Humming induces vibrations in your paranasal sinuses (the air filled spaces which surround your nasal cavity). This oscillation causes an exchange of air between the sinuses and nasal cavity.

The paranasal sinuses produce increased Nitric Oxide which is circulated to the nasal cavity (link). Inhaling in through your nose following humming will distribute the increased Nitric Oxide into your lungs, where it may inhibit pathogens, viruses and bacteria. Here is a useful technique you can try (link – begins after 10 minutes).

Introduction to Humming:

Humming is a universal form of vocalization that transcends cultural and linguistic boundaries. It is a melodic expression where individuals produce a continuous, steady sound by exhaling without the use of words. Unlike singing, humming does not involve the articulation of lyrics but rather focuses on the musicality of tones. This non-verbal communication through sound has been a part of human expression for centuries, playing a role in various contexts such as music, relaxation, and even communication between infants and caregivers.

Mechanics of Humming:

The mechanics of humming involve the vibration of vocal cords and the resonance of air within the oral and nasal cavities. As a person hums, the vocal folds come together, creating a continuous stream of sound. The pitch and tone of the hum can be modulated by adjusting the tension in the vocal cords and the shape of the oral cavity. Unlike speech or singing, humming lacks distinct consonants and vowels, resulting in a smooth and undulating sound. This simplicity contributes to the versatility of humming, making it accessible to individuals regardless of their linguistic background.

Cultural Significance:

Humming holds cultural significance across the globe. In various traditions, it is used in religious rituals, meditation practices, and folk music. The absence of words in humming allows for a more abstract and emotionally resonant form of expression, making it a powerful tool for conveying feelings and connecting with others on a deeper, non-verbal level. Whether as a soothing lullaby, a meditative practice, or a communal expression of joy, humming continues to enrich the tapestry of human communication and musical expression.