Published March 13, 2017 Something you may not know about me is that I’m a classically trained opera singer! I started at a very young age, and I only understand now the incredible impact it had on my physical and mental health. I find it interesting (and yet another piece to the puzzle) that when I stopped singing, my health began to decline. Now I do it every day! Many people think that if they aren’t a “good” singer, they shouldn’t use their voice – no way! Your voice is a tool you can effortlessly take anywhere that will improve your health, mood, and immune system. 5 VOWEL SOUNDS TO IMPROVE ORGAN HEALTH & CIRCULATION Sound therapist Jovita Wallace says, “Sound vibrations massage your aura, going straight to what’s out of balance and fixing it.” Here are 5 different sounds you can sing to improve organ health (whether it’s holding the sound on one note or using it in your scales!) Singing the short “a” sound (as in ahh) for 2-3 minutes will help banish the blues. It forces oxygen into the blood & brain, signaling a release of endorphins.The short “e” sound (as in ‘echo’) stimulates the thyroid gland to produce hormones that improve digestion & metabolism.The long “e” sound (as in ‘emu’) stimulates the pineal gland, boosting alertness & learning.The long “o” sound (as in ‘ocean’) stimulates the pancreas and helps to regulate blood sugar after a meal.The double “o” sound (as in ‘tool’) activates the spleen/immune system to boost infection-fighting white blood cells. Now of course, if you sing a full song, you will likely hit all of these sounds! Which leads me to the 7 incredible health benefits of singing daily. DEEP BREATHING – Singing makes us breathe more deeply than many forms of strenuous exercise! Thus, we take in more oxygen, improve aerobic capacity and experience a release of muscle tension.COMBATS ANXIETY & DEPRESSION – When we sing, our brain releases endorphins which in turn can alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress. (See references at the end!) One study also showed that cortisol, a salivary stress marker, decreases in saliva tests after singing. The subjects whose stress hormones were tested also experienced improved mood and increased relaxation.IMPROVES CONSTIPATION – Dr. Karrazhian, DHSc explains that singing improves vagal nerve tone, which you can read my blog post about here! If you have low vagal tone (which is very common & relates to symptoms such as indigestion and constipation), gut motility can instantly be triggered by belting out a tune.INCREASES DIGESTION – In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are 6 healing sounds that tonify various organ meridians. Singing a song usually hits all of these sounds, improving not only stomach health but also lung, heart, and liver health! Since you are drawing power from and exercising your stomach/abdomen, blood rushes to the intestines which can improve digestion. Ayurveda also recommends singing after a meal to increase the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.REDUCES PAIN – When dealing with pain (and specifically pain perception), singing is beneficial in that it helps oxygenate, which relaxes us and serves as a distraction. Music in general effects levels of serotonin, dopamine and epinephrine which all play a role in pain perception. The better mood you are in, the less anxiety you have and the less you perceive pain.BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM – Singing strengthens the immune system, according toresearch by scientists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Scientists tested the blood of people who sang in a professional choir in the city, before and after a 60-minute rehearsal of Mozart’s Requiem. They found that concentrations of immunoglobin A (proteins in the immune system which function as antibodies) and hydrocortisone, an anti-stress hormone, increased significantly during the rehearsal. A week later, when they asked members of the choir to listen to a recording of the Requiem without singing, they found the composition of their blood did not change significantly.IT KEEPS YOU STRONG & YOUNG – Singing tones abdominal and intercostal muscles, as well as the diaphragm. It also exercises the vocal chords and keeps them healthy into old age. The younger your voice sounds, the younger you will feel and seem! Age ain’t nothing but a number, baby. Sing away, my friends – like no one is watching! 😉 xoReferencesKenny, D. T., & Faunce, G. (2004). The impact of group singing on mood, coping and perceived pain in chronic pain patients attending a multidisciplinary pain clinic. Journal of Music Therapy, 41, 241-258.Kreutz, G., Bongard, S., Rohrmann, S., Grebe, D., Bastian, H.G. and Hodapp, V. (2004) Effects of choir singing or listening on secretory immunoglobulin A, cortisol and emotional state, Journal of Behavioral Medicine , 27 (6), pp. 623-635.Lord, V., Cave, P., Hume, V., Flude, E., Evans, A., Kelly, J., Polkey, M., & Hopkinson, N. (2010). Singing teaching as a therapy for chronic respiratory disease: a randomised controlled trial and qualitative evaluation. BMC Pulm Med, 10:41.Unwin, M.M., Kenny, D.T., & Davis, P.J. (2002). The effects of group singing on mood. Psychology of Music, 30, 175-185.