pressure in the past. As you learn to breathe in a more effective manner, it may reduce stress and ease your high blood pressure.
What’s The Best Breathing Exercise or Technique?
Simple breathing exercises and techniques can do a lot of good for the body. They can improve your overall lung capacity, give your energy levels a boost, and strengthen your abdominal muscles too. Finding the best breathing exercises or breathing techniques will depend on what you’re looking to achieve. For instance, if you have stress or feel angry, deep breathing might prove best. This may relieve some of the tension in the body and allow you to calm and de-stress.
Then, there is focus breathing. This is where you picture something positive in your mind and take several long, deep breaths. Focus breathing can be useful for relaxation and can ease your blood pressure too if you’ve been upset or overworked. Exercises like these can improve airflow from the lungs to the bloodstream and muscles while removing more carbon dioxide from the body.
Belly breathing is an extremely popular option and could be one of the better breathing techniques too. This is when you inhale through the nose (as you place a hand on your stomach) and exhale through the mouth while lying down. It may help improve your stomach muscles and help regulate your blood pressure too. Diaphragmatic breathing is quite similar to belly breathing. This aims to take in more oxygen to the lungs while fully removing carbon dioxide from them. It also helps to stabilize your blood pressure and it’s quite popular with those who take part in yoga and Pilates.
As said, the best techniques will depend on your goals and they range significantly. Fortunately, with a little practice, these exercises can become second nature.
Thoracic Breathing Exercises
Lateral thoracic breathing is an incredibly popular exercise discipline learned in Pilates. This is a beginner’s exercise but can benefit everyone, even those who don’t take part in Pilates or yoga. It’s a form of ribcage breathing and most people will be able to try this discipline with relative ease. To do this exercise, you sit with your legs crossed and back straight. Place your hands on the sides of each ribcage and inhale. This gets the air to the back of the body and around the ribcage. It pulls the abdominal muscles tight and is very much an exercise for the body. As you practice you improve your abilities.
Benefits of the thoracic breathing exercise include:
- Oxygenates The Blood
- Removes Stale Air In The Lungs While Replacing It With Fresh Air
- Improves Air Circulation Throughout The Body
- With Practice, Strengthen The Thoracic Cavity
- Strengthening Muscles And Lung Capacity
- Better Support During Workout And Exercise Routines
These breathing exercises remain extremely popular and are fairly easy to try. They may come in use while you play harmonicas and allow you to breathe easier too.
How to Strengthen Your Lungs?
While you love playing harmonicas, it’s not your only reason to improve your breathing abilities or techniques. Take away the instrument and you rely on your lungs to keep you alive and kicking. You use them every second of the day and, ideally, they need to run at full capacity and in the best shape possible. Any damage to the lung may impact you for the rest of your life. Learning to strengthen them is essential and there are many simple techniques to help.
As said above, harmonicas may help you breathe easier because as you play, your lungs work harder. They’re kept open and are far more efficient in regulating your breathing. As you practice playing, your body learns how to breathe properly and allow for more oxygen to circulate. It takes time to learn to play but can be well worth it.
The Pursed-Lip Technique
If you’ve had experienced with harmonicas this technique will be a piece of cake. The pursed-lip exercise focuses on improving airflow to and from your lungs and keeps the airways open for longer. Your breathing slows down which improves on lung function and is great for beginners. It’s incredibly easy to try.
These exercises utilize the diaphragm to strengthen it, which may ultimately lead to an improvement of the lungs. The breathing exercise is particularly used for those with the medical condition COPD. If you have serious breathing or respiratory problems, you must speak to your doctor to find the best course of action. Some may find this type of breathing useful to improve their breathing abilities, but of course, every individual is unique so it may not be suited to everyone.
Exercise Is Essential
Exercise is important for a host of reasons. Regular physical activity can improve your health and keep you fighting fit. It’s also crucial for lung health. Exercise may help them function as they should and if they work properly, they may make your life easier in so many ways. Of course, if you have breathing difficulties because of a medical condition you have to find suitable exercises (speak to your doctor about these). If you’re just out-of-shape, it’s essential to start off slow with your workouts and do more as and when you can.
Cut Back On Cigarettes Or Give Up Entirely
Strengthening your lungs is hard to do when you’re smoking cigarettes. These are bad for your health and don’t help the lungs or respiratory system in any shape or form. Fortunately, if you’re able to cut back on the amount used on a daily basis – or even cut them out entirely – it may improve lung capacity somewhat.
Strengthening the lungs can be achieved through a variety of techniques and exercises, as well as lifestyle choices. You have to find a method that works best for your individual needs or requirements.
The Suzuki Folkmaster Harmonica
Harmonicas are unique in a sense but they’re much more than just a simple musical instrument. They could even help with better breathing. You can use the harmonicas to exercise your lungs and abdominal muscles. These are often a good motivation for people to continue exercising the lung and possibly improve their breathing abilities. It uses the diaphragm and improves airflow throughout the body.
Harmonicas change the way you breathe as you play and could be continuously used even after you’ve finished playing. Your breathing rate may slow down and be easier to manage a new breathing pattern. Also, you learn a new breathing technique – usually the pursed-lip technique – and keeps fresh oxygen flowing into the breathing organs. The Suzuki Folkmaster (all rights reserved) could be one of the better harmonicas to choose from and it wouldn’t hurt to read a Suzuki Folkmaster harmonica review.
The Suzuki Folkmaster (all rights reserved) could be a great option for beginners and advanced learners.
Should Harmonicas Be Used?
There are no doubt harmonicas present a challenge for most, but with a little know-how, they can become one of the easiest musical instruments to play. They’re also, however, potentially useful for those with COPD or other similar medical conditions. Harmonicas have the possibility to aid in your breathing abilities and even make it easier for you too. Of course, if you want to use deep breathing techniques or play a musical instrument and have breathing difficulties, you should speak to your physician first.
This will ensure it’s safe and suitable for you to use. Remember, the severity of your condition (or your specific condition) may make it difficult to play harmonicas so you have to take things easy. Also, it takes time to learn and get used to the techniques used when playing harmonicas. You shouldn’t feel too frustrated if it takes you longer to get started.
So, should harmonicas be used? They’re ideal and even if you don’t have any serious medical condition that hampers your breathing abilities, they can still be used to teach you to breathe more effectively. It’s all about improving your lung power and your lung capacity. You learn all about belly and deep breathing techniques to improve your abdominal muscles. What’s more, it’s a great way to enjoy playing a new instrument too.
Harmonicas are smart, versatile, and really useful. Learning to play one can be a challenge but extremely fun and they may even help you to breathe better. This matters because millions of people around the world have issues with their lungs and breathing freely. For some, they’re simply out-of-shape and get breathless very quickly; however, there are many with serious medical conditions that prevent them from living a full and active life. With some simple breathing exercises and techniques, they may improve all that and more. Play Harmonica may help people breathe a little easier and that opens the door to even more possibilities and opportunities.