Moving up the breathing charts since 2015, the Rockin’ Rehabbers is a singing group out of UC Davis Hospital in Sacramento, CA. Formed as part of the hospital’s pulmonary rehab program, they meet often to practice their singing, giving their lungs a good exercise each time.
“Inspiration for the group came in the form of a capstone assignment for a bachelor’s degree program,” said Alex Elliott, RRT, the Rockin’ Rehabbers’ manager. “The singing was so much fun and such a success, we have continued to meet and welcome new members.”
According to Elliott, singing is therapeutic for individuals with respiratory limitations. She continues to explain that the deep inhalation followed by a long, controlled exhalation is very similar to the ‘better breathing techniques’ used to educate patients with breathing issues, such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and other respiratory disorders.
“Some of the group’s members also play the kazoo and harmonica as these wind instruments have the same physiological benefit as singing,” Elliott said.
The group formed in November of 2015 and their first official performance was only one month later at their holiday potluck.
“We have surpassed our goal of forming a singing group for fun and therapy,” Elliott said.
The Rockin’ Rehabbers have had seven formal performances and they’ve been featured on Good Day Sacramento as well as KFBK radio.
“We plan to continue singing, adding songs and welcoming members as this has become a vital part of the rehab experience for those who participate,” Elliott said.
What do the Rockin’ Rehabbers say about the group?
“Pulmonary rehab saved my life and singing makes it more fun.” –Barbara
“I really love singing, and for a while I didn’t even think I could sing anymore. My voice is coming back and it’s great.” –Gayle
“Pulmonary rehab is a great program. When people first come into the program, they just got some bad news about their health. Rehab offers a support group and the singing has been outstanding and it’s fun.” –Coach
“Pulmonary rehab saved my life, and singing is good for the body and the soul.” –Jim
Start your own group
“To start a group like the Rockin’ Rehabbers, all you need is a pulmonary rehab group and enthusiasm!” Elliott said.
She also noted that they were fortunate to have an accomplished musician (Jim) in their group. He plays piano for them; however, Elliot admits that “this is more of a luxury than a necessity because there are many familiar songs that do not need musical accompaniment.”
“Singing for therapy is fun. Many close friendships and camaraderie have been formed in our group,” Elliott said. “There is also a sense of purpose because we are able to give back to the community with performances. Win-Win!”
Continue the conversation
What are you doing to help enhance your pulmonary rehab program for your patients? Start the conversation at AARConnect.