Category Archives: Educational article

Can’t Breathe? Here Are New Findings on Complementary Treatments for Asthma

If you have ever been unable to breathe, or witnessed someone having difficulty breathing, you probably wished you had an arsenal of treatments to battle this debilitating symptom of asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, and other breathing disorders. Currently, the only proven methods for controlling asthma are prescription medications and avoiding triggers, but other common treatments do exist. At the 2014 Association of Asthma Educators conference in San Antonio, 34 asthma educators responded to a Harmonica Techs survey about alternative treatments for asthma.

83% of the educators recommended breathing exercises, which include pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing. Asthma actually causes air to become trapped in the lungs, and some people find relief with pursed lip breathing- inhaling slowly through the nose and then exhale twice as slowly through pursed lips, as if trying to whistle. Diaphragmatic breathing maximizes air distribution in the lungs, strengthens the muscles that work the lungs, increases oxygenation and reduces stress. Upon inhaling deeply, the belly should go out, not the chest. Exhale twice as slowly with the abdomen going in, and concentrate on taking long and slow belly breaths for best results.

60% of the educators had recommended an exercise program similar to that found in pulmonary rehabilitation. Many people with asthma are afraid that exercise will cause an attack, but if proper precautions are taken, such as using an inhaler prior to exercise or having an inhaler nearby, almost everyone will benefit from staying active.

51% had recommended relaxation therapy and meditation. Simple relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and breath meditation have been shown to be beneficial for people with breathing difficulties.

34% cited inspiratory muscle training, which usually involves a training device such as an incentive spirometer. Most people only use a small percentage of their lung capacity, but by training the respiratory system against resistance, more of the lungs can be engaged. A strong respiratory system is vital to strong circulatory and immune systems. For people who have a lot of mucus in their lungs, some devices will help loosen the mucus and make it easier to eliminate.

20% mentioned playing wind instruments, which have long been thought to be good for the lungs. Besides the obvious deep breathing aspect of playing, the cerebral challenge and expression of creativity are good for mental health. Other complementary treatments recommended included vitamins and supplements, massage and chiropractic, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and speech therapy.

We are proud that the top five most commonly recommended complementary treatments for asthma have all been incorporated into development of the Pulmonica®. Long, slow, deep and complete breaths are all that are needed to use the specially tuned pulmonary harmonica, and the result is a relaxing breath exercise against mild resistance. No musical talent is needed to benefit from this instrument. The low vibrations help loosen congestion, regular use is meditative and should help engage more of a person’s lungs. Plus, the Pulmonica® is fun to use so compliance is higher than with a more medical looking device. Testimonials indicate that people who used the Pulmonica® needed less medication, became more active, and enjoyed exercising their respiratory system with this innovative product.


The More You Move, the Better You Feel – the Role of Exercise and Oxygenation in Improving Overall Health

Physical activity is essential to all human beings in maintaining overall health and well-being – but 80% of Americans do not get the recommended amount of exercise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC [], “regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.” Older adults should look to reach at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity like brisk walking spread through a week. Should one commit to more vigorous activity that includes aerobic exercising, such as jogging or running, an hour and 15 minutes a week is needed.

In particular, physical activity causes an individual’s heart rate to increase, which subsequently increases one’s oxygen consumption. Over time, consistent repetition of physical activity strengthens the cardiorespiratory system, as the body works to increase its cardiac output, maximal stroke volume, and blood volume. Together, these variables build up the body’s ability to effectively carry and distribute oxygen throughout the body – to blood cells, muscles, brain, and more. Essentially, the more breaths that occur, the more oxygen is delivered to one’s body at an increased rate.

In simpler terms: if you move and breathe more, you will feel better. Movement helps oxygenate the body. Whatever exercise you choose will get easier over time, it just takes practice. You can even test out this premise yourself by engaging in a form of physical activity to which you’re not accustomed. What is difficult on day 1 is easy by day 30.

For instance, if you’re not a runner, to run a 13.5 race out of the clear blue, you would probably become extremely fatigued throughout the race course and need to pause several times to take a breath. On the other hand, if you practice and train on regular basis, you inevitably work to build up your tolerance so that you’re not out of breath, bent over and gasping for air.

In addition to traditional exercise, there is a new device, the Pulmonica (, that can be used to exercise the diaphragm and other muscles around the lungs to help strengthen one’s breathing even further. The more you play, the better you breathe. The Pulmonica is a specially designed and constructed pulmonary harmonica that requires no musical talent, only taking long, slow, deep, and complete breaths that always sound soothing. This makes respiratory exercise an enjoyable, discreet practice with a meditative feel. And low harmonics gently pulse the lungs and sinus cavities to loosen mucus secretions, which can then be easily eliminated. We all breathe better with less congestion.

At the end of the day, exercising regularly and using a device like the Pulmonica are optimal steps to take into maintaining your health for the long run. After all, since we’re here to live this life, it might as well be an enjoyable, healthy one.

For more information about the Pulmonica, please visit

ML and Dana in mountains

For Medical Professionals: 12 Reasons to Recommend the Pulmonica

The Pulmonica is a specially tuned pulmonary harmonica designed to help loosen congestion and promote diaphragmatic breathing. No musical talent required.

Here are 12 Reasons to Recommend the Pulmonica to Your Patients:

  1. Provides inhalation and exhalation therapy against progressive resistance. The lower notes are harder to play. Patients start around the middle and move lower as they progress.
  2. Playing multiple notes together produces harmonics that vibrate the lungs and sinuses and help loosen secretions. Once the congestion is eliminated, patients can breathe easier.
  3. Regular use promotes diaphragmatic breathing, which can then become habitual even without the device. This benefit alone makes the device worthwhile and useful for people with all stages of breathing problems.
  4. No musical talent is required because the Pulmonica is tuned to always sound good. Just long, slow, deep, and complete breaths are all that’s needed to get the benefit of this respiratory therapy device.
  5. The deep, resonant, meditative sounds are soothing and relaxing to the user, and pleasant for bystanders. This is especially important to someone who’s worried about not being able to breathe.
  6. Unlike traditional harmonicas, the Pulmonica has no sharp edges or tinny sounds, so it’s safe and pleasant for people of all ages.
  7. Handcrafted in Germany using stainless steel cover plates, brass reeds, and a high quality acrylic center, the Pulmonica is attractive and easy to clean.
  8. For those who want to try playing music, this device is one of the world’s finest harmonicas and music is available on our website,
  9. With COPD readmissions being such a hot topic, having a new therapeutic device that patients enjoy using can only be a good thing.
  10. Finally, a respiratory therapy device that is effective, empowering and pleasant to use.
  11. Five minutes morning and night, and as often as desired throughout the day, and compliant patients should be breathing better in just a few days. And that should make everyone happier.
  12. Now available on Amazon with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Quantity discounts are available.

See for general information and early research results, or contact Dana Keller, PhD, using form below or by calling him at 888-382-9283 for more information on research opportunities and quantity discounts.

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Great article on breathing better and the impact it can have on your health

Lots of good info and tips on this hubage:

It’s easy to forget about the basics – like breathing properly, standing straight, and exercising the lung muscles. It’s also easy to build good habits like conscientious deep breathing and rolling the shoulders to loosen back muscles and help with posture.

Plus, the author mentions the Pulmonica!