Selecting Music for Healing and Wellness
Article by Stephanie Davies
Choosing the correct, or most appropriate music which is conductive for alternative healing therapies – and for overall wellness – is of the utmost importance. Music has been used for healing, or as an aid to healing for thousands of years. The Bible tells us that David played his harp to cure King Saul’s depression. Egyptian records dating from over 2,600 years old point to music being used as cures for infertility and arthritis.
In fact, one of the most ancient techniques, now finding a revival in modern culture, is in ancient Greece where the Pythagoreans believed that music was a gift from the Gods, and reflected mathematical perfection. It was widely believed that diseases and afflictions, both mental and physical, were simply disorders that could be improved or even cured by the proper application of music.
When you do choose to use music for healing, it is thus extremely important that you select the most appropriate music for the particular problems you are treating. This isn’t nearly as simple as it may appear, however. Allow me to cite you an example of the complexities in the correct selection of music.
Let us say that you are depressed in your life and about to select music to make you feel better. Your first instinct is going to be to listen to music that is also depressing, or has a depressive effect. However we know from experience that this only serves to make the listener more depressed or melancholy. On the other hand, if you were to play happy or upbeat music, you may also find yourself more depressed as your brain compares your current situation with the music you are hearing. And few of us are in the mood to listen to enthusiastic music of any kind while we are feeling down.
Therefore you must find a way to move around this apparent “Catch 22″. One simply way of doing that is a progressive movement of mood from your current state to your desired state. So if you were in fact dealing with depression, you would then first listen to a recording that is the epitome of depression and sadness to you. Once listening to that, move up a step and listen next to another recording, this time of slightly lighter mood and tone. Keep improving the mood and base emotions of the music you are listening to while your mood falls in sync with the music.
Music that you use for healing should be geared towards this use. New Age Music, Classical Music, Meditation and Relaxation Music, music with nature sounds in the background, and other such compositions. You can also find music especially geared towards music healing, using modern versions of the Pythagorean music healing techniques, such as the music of Classical New Age artist Daniel Kobialka. The music should soothe and calm you, rejuvenate and refresh you, not cause excessive excitement or distractions.
The music you choose does not have to be boring to you either! The music you listen to should evoke emotion, and cause you to feel the music completely throughout your body. Respond to the music in whatever way is most natural for you. You may move your body with the music, use visualization techniques, sync your breathing with the music or any other method of expression.
While the critics of music healing state that there is no conclusive evidence that it works, science has proven the power of sounds again and again. For example, not only can sound affect emotions, it can also have a physical impact on our surroundings. Lithotripsy is the medical term for the removal of gallstones using sound where a special machine generates sound waves to shatter stones. You most likely have also seen in media the effect of an opera singer shattering a glass with the power of her voice alone. If music can be used to destroy, it can also be used to heal.
When using music in healing therapies, the word “harmony” is the most important goal to keep in mind. In both of the examples above of the impact of sound, we are speaking about “resonance”, which is – simply put – the occurrence of one object or force “getting in tune with” another object. All matter is made up of molecules, which all have their own vibrational frequency, or rate of movement. If you remember your basic science, you’ll note that molecules that vibrate at the highest speeds make up gases, molecules that vibrate moderately are liquids, and the slowest of course are solid matter. However all molecules are constantly attracting each other and in movement.
The idea of using music to heal is therefore the idea that we can project a harmonious sound at a person who is in “dis-harmony” (having an affliction or problem to be solved), and move them back into harmony, and thus heal the individual. It is a very realistic and feasible effect that continues to help and assist millions of people across the globe. Using music in healing should be considered a viable and useful alternative healing method.
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