Humming – the key to efficient breathing and calm
OK, I know that hummingbirds don’t actually hum to make that amazing noise, but I’m allowing myself some poetic licence!
Leon Chaitow, now passed but very much a giant in the world of fascia when he was with us, wrote a charming piece called, Humming my way back home[i], a few years ago. He talks about the effect of nitric oxide (NO) on the upper respiratory tract; NO is produced when you hum and when you breathe through the nose (not the mouth).
Humming is also a calming occupation, but why? “…..your voice box (larynx) is connected to your vagus nerve. Subsequently, when you hum or sing, you naturally activate it………….On top of this stimulation, humming requires you to control your inhalations and exhalations. Experts know that, even without humming, the vagus nerve links to respiration, and that slowing down exhalation has a positive effect for calm, activating the parasympathetic nervous system”[ii].
So, hum your way into health and calm – the hummingbird is the new role model!