Music for Better Health

We are energetic beings and vibrations affect us. This is why we can use music for better health. Choosing the appropriate music, we can affect our mood, and even cellular function.

How do you feel music?

We have long known the power (creative and destructive) of music. It evokes and brings forth so many emotions from deep within us. It nourishes and cradles us. It excites us and strengthens us. The “right” music can also incite us into a frenzy, to purge, to release, to move that energy through.

We play different music to relax or sleep, to psyche ourselves up, to focus and increase productivity, and to connect spiritually, or when we work out, celebrate, take a road trip, and nurse a broken heart.

Music is everywhere – at home, elevators, malls, hospital operating theatres, recovery rooms, schools, our iPod or phone…In therapy, sound is used to clear, entrain, give emotional support, help dogs with thunderstorm and fireworks phobias, and so much more. (We use music from Through a Dog’s Ear.) Because music is everywhere using music for better health makes sense.

In The Power of Sound, author Joshua Leeds shares intriguing information about the ear and the body.

Most cranial nerves lead to the ear, and the vagus nerve is no different and there, it attaches to the inner and outer eardrum.

Called the Wanderer, the vagus nerve goes down the body to the thorax and abdomen and regulates an impressive number of organs.

What is the Vagus Nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve and is called the Wanderer since it travels through the body and goes through five of the seven major chakras and a plethora of organs.

How well do you adapt? A healthy well-toned vagus nerve helps and reflects our ability to deal with stress. Are you immovable against all challenge or bend at the slightest change in the wind? Both take tremendous energy. What if we can take the Middle Path?

What does this mean? Joshua Leeds writes –

This vagus nerve-acoustic interaction means that mixed into the parasympathetic instructions to our major organs are vibrations from the eardrum…The ear brings in energy that touches us from top to bottom. Sound is not just vibrating the eardrum. It is actually resonating the entire being.1

Fabien Maman, founder of Tama Do, has done extensive research about the effects of sound frequencies on the energy fields of cells. He found that “the color and shape of each cell and its subtle energy field (Aura) changed according to the pitch and timbre of each musical note” and that unhealthy cells would be destroyed with the healthy ones being energized.2

In this study on auditory processing, the researchers “demonstrated that the sleeping brain is able to process auditory stimuli” which further underscores the impact of sounds on our biology, even when we are unaware. It is not only sudden sounds and also the constant humming of common household appliances that we respond to.

The importance of our soundscape to our health and well-being cannot be understated. Have you noticed that when you are stressed, tired, or have a migraine, your tolerance of certain noises is reduced? Many kids on the spectrum and those who suffer from trauma are also hypersensitive to sound. That’s a macrostate, with many underlying microstates.

Let’s not forget our super-eared animal companions.

What do we hear?

Cats can hear in the range of 100 to 60,000 Hz. Mice 1,000 – 1000,000 Hz. Bats 3,000 – 120,000 Hz. Dolphins at least 200,000 Hz. The pigeon can detect as low as 0.1 Hz!

A human can hear from 20 to 20,000 Hz.

Animal info from Neuroscience for Kids by the University of Washington.

Music for Better Health

Music as Healing

Hal A Lingerman, in The Healing Energies of Music, presents a very interesting perspective on using music for better health through different purposes – activating the physical body, release emotions creatively, and increasing clarity and mental power for yourself and family. He goes through how different types of music help and gives suggestions for composers, arrangements, music scores, etc.

Anyone interested in working with the elements will find this book a fantastic resource. Even though much of the music included is classical and Western, he does include a few international pieces, further suggesting the Nonesuch Explorer series of recordings to experience music from around the world. (The appendix runs from page 150 to page 190 with even more selections, along what they are good for, eg. emotional cleansing, meditative, activates both physical and emotional natures.)

Love Shubert? Hal A Lingerman sees this great composer’s music as “the wanderer in eternity, never at home on earth, yet warm and good-hearted while passing through” and that Ave Maria is “music of unconditional love, devotion, and surrender that transmutes sorrow.”3

Music opens doors and portals, to hearts, and as Richard Wagner said, “music is the universal language.”

The universe is a tonal harmony of many sounds – many lives interacting and vibrating together as they fill the great silence.

Hal A Lingerman4

Music to Energize the Physical Body

Based on the numerous suggestions given in The Healing Energies of Music, below are three pieces of music for better health. This selection can be used for activating the physical body. According to Hal A Lingerman, brass, percussion, heavy sounds of bass notes, and (most of) electronic music are good for this purpose.

The next time you feel you need more physical energy, try listening to marches, overtures, epic soundtracks, and lively songs. He shares that when he played Pomp and Circumstance by Sir Edward Elgar at a nursing home for a music therapy class, “the entire atmosphere was changed. The nurses smiled at each other, the spirits of the patients were uplifted, and for some time afterwards their conversations became far more animated. Their faces looked less aimless and more focused.”5

Because this music can be so powerful, he reminds the listener to take care with the volume, intensity, and frequency and for overtures, to only play two or three at the most in one sitting.

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Humans have always had music. The vibrations of drums, human voice, and other instruments are powerful, especially as we too are vibrational. With music being such an integral of life, using music for better health is a fun way to boost our well-being.

1 Leeds, Joshua. The Power of Sounds | How to Manage Your Personal Soundscape for a Vital, Productive, and Healthy Life. Healing Arts Press, 2001. p32.
2 Sound Cellular Research
3 Lingerman, Hal A. The Healing Energies of Music. Theosophical Publishing House, 1983. p122.
4 Lingerman, p1.
5 Lingerman, p16.