UK docs advise singing to sooth breathing troubles
Outliers loves going to London, especially for the performing arts. And while the Royal Albert Hall may be the first place visitors think of when they want to hear a good performance in London, they might get more of a unique experience down the road at Royal Brompton Hospital.
That’s because once a week, patients with respiratory problems, including asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are treated to vocal exercises and sing songs that have their origins in places as far away as Ghana and Polynesia.
At first glance, it might seem that the singing is therapeutic in a relaxing sense. But that’s not the primary therapeutic reason for the performance: Doctors think the type of breathing used by singers could also help patients with lung ailments. “Since many people enjoy singing, we thought it would help them associate controlling their breathing with something pleasant and positive rather than a standard physiotherapy technique,” Nicholas Hopkinson, the hospital’s top chest physician, told the Associated Press. “It’s almost accidental that they learn something about their breathing through singing,” he said.