LI rehab center using music to help COVID-19 'long-haulers'

Music is medicine. And for 82-year-old Cornelia Mason, it’s exactly what she needs.

"It makes me feel strong with exercise and everything," she said.

You can find Cornelia and other patients at Lynbrook Restorative Therapy and Nursing twice a week in the courtyard learning techniques of cardio drumming and the harmonica to help them heal. It’s said to be one of the first rehab programs for COVID-19 long haulers to aid in lung and cardiovascular recovery.

"In the last 6 or 8 months, a lot of these post-COVID patients are having pulmonary issues, shortness of breath, fatigue," said Lisa Penziner with Paragon Management. "When they come here the harmonica and the drumming really helps them and they’re actually going home feeling better."

Prior to the program, patients used an incentive spirometer to help with lung expansion but they’ve found that the harmonica is more fun and useful and there are many benefits of drumming too. 

"We try to make it entertaining by using a harmonica theyre doing strengthening exercises for the inner respiratory muscles," Kandrap Shah with Paragon Management. "It increases your heart rate, improves your lung functioning and you can carry yourself better."

Close to 100 patients who had COVID-19 have benefitted from musical instrument therapy.

Patients with COPD and other respiratory issues also see improvement.

Strengthening muscles ... the mind, body, and soul.

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