I've been working with clients with asthma for some time and because singing therapy involves re-training the breathing mechanism, while also becoming conscious of how one is breathing, the effect is dramatic!
Here's the article:
Music therapy for young asthma sufferers
WABC By Dr. Jay Adlersberg
(New York-WABC, February 8, 2007) - Using music class to help treat asthmatics.
Asthma strikes children particularly hard in some areas of the Bronx and Brooklyn. Sometimes medications are the only things that keep kids happy in their daily activities. But now, thanks to a financial gift from one of the Fathers of Jazz, music may be helping some young asthma sufferers.
It's an outreach program of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center. Melrose is one of three schools in the city which are part of research to see if tension release using woodwind instruments to teach breathing control and relaxation, with the help of the seashore wave drum and Native American flute, can help in controlling asthma.
"It helps them identify when they having difficulties to use these breathing techniques," said Brian Harris, of Beth Israel Medical Center.
These four young men have been taking these classes once a week for the past six months to a year. Their asthma?
"It has improved, because before I couldn't breathe that good," student Alex Calo said. "But now I have more breath to hold when I'm running and stuff."
"Now I can play more, because I have more breath," 11-year-old student Alex Acosta said. "It's better."
"I could breathe more and it makes me relax," 13-year-old student Frank Maxwell said. "So I can play a lot more than I used to do."
And giving kids back their playtime is news in this city.
The Bronx is a hotbed of asthma. The illness causes more missed days from school and more hospitalizations than any other illness in kids under 14.
The music goes beyond just illness control. As with all music, it's about feelings.
"The music, the relaxation, the tension release and the drums," 13-year-old Carlos Vega said. "You could express your feelings when you're playing it."
Coincidentally, because of an aggressive band program at the school, each of these boys already plays a wind instrument. One plays flute, the others clarinet, trombone and saxophone. No problems learning breathing control for them.