How SINGING improves immunity

Singing contributes in improvement of different medical conditions

.During the spring time, we are surrounded by intense and colorful sounds of birds singing.

As humans, we also have the ability to use our voice as a musical instrument.


Since time immemorial, singing and dance have been a part of every culture.

Both embrace the artistic experience and physical exercise and so it is therefore not surprising that dance and music have long been regarded as contributing to good health.


Salutary effects of singing have been described in respect of different organ systems; especially in the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurologic and immune systems. 


In the respiratory system, singing improves muscle strength, mucosal immunity and patency of the sinuses. 


Singing has been reported to improve cardiovascular function, the benefits are attributed to autonomic nervous system regulation due to increased vagal nerve activity


During singing, diaphragmatic work and increased intrathoracic pressure stimulate the vagal nerve, which results in autonomic nervous system regulation with significant stress-reducing parasympathetic activity. 


Increased air flow also improves the passage of phlegm in the airways and reinforces mucosal immunity. Singers have been reported to have better recovery from the COVID.


Singing makes up part of the complementary treatment in neurologic diseases, especially in Parkinson’s disease. Training in mental singing while walking improves gait disturbances.

Singing also leads to an improvement in vocalization, speech and intensity of voice.


Regular singing is related to a positive increase in quality of life, good mood and psychosocial wellbeing.


Another possible mechanism of singing may be the stimulation of central nervous structures due to intracranial vibrations caused by produced tones. The same mechanism is considered to underly improvement of function of the thyroid gland and the intrathoracic lymphatic structures.


Nowadays, singing is mainly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and in the rehabilitation of chronic lung diseases. However, as singing causes effects similar to those of breathing techniques, both having an impact on the cardiorespiratory and neurohumoral system, it should be considered as an excellent adjunctive therapeutic tool in different medical conditions including psychiatric mood disorders.


For more information about music and singing within complementary medicine including scientific references, please, go to the “Applied techniques” section => Music.


During the Mehana Programs 2023 you will have an excellent opportunity to participate in a workshop with a professional singer.

April 16, 2023

Author: Kristina Höschlová