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Why Singing is Good for Your Health
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim
Looking for a fun way to get and stay healthy?
Try singing on a regular basis.
But not any old singing will do. The kind of singing that will provide you with significant health benefits has to come from deep inside your chest, even from your abdomen.
If you've ever been in a choir, you've probably been told that the proper way to sing is from your belly.
The idea is to use your diaphragm - the large muscle that separates your chest and abdominal cavities - to push air out through your vocal cords.
Using your diaphragm to sing is a good way to promote a healthy lymphatic system, which in turn promotes a healthy immune system.
If you want to start singing for health and have some fun with it, I highly recommend that you learn how to sing in harmony with another person or group of people. Singing in harmony with others is easily one of my favorite things to do.
If you want to learn how to sing in harmony with others but don't know how, you can do what I did and learn with tapes or CDs. Back in 1997, I had to drive from northern California to Toronto. For five straight days, I did nothing but drive for eleven hours a day while listening to and singing along with some tapes by a lady named Cathy Fink and some of her friends.
I loved that her tapes were recorded in such a way that I could listen to and sing along with different parts of songs by turning the balance dial on my car stereo one way or the other. When I turned it all the way to the left, I could hear the lower pitched version of the song, and when I turned it all the way to the right, I could hear the higher pitched version of the song - what a brilliant and simple way to learn how to sing in harmony!
Whether you get your feet wet with singing in harmony with others or not, do your health a favor and belt out a few tunes on a regular basis. But remember: it has to come from deep within, not just from your throat.
And if you're a bit shy, you can always save your singing for the shower when no one else is home or when you're in the car and have the windows rolled up.
Your immune system will thank you for it.
Please note: Another CD program that teaches how to sing in harmony with others, one that has good reviews at Amazon.com, can be found here:
And another note: I'll use this post on singing for health to shamelessly plug one of my favorite songs, one that includes some harmony. :) Below is a video of Jason Mraz and his drummer/co-singer performing "I'm Yours" for a Korean audience. This performance was actually held before the song was released in an album.
If you play the guitar and want to learn this song, search for "I'm Yours Jason Mraz" at chordie.com - it's nothing but G, D, Em, and C throughout. I sing this with a capo on the fifth fret.
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