Monthly Archives: December 2013

Singing is healthy for body and mind and soul

 

Singing is healthy for body and mind and soul.

If singing is important physical health what about mental and emotional health?

Well it is for me.

The air(oxygen) that gets into the body helps the body be healthier and then the mental disposition is elevated.  When i’m depressed or sad, singing lifts my spirits and gives me hope that things will be better and improve. Hard to stay sad when one is singing. Isn’t this what Neil Diamonds song “Song Sung Blue” talks about?

“Song Sung Blue”
(The words in bold type are showing the therapeuticness of singing.)

Song sung blue, everybody knows one
Song sung blue, every garden grows oneMe and you are subject to
The blues now and then
But when you take the blues
And make a song
You sing ’em out again
You sing ’em out againSong sung blue, weeping like a willow
Song sung blue, sleeping on my pillow
Funny thing,
But you can sing it with a cry in your voice
And before you know it get to feeling good
You simply got no choice

Me and you are subject to
The blues now and then
But when you take the blues
And make a song
You sing ’em out again

Song sung blue, weeping like a willow
Song sung blue, sleeping on my pillow
Funny thing,
But you can sing it with a cry in your voice
And before you know it start to feeling good
You simply got no choice

Song sung blue
Song sung blue
Funny thing,
But you can sing it with a cry in your voice

 

When my wife died young, I threw myself into singing in choirs, groups, musicals and the like. I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I didn’t really cry which is very important to emotional healing. Several year later while driving home from work I was singing a happy song and started crying about her death. It Had to come and it did because of singing a song.  Later I watched a musical on TV and the singing brought tears again. Part of an important healing process after the loss of a loved.

Scientists don’t call this evidence so here are somethings that can add proof to my personal experiences.

Many studies have shown that music listening can enhance the emotional and cognitive functioning of patients affected by various neurological conditions.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996848/

  • Listening to preferred music stimulates the release of dopamine (the brain neurochemical responsible for pleasure and reward), reducing the use of opiate drugs in postoperative pain
  • Singing can increase levels of Immunoglobulin A and decrease levels of stress
  • Singing increases levels of oxytocin promoting social affiliation
  • Music is shown to modify and regulate automatic systems such as: heart rate, respiration rate, perspiration and other automatic systems                                                   http://singfit.com/2013/clinical-research-on-the-benefits-of-singing/

Therapeutic effects of music and singing for older people:  Two reviews and 16 research reports were identified, the majority of which were intervention studies. All the studies reported benefits from music or singing for older people. Positive findings related to dementia, specific disorders (osteoarthritis pain, post-operative delirium, sleep difficulties, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and older people living at home. Recommendations for nursing were made, although there is a need for clarification on how nursing interventions should be implemented.

Read More: http://rcnpublishing.com/doi/abs/10.7748/ns2010.01.24.19.35.c7446?journalCode=ns

Here are two more resources that help verify my statement about emotional and mental health benefits derived from singing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_therapy

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23259231

Okay so it’s healthy.

Now How does your health effect your singing?

Steve Lowell makes some good points about good health being needed for good singing in the following excerpt from this article:

“Why “living healthy matters no matter what”

This is the type of truth that so many respond with, “Yeah, I know that.”, and still it deserves a reminder. Perhaps I was lucky enough to learn this lesson at  a  young age while in school for musical theater.

A friend of mine who had the lead in a musical that required a strong singing voice, got drunk after an opening night celebration and contracted mononucleosis. He lost his voice for two months, and it took over a year before his voice/throat fully recovered. It was the perfect “teaching story” that professors loved to throw at us when they feared we were about to do something unhealthy before a show or audition. The fact is every single thing that we do to our bodies, in forms of exercise, food, drink, and sleep, affects the way our voice sounds. If you sound perfect for an audition one day, and the next day sound like a different person due to the way you treat your body, you no longer sound like “what they need” and in essence you did not do your job as a voice actor.

I mention this because many getting into the business make the mistake of treating it as “paid to talk”, which is a trivial way to look at it. You have to take care of your health in order to make sure your voice is strong enough to audition everyday. Maybe this is more relevant for voice actors who deal with cold winters during the holiday season, but even during warmer months it should still be remembered that the “way you sound” may be a reflection of “how well you are taking care of yourself.”

This quote always sticks out in my mind:

“You have to keep fit being a singer. That’s part of the job. You can’t do it unless you have incredible stamina.”

– Roger Daltry, The Who

Granted he is a singer, but doing 20 – 40 auditions a day requires stamina. Losing your voice means losing money. Your voice is extremely sensitive and needs to be protected.” http://www.bodalgo.com/blog/two-truths-online-voice-casting/#comment-6170

Thanks, Steve

Are you sad or discouraged? Start singing!

Angry, upset, frustrated? Solution? Singing!

I heard of two men who were to blows all the time.  They went to a mutual church leader who listened to their concerns about each other and then asked the two to sing hymns together and their anger vanished.

This works with children, married couples, any group that have ill feelings.

Yes in my opinion, singing is good for mental and emotional as well as physical health and all these areas of our lives work together anyway.

Well, I’m done for today.

Catch you next time.

Jay

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter