The King's Foundation The King's Foundation
piping for health crop

The Prince’s Foundation and The National Piping Centre launch piping for health course

In what is understood to be a world first, The Prince’s Foundation has launched a new health programme in partnership with The National Piping Centre that will explore the benefits of piping to those with breathing difficulties.

Some bagpipe players have reported playing the instrument can be beneficial to the cardiovascular system and can regulate breathing, increase lung capacity and lower blood pressure. Referrals for the pilot programme are being co-ordinated by East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

The idea was the brainchild of Lady Oona Ivory, founder and vice-chairwoman of the National Piping Centre, who approached Dr Michael Dixon, head of the Royal Medical Household and advisor to The Prince’s Foundation’s health and wellbeing team, to develop the programme.

The programme, Piping For Health, will primarily accommodate people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. In-person weekly two-hour workshops will launch at Dumfries House on November 1.

Piping For Health will offer participants an introduction to playing the chanter and bagpipes, breathing techniques, chair yoga, hand reflexology, qi gong (a traditional Chinese healing practice), mindfulness and mindset work.

Fiona McManus, health and wellbeing co-ordinator at The Prince’s Foundation, said: “This new holistic approach is geared to help people live better with COPD. With The National Piping Centre and East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, we are delighted to pilot a unique healthcare programme introducing techniques based on bridging piping and holistic therapies. The aim is to provide participants with a range of self-management tools to empower them to improve their overall health and wellbeing.”

The programme is targeted at people with a diagnosis of moderate COPD as well as those who have a desire to improve their health and wellbeing.

Image: Iain Brown