As a professional musician and songwriter, I have experienced, first hand, the powerful effect music has upon the soul (thought, will and emotions). One note can bring someone to tears or provoke them to anger. Since the beginning of recorded history, music has been an integral part of culture. From wars to worship, we find music playing a major role in history, truth be told, you would be hard pressed to find to many places without it!
Music sings in elevators, fills the ears of procrastinators, face it, whether you are a hacker, a slacker or a Green Bay packer, music is the soundtrack of your life. Music is so important to us that once apple (thanks Steve Jobs) created the ipod, it quickly became the best-selling device of all time, with the ipad right on its heels. Why the popularity? Convenience, people want to have a world of entertainment in a hand-held device. And when polled, what did Americans say was most important to them? Their music! I have seen people completely healed after being exposed to music. I am happy to report that doctors and health care practitioners alike are beginning to sing the praises of music therapy.
When I did my research, I realized that some practitioners used music as the sole modality for healing, while others joined it with other types of treatment. Here are just a few of the benefits practitioners saw when music therapy was applied:
- Anxiety and stress reduction
- Non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
- Positive changes in mood and emotional states
- Active and positive patient participation in treatment
- Decreased length of treatment when music was added
I cannot stress the importance of music therapy.
If you investigate the medicines often prescribed in most pain management protocols, you will be horrified by the list of side effects. If you investigate music therapy, you will be delighted by its side effects: healing, happiness and hope! When I was asked to write on the topic: Pain Management, I was both excited and concerned. I was excited because I have a vast knowledge of the condition and the myriad of treatments available, and concerned because I have a vast knowledge of the condition and the myriad of treatments available! I can only “scratch the surface” in this blog, perhaps, a book may follow.
Why does music therapy work? Music is frequency and everything has a resonant frequency. For example, the musical note, A, is actually 440hz. 440hz has a sound generated by frequency, the note A! Every cell, organ and atom responds and resonates when a note or combination of notes with a corresponding frequency are played. Thus, when subjected to music, our physiology is affected both internally and externally.
That’s right, music affects us, inside and out! We are just now beginning to discover the amazing benefits of music therapy, yet music has been with us since the beginning of time. The Bible, for example, often speaks of music. Lets examine a verse from the Old Testament, 1 Chronicles 15:16. “Then David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their relatives, the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, high-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.” This is King David, the primary author of the greatest songbook ever compiled, the Bible’s, Book of Psalms.
It is interesting to note that even reading the book of psalms (songs) has a therapeutic effect on the body. The most common effect reported was, joy and peace instead of depression and anxiety. It is also noteworthy to mention here that Bible history tells us (1 Samuel 16:14) that when King Saul was tormented, David was asked to play psalms upon his 10 stringed harp. And the result? David’s music brought peace to the King and an end to his torment. I will be sharing much more on this subject in the future, so, stay tuned. – M