Chanting is traditionally associated with religious practice, and as such, people who are not religiously inclined might be unsympathetic to claims that it is therapeutic. The idea that it is linked with mysticism, although attractive to some, can be a turn-off for others. However, the health benefits of chanting are now observable and concrete; it is known that physiological change can take place in the human system when people chant.
Whether you desire to achieve spiritual heights by chanting or simply want to benefit from the relaxation response it evokes, you can achieve the results you desire. You might chant vowel sounds rather than time-honored OM sounds if doing so feels right for you. Either way, the act of chanting will have a similar influence on your system as you activate vibrational frequencies that can alter your brainwaves and stimulate hormonal change.
Studies show that chanting can lower your blood pressure, calm your brainwaves into a relaxed state and help you produce melatonin, and melatonin can help you sleep. Research suggests that a melatonin boost about an hour before sleep is likely to aid restful slumber. Therefore, chanting at that time could prove to be beneficial if you usually have trouble obtaining shuteye.
In addition, it has been discovered that chanting can help harmonize both sides of the brain. Most people use the left side of their brain for most of their waking life. The left portion of the brain is associated with logical thinking, facts and data, whereas the right portion deals with creativity, imagination, and, some people believe, higher realms of thought. If you chant regularly, you might experience whole-brain thinking so that you use more portions of your brain simultaneously. At the same time, you are likely to have balanced emotions.
Kundalini yoga teacher Ramdesh Kaur, suggests that beginners to the art of chanting practice breathing deeply to begin with, and nourish their bodies with a healthy diet. She also makes associations between people's emotional states and how they chant, proposing that the human voice conveys emotions. For example, if your voice is quiet or shaky when you chant, perhaps you need confidence because you are fearful. Chanting with a full voice, from deep in your chest, could signify that you are in tune with your heart and are not fearful.