By Tammie Allegro
Music really is good for the soul. I am amazed at how just turning the volume way up in my car as I drive home from work can magically erase the stress of the day. From the time I was small, I used music as therapy. If I was having a bad day, there always was a song that came on that expressed exactly what I was feeling. Each time I “fell in love” as a teen, there was a song that perfectly articulated each emotion I wanted to share. Even if I just wanted to tune out my siblings, I could do that with music. Now, that I’m older, this has gotten much easier to do because of technology. I no longer have to put a record on and sit in a room. Now I can just put my ear buds in and tune out the world.
Another thing that technology has provided for us is “playlists.” With playlists, we can select our music based on where we are or what we have going on. This is nice because the music we listen to while working out is definitely different from the music we listen to at bedtime. We even have a playlist for our drive to church.
Many patients use music during their infusions to pass the time. It helps to distract from things going on around them, and may have physical benefits as well. In fact, scientists have proven that there are many positive ways music affects us:
- Listening to music can reduce chronic pain
- A daily portion of one’s favorite pop melodies, classical music or jazz can speed recovery from debilitating strokes
- Listening to half an hour of music each day may significantly lower blood pressure
- Music can boost immune function. Scientists explain that a particular type of music can create a positive and profound emotional experience, which leads to secretion of immune-boosting hormones
- Upbeat music can beat the blues
- And, if having trouble sleeping, playing quiet classical music can induce sleep
Choosing the best music to suit our needs had gotten much easier with the invention of iPods, mp3 players and Internet radio. There are sites where we can listen to free stations and choose the type of music. There are even sites where we can acquire free music from newer artists. For those who like show tunes, there is a station for that. And, if someone has a preference for classical music, there is a station for that as well. Personally I love such a wide variety of music that I appreciate the ease of access to music of all kinds. I use music to calm me down as much as I use it to give me the boost of energy I need to get my daily tasks completed.
During every event in my life, music was center stage. On the day of my mother’s funeral I sang a song called “The Test” that gave me tremendous peace. At my wedding, my oldest daughter sang “Two Less Lonely People.” When my children are scared, I always tell them to listen to music to calm down.
I love this quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.”
Has music helped your soul?
What style of music do you listen to most often?
How Music Affects Us and Promotes Health.
Accessed at www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml.