A new study has found that playing the didgeridoo could help people who suffer from asthma.
The study, which was published in the Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal and run through the University of Southern Queensland’s Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health, used music therapy to help young Indigenous asthmatics manage their condition.
Study participants attended group lessons once a week for six months, with boys learning to play the didgeridoo and girls taking group singing lessons. Tests were taken before and after the six month period, with the boys showing noticeable improvement in respiratory (breathing) function and overall health at the completion of the study.
Dr Robert Eley, the study’s lead researcher, said the “deep and circular breathing” required to play the didgeridoo helped increase respiration.
Circular breathing involves inhaling through the nose while expelling air out of the mouth using the tongue and cheeks.
As well as the benefits to participants’ respiration and overall health, the classes also improved cultural knowledge and social skills for many of the young people involved in the study, who all enjoyed the lessons and the skills they had acquired. The study also increased participant’s awareness of Aboriginal Medical Services.
It’s hoped that the study’s findings will lead to future programs that will help young Indigenous people manage their asthma.