Singing has been known to relax, invigorate and uplift. A Swedish study wondered if it could ease the painful symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Singing elevates oxytocin concentration in serum. As it happens, those with irritable bowel syndrome generally have low levels of oxytocin. The question arose, will singing help raise levels of oxytocin for these sufferers? And, what other positive changes happen in the body when we sing?
"The researchers elected to invite applicants with a verifiable IBS diagnosis to take part in the study which was funded by the Swedish Research Council. A random sample was then selected and allocated to a choir group meeting or an information discussion group meeting, which took place weekly for a year." Research from Karolinska Institute also indicates that choir singers have higher levels of oxytocin.
Saliva tests were one method of observation. Saliva testosterone concentration for those in the study who were singing showed higher levels of testosterone after six months of their choir group meeting.