Colorado patients coping with COPD hum on the harmonica for help

Playing the harmonica is good medicine, but it doesn't come easy
March 9, 2015

Recently Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, died of a disease many people probably never heard of — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Nimoy was one of more than 11 million Americans suffering from the chronic lung disease. There is no cure for COPD, but some patients at a Colorado clinic have found that a certain type of music – such as playing the harmonica – is good medicine.

The songs are familiar and the musicians focused. Every note is deliberate and every breath is key. They are the Harmonicats, and in their group, making music doesn’t come easy.

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UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With 24,000 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.