Christina Tourin is the president of the International Harp Therapy Program, an organization that promotes music therapy as a way to heal sick people.
The group holds its annual conference May 17-19 in San Diego, and the highlight will be a concert featuring 150 harpies from all over the world.
Tourin says harp therapy is a growing industry in the caregiving field thanks to studies suggesting that it increases oxygenation and decreases the heart rate.
She says the harp is an especially good instrument because it has a crisp but soft sound and because of its connotation with angels.
Although some harp therapists improvise melodies based on a patients breathing, others learn actual melodies; everything from middle Eastern music to an Incubus song called Aqueous Transmission.
In honor of St. Patricks Day, Tourin says the big harp happening will focus on Celtic music, but the conference will also hold classes on harping out Hawaiian tunes and which musical tones match up with acupuncture pressure points.
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