When is the last time you hummed along to your favorite song? Did you know that while you were humming, you were are also boosting your immunity and improving the health of your nervous system? Research shows that humming is an incredibly powerful process for healing for three main reasons:
1. Humming greatly increases nasal nitric oxide
Nitric oxide (NO) is a neural transmitter that is released as a gas to sterilize the air you breathe, protecting your body by sterilizing airborne pathogens. Nitric oxide also increases arterial oxygenation and has been shown to reduce blood pressure. The more nasal NO, the better!
2. Humming stimulates your vagus nerve
This plays a key role in activating the parasympathetic nervous system- otherwise known as your “rest and digest” state. Because your vagus nerve runs through both the larynx and pharynx in your throat, humming creates a vibration that stimulates your vagus nerve and can increase your vagal tone (aka the health of your vagus nerve!).
3. Humming can improve heart rate variability
Heart rate variability, or HRV, is an important metric that shows how well you are able to deal with and recover from stress. When you hum, you induce parasympathetic dominance, which means you move out of “fight or flight” stress mode into relaxation.
How to Incorporate Humming into Your Life:
1. One of the best things about humming is that anyone can do it! Try humming along to a song and see how you feel. Because humming often increases the length of exhalation for each breath, you may find that humming combined with deep breathing is an easy way to de-stress wherever you are.
2. Want to learn more about why humming works and the science behind it? Check out The Humming Effect: Sound Healing for Health and Happiness by Jonathon Goldman and Andi Goldman. This book also includes great resources for adding humming into your daily routine!
3. If you want to see how humming affects you in real time, hop into Flowly’s Humming World to incorporate real-time biofeedback and Virtual Reality with the healing benefits of humming.