The sense of hearing helps with pain relief. Sound is powerful and is used in both positive and negative ways in life. Science is finding sound can cure particular diseases, make the blind see, change the taste of food and can reduce pain. One of the most powerful sounds is music.
Noise can actually cause pain, but as in the famous Bible story, music can relieve pain “David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better…” Music is culturally bound so today you may or may not like David’s music…It’s the international, universal language. When we go to another country and hear their music it tells us something about that people. Science has shown that music changes your brain.
For pain relief, we can use anything available to make music or to listen. Pray, dance, and sing. A professional level of musicianship is not needed to relieve pain. I have an old CD player that I’ve used for a long time which I keep it in very good condition. Now, when I’m in bed and I’m feeling that pain could possibly happen, I just put on some earphones, on a low volume to listen to music that I enjoy. Or I sing in a hot shower to relax. It doesn’t really matter what kind it is; classical, hip-hop, jazz or chant as long as it changes how the body, mind and emotions work.
How Music Heals
There are a lot of people out there that are trying to sell various types of new age or meditation music or natural sounds. And much is available on youtube for free, like Gregorian Chant, for instance. Whatever sounds actually start to relax us; start to make us feel that life is good or brings up a great memory is proven to help heal.
Some people like the big band sounds because they grew up in the 30’s or 40s and that’s where they met their spouse. They were in love to that music and now that they’ve lost their love, the music can remind them of the good times.
There’s, in fact, a movie – ALIVE INSIDE
it is about people who are trying to get music into nursing homes. All because they found that the patients who were actually in stupors – woke up. When residents heard the soundtrack of their youth, they literally became alive. Each could speak again and they started making connections where they hadn’t before. Their pain lessened, and each became more of the person they were in their youth.
Sounds surround us and sound affect us. If we’re living in a city – I lived in New York City for a very long time – the sound of the city can be grating on the body. The noise affected me so much so that I had increased pain from all the construction sounds, the sirens, all the noisy things that were going on in the world. I actually had to get replacement windows because I just couldn’t take the sound from the streets anymore. Yet other city dwellers say that noise makes them feel really wonderful. They like the cars beeping and all the different kinds of music playing at the same time.
Find the music that changes the mood – feels very good, that brings up good memories versus the sounds that are triggering and make the body tense up, create upset and anger. It has the capability of soothing the soul. They say that it actually takes the beast out of people and it’s true, but it also can excite. It can make someone feel ecstatic.
There are so many wonderful ways to bring music into life. Sing in the shower. Chant, hum, and whistle. Any kind of sound that brings in more breath makes it very healing. Music is so varied and hearing is so important to the healing process that it was even talked about in holy books. Sound surrounds us, so use it positively. When we think about different ways to calm and relieve pain, don’t forget to use music and healing sounds.
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Oliver Sachs wrote the fun and enlightening MusicophiliaClick here to get this post in PDF