Thursday, April 21, 2016

Singing and Your Immune System

In the 19th and 20th centuries (and earlier), it was traditional for many communities, schools, and churches to have established choirs. Gradually, this trend faded away into the nostalgia of ‘what used to be.’ Recent studies have shown that singing in a choir not only can have a range of positive social, emotional, and psychological benefits, but biological effects too. In one study looking at the impact of singing on individuals diagnosed with cancer, lead researcher Daisy Fancourt et al carried out a multicentre single-arm preliminary study to assess the impact of singing on mood, stress, and immune response in three populations affected by cancer. The study participants, also participants in five choirs across South Wales, took part in one hour of group singing. Before and after singing, visual analogue mood scales, stress scales, and saliva samples (testing for cortisol, beta-endorphin, oxytocin, and ten cytokines) were taken. More tomorrow.

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