Sometimes the right song can make you feel great. A happy song can pump you up on your way to work, a sad song can help you cope with a tragedy in your life. A funny song can make you laugh, and a thoughtful song can get you thinking.
Being able to listen to music is one of the best things about being a human being. It sounds almost unbelieveable that simply by observing patters in the air moving around, your brain can process this information and interpret art, feeling, and emotion.
What’s also unbelieveable is the way in which music has real, documented, power to heal the mind and body. A few weeks ago I shared a Facebook post that describes music as the “the other non-addictive, mood-altering, non-substance.” It’s all true!
By the way, the “other” mood-improving, non-substance is meditation. Click here to read my post on reducing stress through meditation
Take for example a study that was highlighted on CNN. This study took a sample of people who were about to undergo surgery and monitored their self-reported stress level as well the presence of a hormone that belies anxiety. One group was given anti-anxiety drugs and the other group listened to calming music.
The study showed that those who listened to music had less anxiety than those who took anti-anxiety drugs!
Click here read CNN’s article on the study and the effects of music on the brain
There are even more documented positive effects of music. Take for example Alzheimer’s, one of the most debilitating brain diseases that effects a huge number of elderly people. Anyone who has seen a loved one go through this knows how painful it can be.
Music is actually one of the few things that combat the effects of Alzheimer’s. Music can improve the mood of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and boost cognitive skills. It can also reduce the need for antipsychotic drugs.
Click here to read about music and Alzheimer’s
Here’s another awesome example:
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs published findings on how music therapy is being used to help our wounded warriors deal with PTSD.
A program called Guitars for Vets got this going. Veterans received an hour of individual guitar training each week and a weekly group instruction session. Veterans also received a guitar, along with sheet music and other supplies that they were allowed to keep after the study was over.
The program had great results in dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and is now being broadened to help more veterans. I think this is such a cool way of dealing with a tough problem in a natural and healthy way.
Read the Veteran’s Affairs publication on treating PTSD with music
I am very happy to be to present these excellent examples of the healing power of music. I think everyone can benefit from their own music therapy. Whatever kind of music you like, keep listening, and learning to play can have plenty of its own benefits as well!
Remember, doctor’s orders: turn up the tunes!
Best wishes for a happy and healthy October,