Here's a subject that is not often discussed, but is becoming
more accredited in light of its success. Sound Therapy is
used in hospitals, schools, and psychological treatment programs.
Sound and music can have a very powerful effect on an individual's
health. It is an effective treatment to reduce stress, alleviate
pain, and lower blood pressure, among many other ailments. There
are more than 5,000 registered music therapists in the United
States. Music therapy is also recognized by the Joint Commission
on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Now... how does it work and what can it do for you?
People respond to sound vibrations in 2 ways; Rhythm Entrainment
and Resonance. There is evidence that the rhythm of a person's
heartbeat will adjust itself to that of an external sound source.
This could include the rhythmic pulse of music, the hammering of
a neighbor making repairs or the humming of your furnace. This
action is referred to as Rhythm Entrainment.
Different frequencies or pitches of sound stimulate the body to
vibrate in various areas. This is known as Resonance. Typically,
low sounds resonate in the lower body parts, whereas high sounds
resonate in the higher body parts.
The health benefits of Sound and Music Therapy are countless
and very diversified. Music therapy offers numerous benefits to
Alzheimer patients. It can improve mood, reduce the need for
medication, and may prevent deterioration by stimulating the
brain. A study led by Dr. Frederick Tims of Michigan State
University and published in the November 1999 issue of
Alternative Therapies showed that patients with Alzheimer's
Disease who underwent four weeks of structured music therapy
showed significant increases in their level of melatonin, a
neurohormone linked with sleep regulation and believed to
influence the immune system.
Another study examined the effects of music therapy on 30 older
adults diagnosed with depressive disorder. Those assigned to the
treatment group who underwent at-home music therapy on a weekly
basis performed significantly better on standardized tests for
depression and also reported less distress, a better mood, and
more self-esteem than the untreated control group.
A study of 38 adults who arrived in the emergency room with cuts
large enough to require stitches were randomly assigned to
undergo the procedure with or without music. The group with music
reported significantly less pain during the procedure.
A study of music therapy in 25 elderly people with sleep
disturbances revealed that music therapy improved sleep
patterns in 24 of the 25 subjects.
There has been significant success with Sound Therapy in helping
those with autism learn to communicate.
Naturally, there is a complete science to the specific types of
sounds and how specific areas of the body and the brain are
influenced by those sounds. Clearly it is much too involved to
do proper justice in a single article. However, I do encourage
you to further your research on the subject of Sound and Music
Therapy. Can you think of a nicer way to cure what ails you?
For More Info on Sound Therapy, please visit Holisticonline.com
Sound Therapy Infocenter.
Alternative Medicine; The Definitive Guide
The Reference Center
AMC; American Music Conference