I have always thought of singing as a healing art form, if not for the singer, then for the listener, just as I think of Art in the same way, as a form of therapy for myself.
However I was not singing last week when I found I couldn't get my trusty jeans over the roll that had wrapped itself around my waist. I realised I would have to shock my body into shape somehow before summer. Things looked even worse when I found I could barely see my canvas over the mountain of flesh that has taken up residence on my chest lately.
It was time for my annual visit to Madame et Monsieur - my favorite slimming clinic. I am subjecting myself to a fairly rigorous and rather excruciating twice-weekly routine of electrode therapy to shock away the fat! The last time I did this which was about 2 years ago I had quite good results. I managed to shake off 26 centimetres on my waist hips and legs, losing a total of 5 Kg in about 4 weeks. It is not the most comfortable way of losing weight, but it does mean you get to lie down on a bed while you get strapped up with pads placed on strategic areas of the body that you want to target, pull out your book and try and read through about 45 minutes of strange and rather uncomfortable tingling sensations.
After this I hit the "jiggling machine" for 10 more minutes of targeted fat-wobbling and then drive back home thoroughly shaken, but feeling like I am now in control of my body, not the other way round.
Yesterday, though while driving home I put on the radio and heard the last movement of Tschaikowsky's 2ND Symphony. I suddenly found myself weeping, mourning the Singer that I had once been. Being on the shaking machine had stirred up some old emotions and memories for a part of myself that I thought I had buried long ago. I realised that singing had given me a connection to some part of myself that desperately needed to be expressed and released. Having blocked this part off for so many years may have led to the weight gain, and some of the health issues that accompanied it.
I googled some good research on singing for health which talks about how singing can even improve patients suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.