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Paging Dr. Frischer: Singing

Two of my three daughters have always loved to sing. In fact, they love it so much that at times it has driven the third a bit nuts! Nonetheless, it brings them joy, and for years now I’ve drawn enormous pleasure from being a member of a choir with one of them or the other.

 

Over the years, studies have been conducted focusing on the effects that the act of singing can have on our health. The evidence is overwhelmingly positive. Singing has been found to:

  • help reduce muscle tension

  • improve posture

  • increase lung capacity and encourage us to breathe more deeply

  • stimulate blood circulation, raising the level of oxygen in the blood stream and therefore the brain

  • clear the sinuses and respiratory pathways

  • tone the facial, abdominal and intercostal muscles, as well as the diaphragm

  • improve sleep

  • release endorphins (the “feel-good” brain chemicals), which help to treat pain

  • decrease the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream

 

Singing can boost confidence. Stage fright is a common problem; however, receiving praise from family and friends may be the key to eventually overcoming fears. Singing can help with language and broaden communication skills.

 

Of course, singing is sociable, and can widen our social circle. Participating in a choir or singing karaoke with friends fosters intimacy and creates bonds.

 

And, note this: the sacculus is a tiny organ in the ear that responds to frequencies created by singing. The sacculus is not thought to have any hearing function and is sensitive to loud volumes, above 90 decibels. The response in the sacculus creates an immediate sense of pleasure!

 

Singing takes our minds off of our troubles and our worries. It’s clear that we should all be singing in the car, the shower, or wherever. Thank goodness that the health benefits that singing can bestow are independent of ability!

For past articles, click here