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Living a healthy life could be as simple as singing along to your favourite songs. A joint Yale and Harvard study showed that for some people singing promoted healthy minds and hearts, which boosts longevity. In fact, studies have shown that singing can help lower blood pressure, improve brain health to reduce dementia risk and helps with depression symptoms.
Several studies have concluded that singers and musicians typically have higher IQs than non-musicians with singing improving a person’s overall brain function and helping one to think a little clearer.
Singing improves blood circulation with an oxygenated blood stream allowing more oxygen to reach the brain.
This improves mental alertness, concentration, and memory.
In fact, the Alzheimer’s Society has even established a “Singing for the Brain” service to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s maintain their memories.
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Singing is known to release endorphins which are the feel-good brain chemical that makes you feel uplifted and happy.
In addition, scientists have identified a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus, which responds to the frequencies created by singing.
The response creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like.
Not only that but singing can simply take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood.
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Doctors report that singing may also help to reduce blood pressure.
A 76-year-old woman who had experienced severe preoperative hypertension prior to total knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis (OA).
While the patient was unresponsive to aggressive pharmacologic interventions, the woman’s blood pressure dropped dramatically when she sang several religious songs.
This case-report appears in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).
With continued singing for 20 minutes, the patient’s blood pressure remained lower and persisted for several hours after.
As instructed by doctors, the patient sang periodically through the night which kept her blood pressure at acceptable levels.
The following morning, the woman was cleared for knee replacement surgery, which was successful and without complications.
“Several studies suggest that listening to music can be effective in reducing blood pressure by calming or diverting patients prior to surgery, which lessens stress and anxiety,” explains lead author Nina Niu, a researcher from Harvard Medical School in Boston.
“Our case study expands on medical evidence by showing that producing music or singing also has potential therapeutic effects in the preoperative setting.
Niu commented, “Singing is simple, safe, and free. Patients should be encouraged to sing if they wish.”
This single case study showed the positive effective of singing in reducing blood pressure and controlling pain.
“To be formally considered as an alternative therapy for the OA patient population, larger studies are needed to explore the effects of singing on hypertension and chronic pain relief,” said Niu.
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