PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A new therapy program right here in our area has patients wetting their whistles and warming up for some tunes.
It's all part of a physical therapy program for the lungs, otherwise known as "pulmonary rehabilitation" and it's a crucial part of treatment for chronic lung diseases such as COPD, emphysema, and asthma.
Many patients often drop off after their first round of therapy and can struggle to keep it going on their own.
That's where "Harmonics for Health" steps in.
The program from the COPD Foundation is underway at Allegheny Health Network and it keeps patients actively engaged in rehab through learning the harmonica and it's building quite a setlist.
"We're getting real good with 'Taps' and each of us has a song that we will play - 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat,' 'When the Saints Go Marching In,'" said program participant Ed Farina.
"He's been having fun with it, he's been practicing at home [and] instead of being like, 'yeah, I'm in therapy' he's like, 'yeah, I'm in therapy and I'm learning the harmonica,'" laughed his wife Mary-Ann.
Ed is among the first cohort of patients but the program is already set to expand.
Allegheny Health Network has said they would like to offer this program virtually in the future.
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