What does science say about Kirtan and Chanting? Is there any scientific research to prove all the claims made by Kirtan singers/teachers ?
Turns out there is !! I compiled a list of research:
Kirtan and Chanting can effect the Physical Body, Mind and Spirit.
When a person chants, studies have shown:
“According to a research done at the Cleveland University, USA, the rhythmic tones involved in chanting create a melodious effect in the body called the Neuro-linguistic effect [NLE]. When we know the meaning of the mantra we are reciting, it creates a Psycholinguistic effect [PLE] on the body. The NLE and the PLE effects are by-products of the production and spreading of curative chemicals in the brain. The research concludes that this is the real reason why chanting provokes curative effects in us.
A study by Dr Alan Watkins [senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London] revealed that while chanting, our heart rate and blood pressure dip to its lowest in the day. Doctors say that even listening to chants normalises adrenalin levels, brain wave pattern and lowers cholesterol levels.
Using chants as part of our exercise regimen, helps facilitate movement and flow of the body during exercise.
Studies prove that making chants a part of our daily yoga can help achieve greater weight loss in a shorter span of time.
Neuro-scientist Marian Diamond from the University of California found that chanting helps block the release of stress hormones and increases immune function. It also keeps our muscles and joints flexible for a long time.
The body’s energy and vitality are augmented by regular chanting.
Chanting can help cure depression: An 8-week study was carried out at the Samarya Center for Integrated Movement Therapy and Ashtanga Yoga in Seattle, WA, to see the effects of chanting on general well-being and particularly respiratory functions in people suffering from mild-to-severe depression. The results showed that chanting helped participants increase control over their breath and expiratory output level. The participants claimed that chanting reduced their anxiety and improved their mood. Researchers thus concluded that if done at least once a week, chanting is an effective means of enhancing people’s moods in the immediate present, as well as over an extended period of time.” (http://completewellbeing.com)
Here is a chance for you to learn how to sing or lead Kirtans:
REGISTER FOR INDIAN RAGAS FOR KIRTANS WORKSHOP, Saturday October 14th from 1:00 PM.