The connection between music therapy and medicine has its origins in the past and has been the subject of many historical controversies.
In antiquity, people used to treat certain affections or physical discomforts through white magic rituals accompanied by music specific to the invocation of divinities.
The ancient Greeks considered the disease to be the direct consequence of an imbalance between cosmic harmony and human being.
It was then when music therapy was introduced and promoted by Plato, who used it to restore the health of others.
Also, music therapy was used to revive those depressed and to encourage those who went to battle.
Today, the most significant results obtained with music therapy were recorded in modern psychiatry, because it improves nerve access and the healing of the patient is complete.
Sound is the medicine that the specialist administers to the patient as a result of medical investigations.
Of course, it has to be taken into account his psychological profile, education, preferences, and religious affiliation, because only the music closest to his soul will produce the greatest benefits.
Scientists were able to document the neurochemical mechanisms by which music has an effect in management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.
The power of sound creates, regenerates and maintains the harmony of human life at the physical, emotional and intellectual level.
Let’s review together some of the extraordinary benefits of music therapy on each of these levels.
1. Music Therapy at the Physical Level
Overall, music therapy does have positive effects on pain management. Music can help reduce the feelings and stress that happen because of chronic pain and postoperative pain.
Also, by playing recordings of relaxing music every morning and evening, people with high blood pressure can train themselves to lower their blood pressure, and even keep it low.
Research shows that it is musical tempo, more than the type, which actually helps your heart.
Also, listening to any type of music that you find enjoyable every day can speed recovery from strokes, according to the latest research.
Music therapy can help migraine and chronic headache sufferers lessen the intensity, frequency, and duration of the headaches.
Listening to classical music has been shown to successfully treat insomnia. This makes music a safe and cheap alternative to sleep-inducing medication.
In this short video, Dr. Lee Bartel explores how sound can stimulate cells in your body and brain.
2. Music Therapy at the Emotional Level
Scientists say that a particular type of music can make a positive emotional experience, which leads to an increase of immune-boosting hormones.
This helps add to a decrease in the factors responsible for illness, boosting the immune system function.
Listening to music or singing can also decrease levels of the stress-related hormone called cortisol, whose higher levels can lead to a decreased immune system.
Music therapy can affect your mood in many ways. This is because of the rhythm and tone that we hear when we listen to music.
When we listen to a rhythm, our heart actually begins to sync with it.
Tones are just as important as rhythm. A “major key” music piece will usually signal cheerful communication to our brain, while “minor key” pieces are sadder.
As research shows, music not only affects what kind of mood we may be in, but we also seem to have a habit of choosing music based on the moods we are already feeling.
Through a funny and inspiring talk, Maria Iturriaga shares in this video why she believes high emotional intelligence is important in education
Something really interesting about how our emotions are affected by music is that there are two kinds of emotions related to music: perceived emotions and felt emotions.
This means that sometimes we can understand the emotions of a piece of music without actually feeling them, which explains why some of us find listening to sad music enjoyable, rather than depressing.
Unlike in real life situations, we don’t feel any real threat or danger when listening to music, so we can perceive the related emotions without really feeling them.
3. Music Therapy at the Mental Level
Certain types of music can even affect the brain in such ways as to improve memory.
Activities which use both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information.
Some researches confirm that listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better.
Other studies have shown that easy listening music or relaxing music improves the length and strength of concentration in all age groups and ability levels.
Listening to music can drown out your brain’s signals of fatigue. As your body realizes you’re tired and wants to stop exercising, it sends signals to your brain to stop for a break.
Listening to music competes for our brain’s attention, and can help to block out those signals of fatigue, which can increase endurance.
Music played at a moderate or moderately fast tempo, without too many abrupt changes in dynamics (loud and soft) helps to normalize the EEG.
Researchers have found that listening to music can relieve stress by triggering biochemical stress reducers.
When Your Brain Starts to Deteriorate So Will Your Body. Learn more in this pdf
“50 Tips for Ultimate Brain Health”
4. You Are The Ultimate Healer
Many people find familiar music comforting and calming.
In fact, music therapy is so effective in reducing anxiety, it is often used in dental, preoperative, and radiation therapy settings to help patients cope with their worries about procedures.
Dr. Dror Mandel and Dr. Ronit Lubetzky at Tel Aviv University played half an hour of Mozart every day to premature babies, with amazing results.
The babies who listened to the music grew much faster than those who weren’t listening to the music.
Music affects you in many different ways, and provides you with many benefits.
Your brain can even be improved by listening to music, and so can your emotional and physical health.
However, we have to know which type of music is most beneficial for us, as it is normally based on personal preference, even though classical music is usually the most rewarding.
For best results, do not listen to music for more than three hours at one time.
If you find that you’ve had music playing for more than three hours, turn it off and take a break. The brain responds to variety and too much of any one stimulus produces a kind of fatigue and even irritation.
You are unique. Experiment with different types of music, and be aware their effects upon your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Listen to yourself. You are the ultimate guide and healer.
Incorporate Mind, Body, Spirit and Lifestyle Habits For A Better You. Learn HOW in this pdf
“Holistic Approaches to Mental Wellness”
Both music and medicine are addressed directly to the human being in order to heal the body, soul and mind through therapy.
Music is in everything that surrounds us. It manifests a fundamental ontological dimension of the universe, capable of profoundly influencing the human psyche and bringing it close to the universe.
So, what is your favorite musical medicine?