The Health Benefits of Singing
Many of you will have enjoyed singing some favourite Christmas songs over the holiday season. Singing should continue long past December, as research has shown that more than other social activities such as sports or playing cards, group singing not only helps loneliness, stress and depression, but also helps with social connectedness. This is according to the work of Dr. Frank Russo of Ryerson University which was reported in the Globe and Mail in December. It appears that the synchronized heart rates and breathing through singing together in unison have powerful effects. The stress hormone cortisol is found to decrease with group singing and oxytocin increases. Tolerance for pain is improved after singing and the body’s natural cannabis-like chemicals (called endocannabinoids) are found to increase.
I personally sing in a choir and can tell you that it definitely has therapeutic benefits. So among the many New Years resolutions that are planned in January, you may want to consider adding singing to the list.
Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.
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