John Schaman MD became intrigued by the possibility that the harmonica could have health benefits, primarily pulmonary. A study was born to determine if pulmonary exercises could reduce the loss of lung function observed with aging.
The diatonic harmonica was chosen as the respiratory “tool”, as the only instrument that “makes music” with both blowing and drawing, there is a potentially unique benefit to lung excursion and ultimately, lung function. Months were spent, with the help of harmonica experts, devising an effective ‘harmonica method’, which involves rhythmic chordal playing. The program called H.E.L.P. - Harmonica Exercise for Lung Program has the goal to strengthen the muscles of respiration (including the diaphragm), exercise the lungs above the “comfort zone” in the inspiratory range and exercise the lungs below the “comfort zone” in the expiratory range.
We have reached the next chapter in this exciting adventure with the unveiling of our new HarmonicaMD "Medical Harmonica"- the 'Schaman' and our newly developed methods that will provide a better blending of the pulmonary challenges with the sought after musicality.