Listen Up! There’s Healing Power In The Sounds of Music

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What would life be like without sound, without melodies that hit home for us?

Music is part of our lives and for many of us, it’s our right hand man like a weapon is to a warrior. Music has a tendency to uplift any room, turn a negative situation to a positive, intensify art or motion picture, and even put us to sleep.

So if music travels the air through an environment, is it possible that music also travels from one neural lobe to the next, impacting our nerve impulses that transmit to the brain? What’s actually happening up there?

Music helps to increase our abilities and awareness. It is considered a vibration for healing, communicating and reducing pain ever so gracefully, yet we feel not even a peep of disturbance. Science says, with the right music, our moods are enhanced with less anxiety. So just imagine how many better days we can all have simply by being more aware of the sounds around us.

 

“Music has the POWER of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the SOUL, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the YOUNG must be directed to music and must be EDUCATED in it.”

– Aristotle

If the powers of music were widely understood – it would have an incredible chance at being a requirement in school for young ages. But since it’s not, it’s provided to us in any case as a choice. Unless one grows into a musical household, it’s not prevalent for us. It requires a lot of concentration sustained in a room for hours at a time. It’s unfortunate that the majority of the music children are exposed to these days has inappropriate even profane language. We simply must do a better job at influencing the children of the future to more powerful and impactful music.

Most of us spend thousands of our earnings on tangible items – either on our children or on materialistic items that we likely don’t need. Music isn’t one of those things, it cannot be touched – but it certainly does touch us. No matter the culture you live in, music connects us to a higher state of consciousness and just flat out makes us a feel good!

Music brings complete strangers together in a social environment. Music brings light to a dark moment …

  • Music can bring tears
  • Music can wipe tears
  • Music can speak the emotions we feel
  • Music is the song of our voice
  • Music adds emotion and intensity to film
  • Music fuels our creativity
  • Music has the power to spark in us memories we never knew we had
  • Music heals

…and most importantly, music is the syncopated vibration of our energy as living beings.

Healing Properties

joy of musical sounds“Soothing our soul from every age and type of individual in the spectrum, music is strongly associated with the brain’s reward system. It’s the part of the brain that tells us if things are valuable or important or relevant to survival,” says Robert Zatorre, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Montreal Neurological Institute. Music has powerful calming effects on infants, is a creativity boosters for adults and has incredible medicinal and memory boosting effects for the elderly.

 

ALIVE INSIDE (you can order here ) is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.”

More evidence:

Lullabies significantly decrease the heart rate and pain level (colic) in babies.“There’s an ancient part of the brain in the limbic system which is responsible for the emotional responses to music,”, says neurologist Tim Griffiths. “What I think is happening here is that the emotional part of the brain is being stimulated by music. This is decreasing the arousal level, and that in turn is affecting their pain response levels.”

Ear Worms & Ancestors

Why do we replay music in our heads? More importantly – why do songs we don’t like get stuck in our head!? From insidious commercial jingles and annoying sitcom theme songs to songs you just don’t care for, scientists call these buggers or ‘ear worms’. Some say the trick here is to let the song loop all the way through in your head, play the tape from beginning to end and it should be extracted from your subconscious. Or at least until the next time you catch a listen. But why is this happening?

“Our brains show more activity in their emotional regions when the music we are listening to is familiar, regardless of whether or not we actually like it. When people listen to music, there’s a lot of activity happening in the motor planning regions of the brain.”

And do you ever wonder how it is that you can remember every word verbatim of a nostalgic song from 20 years ago even though you hear the song maybe every 5 years or so? They often say that if you were to put your educational studies into the form of a song, you are onto a very effective memorization technique.

“The structures that respond to music in the brain evolved earlier than the structures that respond to language,” said Daniel Levitin, a psychologist who studies the neuroscience of music. Levitin points out that many of our ancestors, before there was writing, used music to help them remember things, such as how to prepare foods or the way to get to a water source. These procedural tasks would have been easier to remember as songs.

 Meditation and Chanting

Traveling back in time to the ancient times of our ancestors, the powers of music have been used for many occasions. Let’s take chanting. Chants are filled with mesmerizing effects as it resonates through every cell in your body. Our ancestors have identified certain repetitive sound vibrations that bring peace and calmness to the mind and body, these are called Mantras.

The Mantra is an instrument of the mind, one that is a tool for entering a deep state of meditation – or – opening a floodgate of positivity. Chanting the mantras during meditation will allow the mind to experience deeper levels of awareness. (If you’ve ever practiced Kundalini Yoga you know exactly how this feels!)

Join Deepak Chopra for a guided mediation experience:

Music and sound are taken for granted in our lives. It’s important for us to take full advantage of the hearing we do currently have and to observe it more than ever. The next time you find yourself in a situation by yourself, remember to imagine what would life be without those sounds around you. Be thankful of these harmonic melodies of life that surround us and are abundant and availalbe to us to appreciate at any given moment. 

Quotes To Contemplate

  • Michael Greene, President & CEO of NARAS – 1997 Grammy Awards:

“When we look at the body of evidence that the arts contribute to our society, it’s absolutely astounding. Music Therapists are breaking down the walls of silence and affliction of autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”

  • Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead):

“(Rhythm) is there in the cycles of the seasons, in the migrations of the birds and animals, in the fruiting and withering of plants, and in the birth, maturation and death of ourselves,” Hart told a Senate panel studying music therapy. – REUTERS, Aug. 1, 1991.

  • CNN:

“On this day, I was playing the patient. An intensive, exhaustive seven-hour schedule was presented, full of physical therapy, speech, recreational, occupational and my personal favorite – music therapy.”

  • Barbara Crowe (past president of the National Association for Music Therapy):

“(Music therapy) can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort — between demoralization and dignity.”

  • Plato:

“I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”

Sami Sattva

Sami is Healing Lifestyles and Spas Mindfulness contributor based in Portland, Oregon.
She's an independent Editor, Researcher, and Healing Influencer of Ayurvedic Medicine, Mindfulness with a dual purpose of creating Lifestyle and Nutrition Plans for internal healing. She's earned 15 years in the Marketing and PR fields and is blessed with a variety of training ranging from Sports, Yoga, Aromatherapy, Journalism, Communications, Health Sciences, and the Arts.

Sami's Blog + Business is www.MindfulHellos.co

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