Not many people don't feel something when they hear music. I don't think there is a single person who is somehow unaffected by music. Just think about how often we listen to music during the day. When driving to work, working out at the gym, and doing chores around the house.
Music is an important part of our daily lives and changes how we see the world. Music makes us feel and remember things, whether it's your favorite song on the radio or even a cheesy tearjerker in the supermarket.
But music has more power than just making you think of a lost love or a happy time from your childhood. People often say that music is the most healing of the arts and can hugely affect our bodies and minds.
When we listen to music in the right way, it can be very healing and help us feel better. In what follows, we'll talk about how music can be utilized as a medicine to heal our bodies, minds, and hearts.
The emotional healing power of music
Even though research on how music heals has only been going on for about 50 years, people have probably known that music is good for the body, mind, and soul since music was first made. You don't have to be a psychologist or brain scientist to understand that music can help heal and calm you down.
Just think about what song got you through the last time you were sad. Still, it can be interesting to look at the benefits of music on our body, mind, and soul from a scientific point of view to find out what is left in our carcasses when we listen to music.
Music therapy has been used to help people with depression, anxiety, and chronic pain for a while now. However, it has only recently been used to help people with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.
From the point of view of emotional healing, music therapy helps patients connect with remembrances, associations, and thoughts. It also helps them relax, deal with their emotions, and let them go healthily.
Even if the music brings up bad memories, it's not a problem because the person can talk about them and let go of the bad feelings. Tension would build up if the patient kept the terrible memories to themselves, but if they let them out, the tension would go away.
How music can reduce stress and keep our system in balance
Aside from the emotional benefits of music that are better known, listening to music can also help heal your body. Music, probably the most common form of art, can assist the body and brain in calming down. When we hear a sound, our brain sends signals to our nerves, telling them to calm down and return to their normal state.
When we listen to music or peaceful or happy sounds, our brain tells our nervous system that we're safe and can relax. Music can cause direct changes in the body, like lowering the heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, among other things.
How our bodies handle stress is linked to how much cortisol we have. Our stress response and cortisol levels go down when we listen to music. Music can switch us from our fight-flight-freeze response, or sympathetic nervous system, to our parasympathetic nervous system, or relaxed state.
When we hear sounds, our bodies tell us to slow down. We can only heal our bodies and bring them back into balance through the parasympathetic nervous system. But because our daily lives are so stressful, we are often "trapped" in a fight-or-flight mode. Here, music can help people relax and help their bodies heal.
Music can help us relax, improve our lives, and strengthen our immune systems. Research has shown that listening to and playing music makes the body make more of the antibody immunoglobulin and natural killer cells, which fight viruses and improve the immune system.
The healing power of sound waves
At its most basic, music is just sound; it is just a wave of vibration with a certain frequency that moves through the air. Sound is not something that can be seen or touched. It is just a vibration of energy that we can feel with our ears. On a molecular level, too, our bodies are made up of millions and billions of tiny particles that vibrate at a certain frequency.
Our bodies react to the frequency of the vibrations that sound sends out. This vibration that comes from sound can help our bodies and minds heal in many ways. Harmonic sound frequencies can help bring our bodies back to health by raising the vibrations of stress, illness, and depression that make us feel bad.
Quantum physics says these low frequencies are just vibrational blockages that can be changed with music and sound through "entrainment."
When you bring an object that vibrates at a certain frequency close to another object, the one that vibrates at a lower frequency will eventually start to vibrate at the same frequency as the stronger one. This is called entrainment. Check out our article on sound healing to learn more about how sound vibrations can heal.
Music as a way to communicate
Music is good for you more than just an emotional, physical, and vibrational level. On a social level, music can also heal the whole group. Music can bring people together and connect them in ways that didn't exist before.
In our society, it's getting harder and harder to feel like we belong and connect with others on a human level. Smartphones have given us many good things and made it easier to talk to each other. But people aren't getting together in person as much as they used to.
Music can bring people of all ages, nationalities, and religions together and break down walls of fear, hate, and misunderstanding. Better social connections and support can also help people's mental health.
So, music that brings people together can greatly affect a person's mental health. And music's ability to bring people together has also been shown to help people who are sick. Recent research at Johns Hopkins found that singing in a group made the lives of people with Parkinson's disease better and made their voices stronger and clearer.
It can instantly change the situation, whether you hear music alone or in the car with friends. Because music is so easy to use and works well, it may be the alternative therapy with the most potential to help people who don't have access to proper care.
If you want to experience the connecting and healing powers of songs as medicine for yourself, or if you want to feel better by listening to and singing along with music, come to one of our sound medicine sessions. There, you will learn about the healing medicine of sound, meditation, and breathwork, making this an unforgettable experience.