Om is believed to be the sound of creation and has been chanted for thousands of years. To a yogi Om is both the Self and the way to know the Self and so he meditates upon it.
But there are more than just spiritual benefits to this powerful, ancient practice. Chanting Om can affect us and our environments in a real, tangible way.
Om chanting produces a vibration and sound which stimulates the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It originates in the brain and travels all the way down to the lower internal organs and is a fundamental regulator of the parasympathetic nervous system. PNS controls all the involuntary processes such as breathing, digestion, heartbeat, etc. and is responsible for restoring relaxation after a response to stress or danger (sympathetic nervous system’s activation). And…here is the interesting bit…There is no other way to access the vagus nerve except with your vocal cords.
A relaxed nervous system is key to healing. It improves immunity and sleep.
Helps Manage Emotions
In a recent study, significant deactivation of the limbic system was observed during Om chanting. The limbic system, located on both sides of the thalamus, includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, and is primarily responsible for our emotions, memories and our reaction to them. By reducing the activity in the limbic system, we can develop rational thinking and have better control on our emotions.
Similar observations have been recorded with vagus nerve stimulation treatment used in depression and epilepsy. The study findings argue for a potential role of this ‘OM’ chanting in clinical practice.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Chanting Om has shown to bring down the heart rate and reduce blood pressure.
Regular practice strengthens the vocal cords and the muscles around it. So important as we get older.
The process of visualising while chanting improves focus and memory.
Improved concentration is the first tool for meditation.
Creates Positive Energy
Om vibrations calm the body and mind and purify the environment around you. When the OM Mantra is chanted in a group, the effects are amplified and this will produce immense positive vibrations which charge up the entire vicinity.