Tune in to Musics Healing Powers
We've all heard that "Music has charms to soothe the savage beast," but did you know that it also can help you heal? In fact, music therapy is often used as an adjunct to conventional medicine, says David Simon, M.D., a neurologist and medical director at The Chopra Center for Well Being.
Medical literature is filled with examples of how music can serve as a psychological, spiritual and healing aid. One study published in Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice reported that patients who viewed relaxing music videos after open heart surgery had less discomfort, and slept better, than those who did not.
Another study published in Neurology found that stroke patients who had a course of music therapy recovered mobility and balance faster than a control group. And music that approximates the rhythm of the resting heart (70 beats per minute) can actually slow a heart that is beating too rapidly, reports Andrew Weil, M.D., on his Web site, Ask Dr. Weil.
In many hospitals, music therapy is a popular adjunct to conventional cancer treatments. During the chemotherapy treatment for her lung cancer, retired Miami nurse Peggy Krueger met with a music therapist and discovered that listening to classical music, big band and jazz tunes helped quell her fear and anxiety.
"I spent many hours at home listening to composers like Mozart, Schubert and Vivaldi," she says. "I also listened to big band music from the 1940s which helped me to relax and think positive thoughts."
Interested in hearing more? Information on music's healing powers and music therapists can be found by contacting the American Music Therapy Association.