Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Singin' in the Brain!

According to an article in Medical Hypotheses, “Vibration of the human skull, as produced by loud vocalization, exerts a massaging effect on the brain and facilitates expulsion of metabolic products into the cerebrospinal fluid, leading neurophysicists to hypothesize that vocal vibrations cause a kind of cleaning of the chemical cobwebs out of the head. A process as simple as singing might well make the removal of chemical waste from the brain more efficient.And according to a recent study by the University of California, Irvine, singing in a choir just might make you healthier. This study, authored by Robert Beck and Thomas Cesario and published in Music Perception, found that Immunoglobulin A, a protein used by the immune system to fight disease, increased 150 percent during rehearsals and 240 percent during performance.

A similar article concluded that singing for a half hour a day will improve your health, fend off illnesses, and positively affect your mood. This is interesting to me because the Bible has so much to say about worship.

There are a lot of verses in the Bible that talk about "giving thanks" in all circumstances and to be joyful in suffering. I have always interpreted this to be a lesson in faith alone - that if we trust God, we won't be anxious. But perhaps there is more going on. Perhaps God, as our Creator, built certain things into our immune system that respond favorably to the actual act of worship.
This isn't to say that everyone who sings will be immune from disease, of course. I am merely contemplating the idea that singing joyfully has an active and postive affect on our health.

I guess the only way to test the theory is to start singing and see what happens!



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