Plymouth’s new Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group get singing training to help with lung capacity
Members of Plymouth’s Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group recently received training from Devon singing teacher Sandra Smith at the group’s most recent meeting.
Patients living with pulmonary fibrosis learnt techniques to help improve their breathing and make the most of their lung capacity.
Whilst approaching a singing coach for help and advice might seem unusual, given that some patients with pulmonary fibrosis require portable oxygen supply just to give them the energy to walk and talk, learning to breathe well by using diaphragmatic techniques can help patients maximise their remaining lung capacity. Renowned singing teacher and choir coach Sandra who ordinarily runs a cappella singing workshops and singing lessons in Bristol and South West – coaching Community Choirs, Gospel choirs and Barbershop choruses, stepped in to help the group and share her knowledge.
Sandra Smith said,
“The techniques professional and amateur singers learn from a voice coach are also really relevant for patients who find it difficult to breathe because of their lung condition. Learning to breathe well has real benefits for all aspects of a person’s life and can help them avoid the shallow breathing that comes with someone becoming stressed about their inability to catch their breath.”
The national charity, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis (APF) is supporting the establishment of a support group in Plymouth for people diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in recognition that many people are both unaware of the incidence of this disease and its life impacts. Caroline Page, Plymouth’s Co-ordinator recognises the importance of a support group because of her own family’s experience.
“My Father was diagnosed with IPF back in 2008 and was initially relieved, following diagnostic tests, to learn that he didn’t have lung cancer. His consultant in Bournemouth then informed him that his diagnosis was actually worse news, as his condition was incurable. Since his death, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis has established itself as a real force for good and the charity is funding research into this condition and encouraging the establishment of peer support groups. I’m really pleased that people living in the Plymouth area now have the opportunity to engage socially with other people with pulmonary fibrosis and share experiences.”
Plymouth’s support group meets bi-monthly at Improving Lives Plymouth’s offices at 156 Mannamead Road, PL3 5QL. The next meeting is scheduled for 24th May at 1330 – 1500 hours.