Can the Didgeridoo Cure Asthma?

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Different types of classics were featured on last night’s Beatles-themed episode of American Idol, from “Let It Be” to an old wind instrument that promotes free breathing.

That’s right, that long wind instrument called the didgeridoo, which opened Crystal Bowersox’s performance of the Beatles song “Come Together,” actually has benefits beyond the musical.

Playing the didgeridoo has been used to help aboriginal Australians manage asthma symptoms, notes the School of Indigenous Australian Studies at Edith Cowan University in Australia. The didgeridoo helps promote a skill known as circular breathing which can help asthma sufferers breathe more deeply.

It can also be used as a treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, according to research published in the British Medical Journal.  So the instrument isn’t just a revived trend among barefoot musicians and others singing “Across the Universe” and “Jealous Guy.”

Just as the competition among promising American Idol contestants is building, the old wooden instrument of the aborigines garners attention at the same time that allergy and asthma sufferers might be reaching for relief.

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