Humming Your Way to Health
Humming Into A Microphone
How To Hum To Reap The Benefits
Put your lips together gently and hum a sound. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Check for the following:
- Make sure the lips are barely touching to help you to feel light vibrations.
- The teeth should be apart.
- The tongue must lay flat in the bed of the mouth and relaxed.
- The vibrations will be felt mostly in the upper lip. You may also experience a buzzing feeling in areas around the mouth. (Teeth, hard palate, forehead or top of the head.) This is what you want.
- If the vibrations extend throughout the nasal area and even in the cheeks give yourself a pat-on-the-back.
- You are humming correctly. Continue humming and notice how the busy self-talk stops.
- If you fail to feel any buzzing or vibrations, you are holding too much tension in your lips. Relax the neck head and shoulder areas. Now, try it again.
Humming is as easy and natural as breathing. At times we aren't even aware we're humming. Children will often be found humming while at play. The sound of a musical hum can indicate that we're happy, contented, or even in a state of bliss.
But hold on - I have some astounding news for you. Humming is loaded with health benefits. Stay with me and I'll have you humming your way to health and loving it!
Path Of Nasal Airflow - Sinuses
Sinus Problems And Humming
To keep the sinuses healthy and free from infection, the air flow must be smooth between the sinus and nasal cavity. One of the best ways to do this is to hum. Whether you hum along to your favorite song as you drive down the road or during meditation, it's all effective. The results will be the same. They help to stimulate the entire sinus and nasal cavity area.
The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine put their researchers to work comparing airflow in people when they hummed and when they quietly exhaled. What they were looking for was to see if humming led to greater numbers of exhaled nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas produced in the sinuses. It was found that nitric oxides rose 15-fold during humming.
Make it a daily habit to do some humming and help those sinus cavities.
Humming Affects The Sinus Cavities
A Better Voice Using Good Vibrations
Do you realize that your body is a musical instrument? Like all musical instruments, vibrations travel throughout your body. A vibration is a rapid back-and-forth movement. Vibrations can be changed to alter the pitch of the sound we make.
The ideal voice is rich and full. The vocal sound is well-projected and each word is easy to understand. When you are feeling the vibrations caused by sound waves, these vibrations move up into your nasal or sinus area and amplify your voice.
The speed of vibration is measured by frequency. Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz.) It's the frequency of vibration that determines the pitch of the sound we make. The faster the vibration, the higher the pitch. This is why singers require more air, inhalation, for higher sounds.
Your vocal folds (cords) can vibrate faster than 1000 Hertz or 1000 vibrations per second. In speech a typical adult male will have a fundamental frequency from 85 to 180 Hz while the adult female will have a frequency of 165 to 255 Hz.
What About Om Chanting?
A pilot MRI study (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) was done concerning the sensation of vibrations experienced during OM chanting. Results indicated that when using OM, which involves humming, significantly reduced activity in certain areas of the brain associated with depression.
Humming Brings These Surprising Health Benefits
You may find the following health benefits surprising when you gently hum your favorite song.
- Calms and soothes us.
- Dissolves stress.
- Grounds us.
- Quiets the mind.
- Slows down your breathing.
- Helps to induce sleep.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Creates a wonderful circuit of energy
- Helps us to focus.
- Helps sinus problems.
- When you hum, the muscles in the face, neck, head and shoulders relax.
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system (triggers relaxation response in the body.)
- Helps reduce unproductive thinking and negativity.
- Reduces fear and worry.
And don't forget how humming to a crying baby will put them right to sleep.
How Humming Helps Singing
Good singers realize the importance of relaxed face muscles and warm up their voices beginning with humming. If tension exists in the face and tongue, the tone will also have tension. This will ruin a singer's voice and the sound will lack richness and power.
One of the very best vocal warm ups for singers is humming. Wake up the voice by humming an "M" sound followed by "N", and "ing".
- Vibrations will be felt in the lip and nasal area when sustaining "M."
- During the "N" sound, vibrations will be directed to the hard palate (roof of the mouth) and the tongue.
- As you sustain the "ng" during the "ing" position, pay attention to the vibrations located across the hard palate and nasal areas. This is a great way to learn how to bring the tone forward, keeping it from coming from the back of the throat.
Note: When humming a long note, be sure the pitch is easy and comfortable. Choose a tone that is easy to sing - not too high or too low.
The first few times you try these humming exercises the vibrations may feel weak. This is an indication that you're holding too much tension or the intake of air needs to be increased (inhalation.) Also, you probably aren't quite sure of what the vibrations should feel like.
Give it time. Keep practicing. It will all come together sooner than you think.
Meditation And Humming
Meditation, Humming And Health
Dr. David Simon if Sharp Cabrillo Hospital, San Diego has this to say about humming: "Humming meditations have measurable physiologic effects. The sounds release healing agents in the body."
Humming brings us directly to our inner room of peace and serenity as it quiets the mind. Humming is an old Tibetan technique which sometimes goes on for 10-15 minutes. Try stepping away from your computer. Sit or lay in a comfortable and relaxed position with the eyes closed and start humming Focus on your sound and breath.
After 10-15 minutes you will feel refreshed, re-energized and able to concentrate more fully.
Summary For Humming Your Way To Health
Our voice carries healing energy to both mind and body when we hum. What an amazing and wonderful thing this is. Please remember to avoid judging your humming sound. This will disrupt the positive vibrations needed for healing.
Here are the benefits of humming therapy:
- Helps to keep the sinuses healthy and free from infection.
- Used as a vocal warm-up for better singing.
- Relaxes the body and mind.
- Brings us directly to our inner room of peace and serenity.
- Reduces fear and worry.
- Keeps us grounded.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Helps us focus.
- Triggers relaxation response.
- Reduces unproductive thinking.
- Induces sleep.
Whether you hum a favorite song or sustain just one note, the results will be the same. Humming lives inside you so use it often.
"God sings, we hum along, and there are many melodies, but it's all one song - one same, wonderful human song." Mitch Albom
Enya Humming Song
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© 2015 Audrey Hunt