Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Healing Power of Music

Another key that helps in times of crisis is the healing power of music. Evidence shows that singing is good for our health and boosts our energy levels. Music affects our health positively in many ways. Soothing sounds are credited with preventing colds, easing labor pains, lowering blood pressure, increasing endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), calming anxiety and boosting our immune system. One study found that surgery patients exposed to soothing music had less pain and shorter recovery time than those who were not. Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor, author of Sounds of Healing, uses harmonious sounds in helping cancer patients recover.

The sounds of soothing music are low. Sounds above 90 decibels cause ear damage. Disharmony and noise jar our nerves and cause depressed or pessimistic thoughts or feelings. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine studied choir members who sang a Beethoven choral number. They found that a protein used by the immune system to fight disease increased 150 percent during rehearsals and 240 percent during a performance. The boost seemed related to the singers’ happy or euphoric state of mind. The more passionate they felt while singing, the greater the increase.

This research suggests we should all rush out and join a choir. Or at least we could find a place of worship with uplifting singing and music. We certainly could sing in the shower and listen to comforting or uplifting music on a daily basis. It also indicates we try to avoid disharmony. Many stress producing sounds bombard our ears every day. We can’t avoid the noise of jackhammers or the sounds of traffic. But we can mute the jarring TV commercials, choose to turn off the violent or pessimistic fare offered on TV and keep our voices pleasant at home. And we can sing!

“Sing praises to God, sing praises, sing praises to our King, sing praises.” Psalm 47:6

Blessings, Dottie

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