January 31, 2014

Sing Your Way To Health

Sufism encourages singing as a form of worship. 

 "I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think." 
- Rumi

Linda and I usually sing every day. Sometimes that manifests as lengthy melodic conversations about what to have for supper sung to popular melodies. At other times we get out the guitar and sing our favourite artists, or make up our own spur of the moment tunes complete with mostly nonsensical lyrics.

Singing is a primal urge that promotes health. Perhaps Primal Scream Therapy would have been more successful had it been Primal Sing Therapy. Singing is good for the soul, and lots of other things.

Unfortunately, most of us have been told by someone that we "can't sing". To compound the tragedy, we come to believe this to be true, perhaps never to sing comfortably again. But the truth is, we all possess a simple, natural ability to sing.

Music teacher Nikki Slade believes singing is something everyone can benefit from and says "We are all in an orchestra on this planet."

Failing to join this orchestra in order to provide an outlet for our natural urge to sing can leave us unfulfilled. At the very least it is an isolating experience, and most who think they don't possess the ability consider it a sad thing.

"Sounds can influence brain wave frequencies and promote well-being." 
- Encyclopedia of Entertainment

Whoever told us we could not sing was wrong. It is an ability that can be trained and improved by anyone with the interest, although perhaps not to the level that you will be noted for your golden vocal chords. Or maybe you will, if that is what you really want.

Better than fame or riches, singing can bring you better health.

Health Benefits of Singing

  • Reduce stress and improve mood
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Boost the immune system
  • Improve breathing
  • Reduce perceived pain
  • Improve sense of rhythm
  • Promote learning
  • Forge pleasant memories
  • Promote communal bonding
  • Provide comfort
  • Motivate and empower

"There are hidden reserves of strength and hope, and indeed happiness, that singing somehow spontaneously helps people to find. It may be this is one of the ways in which mind and body are interrelated." 
- Dr. Larry Culliford

If you are understandably shy at first, take baby steps and try a bit of humming. I hum a lot as I go about my daily routine - for me it is something that grounds me in the now. It is difficult to think of anything else except what you are doing while humming or singing. It is a happy place.

Whether in the shower alone, or around the supper table with your family, try belting out a tune. It is possible to learn to sing proficiently and use sound to promote harmonious healthfulness.

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