One day, it occurred to me that I needed a cathartic release. I was leading a small manufacturing firm where I felt the need to always present myself as level-headed and calm in order to lead the company effectively. But one day, I felt an urge to explode. Not for any particular reason, I just needed it. I felt a primal urge to roar and be wild and free. At that moment, I realised that it’s hard to find a safe space to do so, and not being able to release that energy could be detrimental to my health and well-being.
I went down a rabbit hole contemplating myself, life, and society. My first thought was, “If a lion never roars, does it become sick?” Then I wondered, “If I never have a verbal cathartic release, will I become sick?” As I went further down the rabbit hole, I realised that our society doesn’t really have a framework in place for verbal cathartic release. So, I contemplated “have we created a caged lion society?”
“When we draw in a deep breath from the diaphragm to perform the scream, the vagus nerve activates the parasympathetic nervous system known as the relaxation response thus calming the brain’s stress response.” | Colette Ingrid Brown
This isn’t to say there aren’t any spaces for this type of release. For example, singing in a rock band or being part of a theatre group are both great spaces for self-expression. However, in general, it would be viewed as odd if I were to vocalise in a loud and primal way in my regular environment, like at work, at home, or in a public space. And for good reason, because it would likely terrify people. But I wondered if we need to connect with our primal selves for our health. I definitely believe so, so that’s what I did. I found a remote place where I could be as loud and wild as I wanted, and I reconnected with my primal self. I roared and indulged in other primal releases, and it felt great.
I looked into this further and found that there is a lot of evidence that a primal scream is great for our health. One of the main benefits is the stimulation of the vagus nerve, and there are even research and education centres dedicated to primal connectedness.
So, let’s explore how roaring is important for a lion’s health. And I’ll leave you with this: When was the last time you got out into the wild? Are you a caged lion?
How roaring is essential for a lion’s health:
Roaring for Communication and Territory
One of the primary functions of a lion’s roar is communication. Lions use their roar to communicate with one another over long distances, especially when they are separated from their pride. The roar of a lion can be heard up to 5 miles away and can carry important messages about the lion’s location, status, and intentions.
Roaring is also important for establishing territory. Male lions will use their roar to let other males know that they are in charge of a particular area. The roar serves as a warning to other males to stay away, as they could face aggression or even death if they try to enter another male’s territory.
Roaring is also essential for mating purposes. Male lions will often use their roar to attract females and establish dominance over other males in the area. A strong, loud roar is an indication of a male’s health and vitality, making him a more attractive mate for females.
In addition to its social and reproductive functions, roaring also has important physiological benefits for lions. Research has shown that roaring helps to strengthen the muscles and tissues in the lion’s throat and chest, which can improve respiratory and cardiovascular function.
Roaring can also help to clear the airways of any foreign particles, such as dust or debris, that the lion may have inhaled. This can help to prevent respiratory infections and other respiratory problems that could compromise the lion’s health.
Overall Health and Well-being
Given the important role that roaring plays in a lion’s physiological and behavioural functions, it is clear that it is essential for a lion’s overall health and well-being. A lion that is unable to roar due to injury or illness could be at a disadvantage when it comes to establishing territory, attracting mates, and communicating with other lions.
Furthermore, if a lion is unable to roar, it may also be more susceptible to respiratory infections and other health problems that could compromise its ability to survive in the wild.
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