Om is frequently heard in many yoga classes or in meditation classes. When chanted, Om vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found in all things throughout nature. Hence, Om is known as the basic sound of the universe.
- the continuity of past, present and future.
- the masculine, feminine and neutral principles.
- speech (‘vak’), mind (‘manas’) and breath (‘prana’)
- the creator (Brahma), the maintainer (Vishnu) and the destroyer (Shiva).
- conditions of consciousness of the waking state, the dreaming state, and the deep sleep state.
- Larynx and pharynx – responsible for the initiation of swallowing and phonation
- Heart – Vagus nerve ensures a resting heart rate of 60 – 80 beats per minute. If the vagus nerve was lesioned, the resting heart rate would be around 100 beats per minute
- Gastro-intestinal tract – the vagus nerve stimulates smooth muscle contraction and glandular secretions in these organs. For example, in the stomach, the vagus nerve increases the rate of gastric emptying, and stimulates acid production
It is shown that the chanting of “Om” can help to stimulate the vagus nerve which provides benefits for those with depression, anxiety and even those with high inflammatory markers which can be stress induced.
So the next time “Om” is chanted, think of the effects it can have in our whole body.. literally!
Kalyani BG, Venkatasubramanian G, Arasappa R, et al. Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Int J Yoga. 2011;4(1):3-6. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.78171
Breit S, Kupferberg A, Rogler G, Hasler G. Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:44. Published 2018 Mar 13. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00044