For centuries, civilisations across the world have used song to promote healing and good health, and though few Australians in 2014 are aware of the connection, there are still many physical and psychological benefits involved.
“At some point in history, Westerners separated the creation of song into two categories; the watchers and the doers; the performers and their audience,” says Elisa James, a holistic vocal coach with a Masters degree in holistic health and spiritual counselling.
“In so many other civilisations song was, and still is, created by a community, performed in a circle with collective rhythm and beat, to celebrate everything from birth to death.”
Singing causes measureable physical changes, which also have significant psychological benefits.
“Singing lowers your blood pressure, it improves your breathing capacity, it straightens your posture and it actually tunes your brain to distinct soundwaves,” says James.
Singing has health benefits for everyone, from the amateur singer to the trained professional
“In turn, singing can reduce your stress levels, improve your focus and allow you to express your emotions in a strong and healthy way.”
As with many other physical activities, singing also releases endorphins, which gives people a heightened sense of energy and joy.
Singing doesn’t just have benefits for individuals; in fact, singing helps foster stronger communities.
“Singing provides a creative outlet for people, which is incredibly important because we are all born with an intrinsic creative spark,” says James.
“Singing with other people allows us to connect our voices to a musical force that is greater than ourselves; it allows us to break past our limitations and be empowered by a group.”
There are certainly many examples of music and song bolstering communities, including the Choir of Hard Knocks, which was made up of homeless Australians; and Sing Australia, which gave voice to drought-affected farmers.
Singing with a group can be an uplifting and unifying experience
“Religious communities throughout the world use chanting and song to elevate their consciousness, and to articulate complicated thoughts about humanity and the afterlife,” says James.
Singing emits vocal resonations, or vibrations, that can actually be measured as units of energy.
James believes these vibrations could be the key to future advancements in health and science.
“Sound is amazing, and we don’t know enough about its physical or psychological power.”
For more information about holistic vocal coaching with Elisa James, visit www.ceovoicepro.com.