Believe me, music can truly heal …
When asked to talk about ways of coping with mental illnesses, most people might only think of taking OTC drugs or prescribed medications. While the best cure to these and many other complications might be as close to us as our music players are!
To your surprise, the idea of using music as a healing tool is not something new and it traces back to ancient times when volunteers played instruments and sang for wounded soldiers in order to keep their spirits up. In recent years, with the rise of ambitious people who ache to improve the health system, this idea has gained resurgence.
Specialists who work in the field called music therapy, believe that music regardless of its form can help us deal with daily stressors and potential crisis situations. Understanding the theory mentioned above is not rocket science as we all have seen through our lives that a good song can improve moods of people regardless of their race, income and social level. That is probably why all nations in the past, invented an anthem to sing together in hard times.
In recent years, music therapy has conjoined with neuroscience in order to boost the procedure of treatment. A few years ago, a well-noticed study done by Harvard university analyzed whether music can help patients recover from a stroke. This study enrolled 60 patients hospitalized for major strokes. All received standard care. In addition, one-third of them listened to recorded music for at least one hour a day, another third, listened to audio books, and the rest did not receive any auditory stimulus. After three months, verbal memory improved significantly in the first group compared to other groups. This might seem quite strange but I believe that it is totally understandable as we are all rhythmic beings. Our heart rate, respiratory rate and brain waves are all rhythmic. That’s probably why we respond better to rhythmic music rather than other sounds.
In the end, it is obvious that music is not able to replace some classic medications given to patients. In stroke case, for example, patients will get a long list of drugs which are necessary for their well-being, but the thing is that music can be used as a co-medicine. It is totally free and as far as we all know having a logical dose of this unrecognized medicine not only doesn’t have any side effects, but can also improve our health status in many aspects. So then what’s the reason behind denying this totally unnoticed treasure?!