Music to Your Ears, Health to Your Body
“Close your eyes for a minute and listen to the world around you. What do you hear? Car horns, jackhammers and blaring stereos? Or gentle raindrops, laughing children and the soothing strings of a symphony orchestra?
It may make a difference. We as Sound Therapists believe that what you hear can help or hurt your health. “I believe that sound, especially music, can be a great healer.” says Steven Halpern, Ph.D., composer, researcher and author of Sound Health: The Music and Sounds That Make Us Whole: “Sound can relax you. When applied the right way, it can help release energy and help your body heal itself.”
Therapists are using sound, especially music, to help people with a wide variety of medical problems, from Alzheimer’s disease to tooth pain. Medical doctors know about the power of sound, too. They use high-tech devices such as ultrasound machines to help heal soft-tissue injuries and to take diagnostic photographs of fetuses in their mothers’ wombs. And researchers have released a number of studies that verify music’s ability to ease pain, improve memory and reduce stress.
So how can you take advantage of sound therapy? Well, chances are that you’re already using it. Three in four people who responded to a Prevention magazine health survey said they listen to music to ease tension and stress. And of those, 82 percent reported that it brings significant relief.
Experts say people can harness the healing power of sound in many ways. You can listen to music that quiets your mind and relaxes your body. Or walk through a forest and soak up the sounds of nature. Stroll along the beach and listen to the waves lapping the shore. Sing to yourself, play an instrument or learn toning, where you make a series of elongated vowel sounds to ease tension and energize your body.
“The rewards of sound are great,” Dr. Halpern says. “The more we learn about it, the more we see its potential as a natural healer. And one of the best parts is that it’s something that people can learn to do for themselves.”
~ New Choices in Natural Healing