The field of medical sciences has always been one of tremendous growth and development. From the early examples of surgery and invention of the first x-ray machine to modern innovations in the field of cancer research and aims to cure HIV, medical science has always been the subject of significant attention and countries the world over have regarded it as a topmost priority. With each passing day, new innovations are suggested and attempted in the prevention of diseases, cure of ailments and in the betterment of physical, emotional, mental and psychological health of the masses. Of these innovations, the latest to emerge as a popular choice is the concept of sound healing therapy.
What is Sound Healing Therapy?
Sound healing therapy, an extension of music therapy, is a form of medical treatment that encompasses a healer or a practitioner using music – either pre-recorded or produced through instruments or singing – in order to bring about an improvement to the health of a patient. The treatment is popular for pain relief, reduction of stress, betterment of emotional health and improvement in cognitive functioning. It has gained prominence in urban cities, akin to the popularity of yoga and meditation, and has gained considerable traction as an added part of medical treatment as opposed to an alternative to science.
This branch of treatment includes a number of methods that vary in popularity and use. The more prominent ones include guided meditation, tuning fork therapy, singing bowl therapy, neurologic music therapy and vibroacoustic therapy. Instruments such as the Native American flute, rain stick, kalimba, monochords, hammered dulcimer and gongs are prevalent in usage in this field. The practice is commonly sought for both adults and children, with some of its patients also being sportspersons recovering from injury.
Origins of Sound Therapy
Music has been one of humankind’s foremost skills and interests. From the times of the Stone Age to the current landscape, music has been possibly the most popular form of expression and entertainment, a designation it has been historically proven to have achieved and maintained in ancient empires like the Greek empire.
The tendency of using music isn’t a new one. Historical records have shown the use of musical instruments and rhythms for medical purposes in ancient Egypt. Native American tribes have also been known to use song and dance in order to tend to the sick. During the two World Wars, army generals frequently used songs and tunes to rouse their soldiers and quicken the process of healing from injuries and such. As these soldiers bore the trauma of war in what later came to be known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, music was used extensively in recovery.
Psychological Benefits of Music – Why Sound Therapy Works
Music has long been used as a tool of motivation and encouragement. Whether it is the songs of army men as they march or the beats of the drum in their march-past, music has been a prominent part of human life beyond the field of entertainment and expression.
The primary reason why sound therapy is said to be effective is because music has shown substantial psychological benefits. Many researchers have pointed out that the body’s reaction to pain or disease is not just a physical one but also holds mental connotations. Since music has a calming effect on one’s mind, it can be used substantially to reduce pain or reaction to pain. The vibrations that ensue from a musical tune, rhythm or beat is said to have therapeutic properties owing to the way the human mind responds to them.
It is worth noting that there has been no conclusive proof of music reducing actual pain but only affecting the psyche of a person enough to alter their perception of the pain. However, some research has shown that the use of the tuning fork therapy has reduced levels of pain in a patient’s body.
Apart from the sectors of pain reduction, sound healing therapy has had proven success in reducing stress levels, normalizing blood circulation, improving breathing, healing insomnia and in the treatment of mental ailments such as depression, anxiety, amnesia and loss of concentration.
Detractors of the process have repeatedly rejected it as a branch of medical science, choosing to treat it as a ‘fad’ that has been overhyped by the affluent. However, its usage in ancient history highlights the fact that it isn’t something new on the scene. Moreover, the proven mental advantages of listening to, playing or creating music have been widely publicized. Some arguments have also pointed out that even if the process cannot heal someone, it is most definitely crucial in helping them relax and attain peace.
Hence, in conclusion, it can be said that sound healing therapy, if practiced by a trained professional, has numerous benefits to the human mind, body and soul and can definitely work on the cure of certain ailments and diseases.