I don’t know if you are like me, but sometimes I feel like the world is an exhausting background noise. One way to turn off the sound of the world is to put away our cell phones and computers.
Another one is to listen to music.
“Music has charm to soothe the savage beast,” they say. It’s true, but it can do more than that. It can be an asset for better health.
Since the dawn of humanity, humans have used music and songs to relieve pain and to heal. In Greek mythology, Apollo was the God of music and medicine. Hippocrates used to play music to his patients. The Muslim philosopher, Al-Faribi, wrote about the therapeutic effects of music in the 9th century. During the 17th century, Robert Burton treated the ill suffering from melancholia with music and dance. Finally, after World War I, musicians used to visit hospitals to play music to the soldiers. We can also add the Native Americans’ shamanic chants, and those from the Tibetan monks.
Studies have shown that when associated with traditional medicine, music therapy provides better reactions to treatment and to reeducation. It has a positive emotional effect and increases the chance of healing.
For the American Cancer Society, music plays an essential role in the moral support of the patients during their treatment, especially for teenagers. Music can lower the heart rhythm and is used to help patients with cardiovascular disease. It is efficient to help ease the consequences of illness such as Parkinson disease or Alzheimers, depression and anxiety. And of course, it’s perfect for reducing stress.
During treatments, the music therapists use music with all its aspects. Patients can have a musical experience that can go from listening to music freely, to singing, to dancing to improvisation. Used with all its forms, music lets patients express themselves with their vocals, the words or they get back the control of their body. There is no age limit. Everybody can find what they are looking for.
Some music genres are more appropriate than others. We can choose between Mozart’s works, or we can prefer instruments like the harp or the flute. Whatever our choice, we are more receptive to the music we like.
Music is an extraordinary tool to increase our concentration. I always write with music in the background and, depending on what I want to write, I would pick a certain song. It’s perfect to get the right mood. The French Writer, Maxime Chattam, offers to his readers the songs to listen to while they are reading his books.
Youtube has an infinite numbers of videos to help you. You just have to listen and pick the ones that will help you work better, relax better, or feel better.
And for the fun of it too!
To read more about it:
An article about the effect of music therapy on teenagers: