The healing power of music
LIVING ALIVE - LIVING ALIVE By Dero Pedero () - March 27, 2007 - 12:00am
Music is powerful. Nothing can pacify a crying baby faster and gently soothe it to sleep than a mother’s comforting lullaby. A consistent military secret employed through the ages is the use of martial music. The drum and bugle corps plays marches that maintain the cadence of the troops, keep up the morale, and set the mood for soldiers to march bravely to war.

Music has always been an integral part of spirituality and religion, providing a medium with which man can worship and praise God. Gongs, musical bowls, wood blocks, and temple bells have been used by Tibetan monks, Gregorian chants have reverberated in majestic churches for ages, and sages and bodhisattvas still meditate to the focused sound of "om" and special mantras.

Without music, movie scenes would not be powerful enough to deeply move audiences. Music, being an expression of sentiments and feelings, greatly enhances a film’s love scenes, fight scenes, suspense and mystery jolts, frightful situations, victorious conquests, and even out-of-this-world fantasy sequences. Music and song, of course, are still the primary vehicles for communicating man’s most overpowering emotion: love.
How Music Affects Us
In our daily life, music plays a vital role, whether we realize it or not. The music we listen to affects our feelings, mood, and even our attitude and efficiency. There are types of music that can actually lower heart rate and blood pressure, calm nerves, stabilize breathing, control fear, and minimize stress.

Music, being composed of harmonious, melodious vibrations, has a mesmerizing effect on the body, mind, and spirit. Music can relax us when we are stressed, perk us up when we are depressed, and motivate us when we need to be inspired. Healing music is positive, tuneful, and beautiful, and is created with great love.

It is proper to note here that there are also certain types of music that are negative, noisy, discordant, and filled with hate and fear. These set dissonant vibrations ringing in our eardrums, bodies and souls, and can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually damaging.
Music Therapy
Music has many valuable health-promoting benefits, and because of this, the field of music therapy is fast gaining popularity. Music therapy is a branch of health care designed to aid physical and emotional health and well-being through the use of music or its incorporation with other treatments and medication.

Hospitals have started to pipe music into operating and recovery rooms. Studies have shown that people heal more rapidly when healing music is played before, during, and after a surgical procedure. Physicians seem to perform better when soft classical music is played during their operations.

Patients recovering from strokes and heart attacks respond more quickly to treatment when comforting music is played in their rooms. Physical rehabilitation can be made more fun and the pain becomes more bearable when therapy exercises are done to the rhythm of music.

Research has shown that music such as soothing classical, meditative oriental, harp music, and chanting can actually strengthen the immune system and increase the body’s ability to ward off disease. For people with hypertension and related conditions, music is a more effective and safer alternative than most prescription drugs.
Music For Everyday Health And Well-Being
Music is a great stress management tool. Not only is it an engaging form of entertainment, it is also an amazingly effective stress reliever. The good thing about music is that it is non-intrusive; you can listen to it while working on other tasks.

Start your morning by waking up to the right kind of music to set the mood and pace of your day. Divert your mind from everyday problems and concerns by listening to wonderful songs and instrumentals, especially music that brings back pleasant memories.

While driving, listening to your favorite radio station can ease the tension and anger caused by traffic and unruly motorists. Music on your car radio or CD player can prevent you from drowsing off when you are tired and sleepy, keeping you mentally and physically alert.

Minimize undue stress at work by listening to relaxing music. The relaxation response involves the muscles relaxing, respiration slowing down, and blood pressure lowering. You can actually be more efficient and productive in the office with pleasant music playing in the background.

While dining, light and jazzy rhythms can help you savor your meal and enjoy the company you are with better. Soothing music (such as classical fugues) triggers the relaxation response, lowering your cortisol levels, making it easier to digest food and benefit from its nutrients.

Sing your cares and blues away. Whether in the shower, in the car or anywhere, you can use music to express your feelings and talents, vent pent-up emotions, and neutralize your frustrations through song. Plus, singing cleans and exercises your respiratory organs, filling your lungs with fresh, revitalizing oxygen.

When you feel that your day is flagging, play upbeat music and experience a new surge of energy. You’ll be amazed at how music can charge up your batteries!

Enhance or heal relationships by setting an amorous mood with flowers, candlelight, and romantic music.

Dance for your health. Move, stretch, and condition your body. And don’t forget to waltz — it’s the most lilting and exhilarating dance ever!

Use music in conjunction with your exercise routines. Depending on your needs, you can choose from low-impact rhythms to high-powered cardiovascular beats.

Teach children to sing and play a musical instrument or two. They’ll have more fun, become more creative, lose their shyness, and develop self-confidence. Music can be used for easier learning and memorization in school, too.

Use music to beat insomnia. Listen to slow meditative music before going to sleep and you, too, will discover that music can be a great tranquilizer.

Bored with your life? Jazz it up with music. Explore new musical genres, rhythms, and ethnicities. Feeling nostalgic? Go down memory lane with your favorite songs that comprise the soundtrack of your life.

Inspire yourself with motivational songs and uplifting music. Heal your heartaches and go for your impossible dreams with optimistic and positive music.

Oh, try this little exercise. If you want to feel pretty, put on I Feel Pretty from the soundtrack of West Side Story and sing along. Before you know it, you’ll really be much prettier! And by the way, these days, it’s okay for guys to be pretty, too.
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