SPRINGFIELD, Mo- One of the smallest musical instruments is making the most significant difference at Cox South.
For six years, Cox South has offered harmonica therapy for those with COPD or other chronic lung conditions.
Harmonica Instructor George Hunt has been helping patients breathe better with the therapy for nearly six years.
Hunt has a strong musical history; he has played as a bluegrass musician for 30 years. He says that scientifically the harmonica therapy is beneficial.
“They came in and checked our blood oxygen level for almost a year at the first of the class, and the last of the class. There was always an improvement in an hour,” says Hunt.
He says playing the harmonica helps not only your breathing but also your mind.
“Harmonica playing makes your mind do so many things because one thing when you play, you can’t see what you’re doing,” says Hunt.
The group of six played about 40 songs in an hour Tuesday afternoon.
One of the players, Glenn Auld, says he has been playing in the class for three years even though he does not have any lung issues.
Auld said during his interview that he started going with his first wife because of her lung issues; she has since died. Now, he is remarried and continues to play alongside his second wife and her mother.
“I enjoy the time with the people that are here. I like learning about the harmonica, it helps my breathing,” says Auld.
Over the years, Auld has made new friends like Richard and his wife.
One of the songs the group played “Taps” has a special place for Auld.
“I like “Taps” of all things. Retired military, it speaks to me,” he says.
Auld served in the Air Force during Vietnam as a pilot of many planes.
The group meets the first three Tuesdays of every month from 2-3 p.m. in the Wheeler Heart and Vascular Center.
Hunt says the class is free, and if you need, they provide harmonicas. For more information, call 417-269-5506.