For years Music Therapists have used music to help patients suffering from an illness, healing from an injury or addressing past trauma. Did you know that today, principles of music therapy are increasingly popping up within the field of traditional medicine, as new and surprising physiological benefits are uncovered? What are doctors discovering? That music can help heal body and mind.
Patients recovering from heart surgery in some hospitals are healing to the sound of music, their hearts literally falling into rhythm with the beat. According to MSNBC,
“From Massachusetts General to the Mayo Clinic, patients are hearing the first strains of a harmonious movement — the infusion and inclusion of music in the treatment of ailments, from brain disorders to cancer. This goes beyond the psychological smile favorite songs can induce…. Doctors are increasingly studying — and employing — the physiological dance music does with the body’s neurons and blood-carrying cells.”
The Journey of Music Through You
- “First, sound waves travel through the air into the ears and buzz the eardrums and bones in the middle ears.
- To decode the vibration, your brain transforms that mechanical energy into electrical energy, sending the signal to its cerebral cortex – a hub for thought, perception and memory.
- Within that control tower, the auditory cortex forwards the message on to the brain centers that direct emotion, arousal, anxiety, pleasure and creativity.
- Then there’s another stop upstairs: that electrical cue hits the hypothalamus which controls heart rate and respiration, plus your stomach and skin nerves, explaining why a melody may give you butterflies or goose bumps.
Remember that all of this happens much faster than a single drum beat.
Next, before jetting through the blood stream, the signals are converted again – to hormones.
One Doctor at the University of Munich was able to show that critically ill patients required fewer sedative drugs when they listened to one hour of Mozart piano sonatas. As expected, the patient’s blood pressures and heart rates eased with the music.
What came as a surprise is that the patients also showed a 50% spike in pituitary growth hormone, which is known to stimulate healing.”
Isn’t that amazing?! Music literally touches and influences brain waves and heart beats and stimulates healing hormones! Then the breath simply follows, leading the mind into calm. Even Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery was assisted by music, enabling her to sing when she struggled to talk.
What Does This Mean for You?
Music can be a key part of your daily healing process and an excellent addition to your yoga practice. Perhaps you need to de-stress after a long day at work, to let some emotions flow after the loss of a relationship, or to pick yourself up after a night of insomnia. A bit of music can help put you back together.
Try these Simple Steps to Ease Body and Mind:
After a stressful day, spread out your yoga mat or a soft blanket on the floor of a dimly lit, quiet room. Turn on a soothing piece of music, lay down and close your eyes (make sure you are in comfortable clothes).
Note the support of the floor, of gravity, on different parts of your body. Allow your body (head, neck, shoulders, etc.) to melt into that support.
As you listen to the notes sway around you, slow and deepen your breath, relaxing into the sounds and sensations. Stay there and continue to breathe into the silence that follows the end of the song.
Allow yourself to rest here for as long as it takes for you to get back to feeling completely at ease, relaxed and steady in body and mind.
When ready, slowly draw yourself up to a seated position and gradually open your eyes to greet the day anew.
From upbeat Pop to soothing Classical, music can lift your spirits and soothe your soul. The next time you’re feeling stressed or down, try turning on a tune and experience music’s power to heal.
Thank you for your time and interest. Please rate, share, comment or like. Customer168Service Advocates of Elevated Living
- Sound therapy: The power of rewiring your brain with music (voxxi.com)
- Music of the Soul. ~ Marc Baldwin (elephantjournal.com)
- music healing (beyoursoulinfo.wordpress.com)
- Heal Alzheimer’s Disease With Art (wonderfultips.wordpress.com)
- Inspiration – the divine blessing healing us (julienmatei.com)
- Is Playing a Musical Instrument Good for Your Health? (livescience.com)
- Music therapy in the NICU? Who knew? (christhomas23.wordpress.com)