Is Singing Really Good For You?
I think I can safely say that most people enjoy singing. It is as natural to us as breathing, in fact children tend to sing before they can even speak, so music is an innate part of the human experience. Let's face it, if we do something that makes us feel good, it has an effect on our physical and mental well-being and consequently, emanates into all areas of our life. So let's explore more about this phenomenon of singing and look at how it can be beneficial for your health and well-being.
Rather than listening to the critical voice of your own mind that compares, judges and seeks to destroy your confidence, or echoes from comments made by parents or teachers who may have made you feel small or fearful to express, appreciate that there is a good reason to open your mouth and sing! Your voice is as unique as your fingerprints and it's an integral part of who you are. Make singing all about that authentic, joyful expression and it will be the most healing activity you can do for free.
What's the science behind singing, and does it support the supposed benefits of singing?
Professor Graham Welch is the Chair of Music Education at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. He has studied the medical and developmental benefits that singing has on a varied cross section of ages. He has this to say, “Singing with other people brings a wide range of benefits, especially physical, psychological, including emotional, and social.” Welch, G. (2015)
He mentions that the posture adopted in singing i.e straight back and expanded chest, is beneficial, that exercising the vocal chords keeps our voices sounding young, even when we get older, helping us to feel and sound younger. He also says that singing helps us to feel happier because of the release of endorphins when we sing. This all contributes to helping to take our minds off the day to day stresses of life. He adds that there is an improvement in circulation providing more oxygen to cells thus helping to boost our immune system and, in that vein, (pardon the pun) he suggests that it is a good exercise for the elderly and disabled as it provides aerobic exercise. (read more here)
Researchers at the Institute of Musical Education at Frankfurt University investigated the effect of singing on the immune system by testing the blood of singers who belonged to a professional choir before and after singing a 60 minute rendition of Mozart´s Requiem. The results showed that there was an increase in immunoglobin A, which are proteins that function as antibodies found in the blood stream, and hydrocortisone, a hormone that helps to combat stress. (read more here)
Researchers at Manchester University have been studying the response of a tiny organ that is found in the inner ear called the sacculus. The sacculus responds to the sound frequencies of music and is connected to the part of our brain that registers pleasure. It only responds to low frequency, high intensity sounds such as the sounds produced when singing and responds almost immediately by giving the singer an immediate feeling of pleasure (as long as there are not critics in the room)
But could there be something else? Something that underlies the physical or mental benefits that singing delivers? Could we go further down the rabbit hole and look at the energy behind singing? Could singing heal on a deeper level where vibrations sing one harmonious song to each cell of your body?
I believe that the answer to these questions is a resounding yes! I believe that when singing comes from the heart, each note vibrates with the same quality, however, that quality must be known and felt. Singing without connection is just like speaking without connection, it will vary upon the emotions that are passing through the body at that time. They may anger, excite, sadden, calm or make joyful - just like any expression. Singing from the heart is not emotional, it is a connection that you make with your body and the stillness and beauty that resides within you. That is quality that heals , and if you sing from there it feels very healing. The Ancient Egyptians supposedly used these techniques to cure and you can discover more about that on the Netflix series 'The Pyramid Code'
The Healthy Techniques That Make Singing a Joy
Correct posture and a good breathing technique, that is not dependent on tensing muscles, helps you to feel confident when using your voice. Learning lyrics, especially those that are affirming and supportive can help you to focus and feel purposeful.
So you can see that singing is beneficial in many ways and has a positive effect on physical, mental and spiritual health. It is also a great practice to connect more deeply with yourself and with others.
Gorgeous Hearts Connect & Express Supports You to Discover Your Natural Voice
Singing can become a daily practice that brings harmony to your body. Your voice vibrates with the quality of your essence when you reconnect to your inner heart centre and you become one whole body instrument. The internal orchestra of your circulatory and lymphatic system, your organs, cells, molecules etc. all vibrate sympathetically which is why it is so beautiful to embody your voice and be focuse and self-aware. Discover more and join the Gorgeous Hearts Connect & Express Facebook Group - there are weekly lessons that you will love to tune into!