Music is a wonderful stress release for many people. For some, the release comes from listening to the music and relating to the lyrics. It strikes a chord inside of us all. For others, making music is the release. Whether you play an instrument or sing, you are successfully dissolving the stress of your day-to-day. Congratulations! You have found an outlet.
You might think that asthma would make this more difficult and less enjoyable. Good news! You can still make music and be symptom free. Playing a wind instrument can actually make the asthmatic more aware of his/her breathing, as well as improve their posture. They feel calmer and more in control, which will make it less likely that they will suffer from an asthma attack.
Many children make music their extracurricular activity and/or attend music class during their regular school day. If your child is interested in music as a hobby, but suffers from asthma, there is hope. Talk to his/her doctor for tips on how they can manage this while participating in music class, band, orchestra, or chorus.
If your child is interested in band or orchestra
Certain instruments are better than others at helping asthma sufferers both with their symptoms and stress levels. Some good ones are:
- Drums — gives the musician a great cardio workout
- Strings — increases finger dexterity and motor skills
- Trumpet — requires copious amounts of fast, high-pressure air
- Trombone — requires a lot of free-flowing air
- Flute — requires the most air out of all wind instruments
- Oboe — the reed creates high levels of pressure, causing the player to carefully control their breathing
For children who like to hear the sound of their own voice
Chorus may be the better option. Asthmatic vocalists benefit from the controlled, deep breathing that singing requires. Trained singers know that breathing from their diaphragm is the only way to go, which keeps them from feeling breathless.
Music instructors will assist you with controlling your breathing in such a way that you are not even thinking about your asthma while making music. If you are performing and feel your chest tighten (a familiar sensation for those suffering with asthma), pull out your inhaler in between songs to regroup.
Remember to share any concerns with your doctor. They can work with you to adjust your treatment to incorporate any new hobbies or activities. Music can help the asthmatic patient manage their stress better, which, in turn, can help them manage their asthma better.