“I love music. For me, music is morning coffee. It’s mood medicine. It’s pure magic. A good song is like a good meal-I just want to inhale it and then share a bite with someone else.”-Hoda Kotb
We are all aware, at least on some level, of the power of music. It can completely shift our mood, bring back a memory, give us chills, move us to tears, or make us swing our hips or tap a foot. It has the ability to affect us on a visceral level, to move through us, to make us feel. We know innately it has an ability to impact us on an emotional level, but did you ever think about its potential impact on our mental and physical health? Let me give you a few good reasons to put your playlist to good use right now.
“In a meta-analysis of 400 studies it was found that music improves the body’s immune system function and reduces stress. Listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery.“
Music Therapy has been used to helps veterans, stroke victims, and those suffering from Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, depression, anxiety, and psychological disorders. It can improve healing, communication, cognition, and self-expression. Music helps to increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, this means that music can make us HAPPIER! Happier people have better immune system function…do you see where I am going with this?
MUSIC IS MEDICINE.
As a practitioner of Eastern Medicine, I have always been fascinated that the Chinese character for medicine, 藥 yào, stems from the character for “music”,樂, yuè. I believe there is so much about health, healing, and the way our bodies are impacted and interact with our environment that we still don’t understand. Many ancient civilizations used chanting, drumming, and other forms of music for healing. Perhaps, they knew something we in the modern age don’t yet fully comprehend. However, in the West today, scientific research has begun to validate music’s therapeutic ability to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, enhance concentration, stabilize heart rate, and more. So wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you are listening to music.
Here are some ways to use music as “medicine.”
- Play classical music for its calming and relaxing benefits. Classical music may also help you focus. This genre of music was found to help students perform 12 percent better on their exams…I’m listening to it right now.
- Want to increase productivity? Have a huge to-do list you have to get through? Bust out some grandiose cinematic music! Think action films or the score to a fireworks show at Disney. Epic music can make us feel motivated and like we are capable of changing the world. Feel free to strike a superhero pose, turn it up, and get sh*t done!
- Some people choose to listen to different frequencies or waves to get a sought after benefit. Beta waves may help with alertness and focus, while listening to an Alpha wave track can help you to relax and learn new information. Theta tracks may help to shift negative emotion, or help you drift off to a sounder sleep. Delta waves may help to accelerate healing and allow access to the subconscious. Gamma waves are associated with feelings of blessings/gratitude and are associated with high levels of cognitive functioning. Try playing around with your Spotify/YouTube/iTunes playlist and see how the different waves of sound make you feel.
- Listen to music you love! This one is easy, and you already know it, but sometimes gentle reminders are beneficial, especially if you are bumming out. Listen to a favorite song and improve your mood. Extra points if you start dancing!
- Join us for Quietly Listening every Wednesday evening for energetic healing set to specific playlists. Let the energy and music during these sessions elevate not only yourself, but the environment you experience it in.
Hope you feel inspired to fill your ears with the good stuff.
Got a favorite playlist? Feel free to share it in the comments below!