Physical Benefits of Singing
Singing strengthens the immune system
According to research conducted at the University of Frankfurt, singing boosts the immune system. The study included testing profesional choir members’ blood before and after an hour-long rehearsal singing Mozart’s “Requiem”. The researchers noticed that in most cases, the amount of proteins in the immune system that function as antibodies, known as Immunoglobulin A, were significantly higher immediately after the rehearsal. The same increases were not observed after the choir members passively listened to music.
Singing is a workout/exercise
For the elderly, disabled, and injured, singing can be an excellent form of exercise. Even if you’re healthy, your lungs will get a workout as you employ proper singing techniques and vocal projections. Other related health benefits of singing include a stronger diaphragm and stimulated overall circulation. Since you pull in a greater amount of oxygen while singing than when doing many other types of exercise, some even believe that singing can increase your aerobic capacity and stamina.
Singing improves your posture
Maintaining good posture is a habit that can be easily created by singing because posture is a significant part of the correct technique. The chest cavity expands, causing the back and shoulders to align properly. According to Harvard Health, having good posture prevents you from having inflexible muscles muscle that can limit your range of motion, and it also promotes better breathing.
Singing helps with sleep
According to a health article in Daily Mail Online, experts believe singing can help strengthen throat and palate muscles, which helps stop snoring and sleep apnea. If you’re familiar with these ailments, you know how difficult it can be to get a good night’s sleep!
Psychological & Emotional Benefits of Singing
Singing is a natural anti-depressant
Singing is known to release endorphins, the feel-good brain chemical that makes you feel uplifted and happy. In addition, scientists have identified a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus, which responds to the frequencies created by singing. The response creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like.
A Natural Mood Booster
Not only that, but singing can simply take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood.
Singing improves mental alertness
Improved blood circulation and an oxygenated blood stream allow more oxygen to reach the brain. This improves mental alertness, concentration, and memory. The Alzheimer’s Society has even established a “Singing for the Brain” service to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s maintain their memories.
What they discovered was that the oxygen exchange that occurs when breathing in and out during singing actually increases blood circulation, creating a better-oxygenated bloodstream through the body as well the brain. However, this is not exclusive to people with dementia. It can apply to anyone who wants to improves memory and concentration.
Strengthens Immune System
The University of Frankfurt performed a study on a choir in which they took blood and saliva samples from each of the members before and after a one-hour rehearsal. What they found was that the choir members had increased levels of S-IgA (Secretory immunoglobulin A), proteins that act like antibodies in the immune system. The effects of singing choral music were significantly opposite from just listening to it, which gave decreased S-IgA levels.
Decreases Stress Levels
When singing, a person breathes in and out between phrases, emulating slow breathing for relaxation. Muscle tension is released, which lowers cortisol, a stress hormone, in our bloodstream. Oxytocin is also produced, which can alleviate stress as a natural stress reliever.
Lower Blood Pressure
If you have a high blood pressure and are taking medication for it, singing might be the best natural medication for you. Singing has been proven to influence the body to relax and reduce blood pressure, lowering your anxiety.
Dr Ian Lewis, Director of Research and Policy at Tenovus Cancer Care and co-author of the research, said ‘these are really exciting findings. We’ve long heard anecdotal evidence that singing in a choir makes people feel good, but this is the first time it’s been demonstrated that the immune system can be affected by singing.’