Feeling blue?  A little out of sorts?  Why not hum a tune for happiness?

Hum a tune for happiness (image from K. Kendall on Flickr)

Hum a tune for happiness (image from K. Kendall on Flickr)

Its true that using a combination of voice, a tonal note, and deep breathing can have healing effects.  As one website, Humming for Health, states:

The voice carries healing energy, or intent, and when we sing and hum with love, we can bring ourselves into a state of ‘harmony’ resulting in health.

The principle of entrainment explains how sound healing works: a harmonious sound will resonate a sympathetic vibration. Our atoms, molecules, cells, glands and organs all have a vibration.  Sound is vibration. If the body is an orchestra of vibration, singing and humming tunes the instruments!

Not surprisingly, the practice of mediation and chanting have incredible, relaxing effects.  Perhaps one of the most famous chants is the Tibetan Buddhist, « Om Mani Padme Hum, » which roughly translates to, »Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus. Hail to Him who is the Jewel in the Lotus. »

However, you don’t need to sit in a Lotus position, or memorize a Buddhist chant.  Most importantly, you don’t even have to be musical.  Trust me!  Simply hum any tune, and allow the experience to lift your spirits.

Humming is one way to focus on deep breathing.  It is also a manner of focusing on the moment, without worrying about the past or the future.  Focus on the feeling of your body, of your lips together and the vibrations of sound in the back of your throat, coming out the top of your head.

Close your eyes, relax and hum a tune (image from red twolips on Flickr)

Close your eyes, relax and hum a tune (image from red twolips on Flickr)

Don Campbell, the founder of the Institute of Music, Health and Education, has written extensively on the therapeutic benefits of humming.

« Nothing rivals toning. I have witnessed thousands of people relax into their voices, become more centered in their bodies, release fear and other emotions, and free themselves from physical pain. I have seen many people apply toning in practical ways, from relaxing before a dreaded test to eliminating symptoms of tinnitus or migraine headaches. Toning has been effective in relieving insomnia and other sleep disorders. Toning balances brain waves, deepens the breath, reduces the heart rate and imparts a general sense of well-being.  I have witnessed thousands of people relax into their voices, become more centered in their bodies, release fear and other emotions, and free themselves from physical pain.  I have seen many people apply toning in practical ways, from relaxing before a dreaded test to eliminating symptoms of tinnitus or migraine headaches. Toning has been effective in relieving insomnia and other sleep disorders. Toning balances brain waves, deepens the breath, reduces the heart rate and imparts a general sense of well-being. »

« Vocal toning, » is a term that refers to a practice observed for hundreds of years.  The most effect types of hums are those that use elongated vowels, such as AH, OU, EE, AY, OH and OM.

Deep breathing, chanting and humming: a way to connect to your soul and good health

Deep breathing, chanting and humming: connect to your soul and good health (image from vonSchnauzer on Flickr)

Perhaps you have heard vocal toning in my music?  If it provides you a good place to start, why not hum along?  One of my favorite songs for this purpose is « Breathe: »

Children are amazingly good at humming.  And you can tap into that inner child quite easily.  Just take 5 minutes each day to hum a tune for happiness.  Whether in the shower, driving in traffic, or even just doing laundry, relax and engage in deep breathing.  Focus on a positive image (or a strong, healthy body) and hum.

There!  I saw the edges of your mouth turn up… that’s a smile.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out Discover Marcome’s Music and Practicing Yoga to Ambient Music, Improve your health with meditation, The sound of Silence, Ambient music therapy, Treat your body like a temple.