Music heals the soul – almost everyone has heard that before, but how many people actually understand the powerful impact of music therapy? Music therapy is in fact one of the most influential ways of treating patients and healing the soul. Here are a few reasons why and how it’s so effective.
1. Music is Linked to Mood
One of the biggest reasons why music therapy is so effective is because music is linked to your mood. Music can either change your mood or enhance it. If you’re going through a breakup, do you usually gravitate towards “breakup songs”? If you’re feeling super happy and carefree, do you usually gravitate towards fun and upbeat music? Understanding that music affects your mood, you should always try to surround yourself with the right kind of music that will help your mood rather than bring it down.
2. There Are Therapeutic Effects
Studies have shown that music from people’s own culture is most effective in healing and relaxing. For example, in the Chinese culture it is believed that there are corresponding musical tones to the five internal organ and meridian systems. Even if you are not of Chinese descent, the music chosen to do meditations is chosen specifically to speak to your body and help you calm down. Usually I will type “meridian meditation” into YouTube and allow the music to soothe me.
3. Evokes Neurological Stimulation
Every genre of music speaks to a person in a different way. Studies have shown that classical music results in a comforted and relaxed state of mind, while rock and roll or heavy metal may lead to a discomforted state of mind. This powerful realization confirms that we should use music as a way to shift our energy from angry to happy through the right kind of genre. I created a “Brain Crain” playlist on Pandora and always turn to the list when I need to chill out.
4. Helps Heal Conditions
I found an article in Psychology Today that lists different conditions and explains how music therapy can help. I found it so interesting to learn that music therapy can help with autism, dementia, and infant development. Insomnia and depression, which are both struggles most people suffer with every day, can also be treated with music. If you are having trouble sleeping or are feeling depressed, turn to a music therapy session before turning to drugs.
5. Effects Brainwaves
Research has shown that every single beat in a song can also stimulate your brainwaves. The faster the beat, the more alert and hyper you will be; the slower the beat, the more relaxed and calm you will feel, bringing you into a meditative state.
6. Defines Self Expression
Sometimes listening to a song might not be as effective as actually playing a song. Everyone is different and everyone expresses their individuality in different ways. If you love music and would rather play a song than listen to a song, you can help yourself in a special way. I have a friend who is a pro at playing the piano – she will write her own music and get in tune with herself by creating her own healing tune.
7. Helps Uncover Hidden Emotion
The brain is powerful, and learning how to properly tap into the subconscious mind and unveil the root cause for depression, anxiety, or a trauma is imperative. Therapists are now using guided imagery with music to tune into hidden emotional responses and leverage the discovery to heal the root cause. Fun fact: music paired with imagery can also help in the development of reading and language skills.
Clearly, music is more powerful than we otherwise might have thought. It’s like a superpower – we need to learn how to use it wisely. How has music helped you get through something? What did you learn that impressed you the most about music therapy?