Singing is a physical activity that involves deep, rhythmic breathing. More than that, it is an activity that can have an emotional connection with the person doing it. Singing is a form of communication and expression that almost anyone can do, regardless of how good or bad they are at it. It doesn't matter where you are. You can sing anywhere, though many people choose to sing in the shower. Regardless of where you sing, the act of singing can provide a number of physical and mental health benefits. (Related: The mental and physical benefits of singing.)
In a study that was published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, researchers found evidence of a link between emotions, stress hormones, and inflammation throughout the body. The researchers observed 193 participants who sang in five choirs. They took samples of saliva from the participants before and after an hour of singing. Careful analysis of the saliva samples showed significant changes in hormones, immune proteins, neuropeptieds, and receptors. The most dramatic changes were present in the saliva samples of the participants who were experiencing the greatest amounts of stress and depression.
When you are exposed to stressors, your body reacts by producing the stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone can interfere with your body's natural immune system functions and overall health. While regular levels of stress are normal, chronic stress may impair the optimal functions of your immune system, leaving you prone to illnesses, infections and inflammation. If you have lower levels of cortisol in your body, this is often associated with less inflammation in your body as well. According to research, the act of singing can minimize feelings of stress and anxiety. Less stress and anxiety can lead to a lower risk of disease.
Additionally, researchers have found that singing encourages the release of additional cytokines, which are proteins of the immune system. These proteins play a role in enhancing the ability of your body's natural defense system to fight against diseases.
Cancer patients are among those who stand to gain the most immune-boosting benefits from singing on a regular basis, especially those who are experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety.
Here are a few of the health benefits you can gain just by singing whenever you can:
Learn more about other therapies that can benefit cancer patients by going to AntiCancer.news.