“He who sings scares away his woes.” This quote suggests that singing can make us relaxed and have a pleasant feeling. That is the reason why people love singing. It does not matter what song you sing, how good or bad your voice is, or where you sing whether on stage or just in your bathroom. People sing to express their feeling in order to ease their burden of the day. Therefore, singing has become one of our favorite activities nowadays. Singing also brings some positive effects for us more than we are aware. Singing is useful to treat physical and psychological conditions, to increase body immune, and to keep heart health.
First of all, singing is useful for certain physical and psychological treatments. A research by Professor Graham Welch, chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London (http://www.heartresearch.org.uk/hearthealth/singinggood), who has been studying developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years, explained, "The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavor." Also Jovita Wallace, a sound therapist (http://www.barbershop.org/news-a-events-main/291-health-benefits-of-singing.html), said "Sound vibrations massage your aura, going straight to what’s out of balance and fixing it.” Singing provides us tools to fix something wrong in our body. There are five treatments where singing is needed. First, it helps banish the blues, singing the short-a sound, as in “ahh”, for 2-3 minutes. It forces oxygen into the blood, which signals the brain to release mood lifting endhorphins. Second, singing the long-e sound, as in “”emit” will stimulate the pineal gland, which controls the body’s biological clock in order to boost alertness. Third, singing the short-e sound, as in “echo” will stimulate the thyroid gland, which keeps hormones that control the speed which digestion and other bodily processes occur. Fourth, to regulate the blood sugar, singing the-o sound, as in “ocean” will stimulate the pancreas. Fifth, in order to strengthen immunity, singing the double-o sound, as in “tool” will activate the spleen that regulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells.
Next, singing can help us improve our body immune, according to a research by scientists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany (www.barbershop.org/news-a-events-main/291-health-benefits-of-singing.html). In the research, the scientists tested the blood of people who sang in a professional choir in the city before and after singing sixty minutes of Mozart’s Requiem. After the test, 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. This shows that singing strengthens the immune system, which is also concluded by Hans Guenther Bastian from the Institute of Musical Education at Frankfurt University (www.barbershop.org/news-a-events-main/291-health-benefits-of-singing.html).
Finally yet importantly, singing has a good effect for our heart health, especially for people who suffer from stroke. It has been known for more than 100 years, that people who cannot speak after injury to the speech centers on the left side can sing. Due to this fact, Gabrielle Giffords (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/12/26/144152193/singing-therapy-helps-stroke-patients-speak-again), a congresswoman who has had a version of singing therapy, who got assassin’s bullet tore through the speech center of her speech center in left brain, surprised everyone by her ability to speak a single words and short phrases. Furthermore, in a study of singing therapy headed by Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, Professor of Neuorology of Doctor Faculty, Harvard University (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/12/26/144152193/singing-therapy-helps-stroke-patients-speak-again), revealed that singing could activate the connection. When the patients learned to string their words into melody, a lot of imprtant connections were built inside their right brain.
In conclusion, singing is not only a sort of hobbies, it also gives us more benefits than we all have known such as for physical and psychological treatments, body immune, and also heart health. Still by keeping singing we can exercise our voice and entertain people around us. Singing is a beneficial activity though it does not spend any money. Hence start singing now and you will find yourself healthier than before. (Written by Anggun, a student of English Dept, Atmajaya University, Jakarta)