The Healing Power of Music
Both Aristotle and Plato commented on the healing power of music. But it was not until the 20th century that the idea of music therapy began to take hold.
Music therapists are trained healthcare professionals who utilize music to encourage wellness, healing, and a better quality of life.
They work in psychiatric facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, hospice programs, schools, and other organizations.
People with mental illness benefit from the influence that music has over mood and emotions.
In the hospital setting, music has been used to reduce pain and suffering, relieve tension, and promote sleep.
Nursing homes employ music therapists to keep senior citizens active and socially involved.
Music has been used in hospice programs to provide comfort, relaxation, and a better quality of life for people who are terminally ill.
Music therapy is used in special learning programs at schools to improve communication and coordination skills.
Research has shown that music can improve depression and insomnia, reduce blood pressure, lower respiration and heart rates, and alleviate nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Children who take music lessons tend to have higher IQ scores and do better in school.
In the home, music is a valuable tool for reducing stress, engaging in physical exercise, and creating a more positive environment.
Employers have found that background music in the workplace can help reduce stress among employees.
Listening to the sounds of nature can also be therapeutic. Birds singing, waves crashing on the beach, a babbling brook, the wind blowing playfully through wind chimes, whale songs, the purring of a cat -- these all have the power to soothe frazzled nerves and fill us with a sense of comfort and joy.
April 2, 2007
Copyright 2007-2017 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.
Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, April 24, 2007.