St. Louis Park Hospital Uses Harmonicas for Breathing Rehab

David Teslow can no longer manage a round of golf without supplemental oxygen, but on Thursday the 82-year-old’s cheeks were huffing and puffing as he played “On Top of Old Smokey” and “Wild Irish Rose” on the harmonica, along with bandmates in the lobby of Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. 

“Old-time songs,” he said. 

Teslow is part of the harmonica group formed at Methodist last June as an adjunct therapy for patients with breathing disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. While also completing traditional rehab exercises, the patients gain physical and psychological benefits from being part of the band, which practices every other week. 

Rehab patients need to “exercise muscles that help push and pull air out of the lungs,” said Dawn McDougal Miller, a music therapist at Methodist. “This gives them another way to do those exercises, and it’s a whole lot more fun.” 

Playing the harmonica as an exercise makes...(READ MORE)

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