For years, the worlds of clinical psychology and medical health have been researching the benefits of music as a tool for healing mind and body. Today, following clinical research, they can definitely state that music has the potential to cause emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. Is this true of all music? Which types of music or musical instruments have the greatest capacity to heal? How does music heal and whom will music therapy benefit?
Benefits of Music Therapy
The last question is perhaps easiest to answer. Trained therapists have witnessed the healing power of music among people with age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. They are aware that youngsters with learning difficulties and Autism sometimes respond positively to music. Evidence strongly supports the usefulness of music to those suffering chronic or acute pain: cancer, MS, post-surgical healing, and so on. Songs and tunes of all kinds alleviate depression and anxiety.
How Music Heals
There is no clear answer to this question because response to music is subjective. One person’s pleasure makes another person crazy. A music lover will cry “turn it up” and another music lover will yell “turn it off,” but they are both talking about the same song.
But everyone can recognize music that brings them joy for one reason or another. It’s said that laughing regularly adds years to a person’s life. So does smiling. The smile itself isn’t a healer but the suggestion of what it alleviates: unhappiness. Unhappiness is a killer, leading to lethargy, sadness, suicidal ideation, concentration on self and, ultimately, on physical or mental pain. Refusing to find joy in anything allows an individual to create a self-perpetuating downward spiral. We also know that a lot of the battle against illness is fought in the mind. A healthy, happy mind and heart will overcome illness because this person has the will to fight and to survive. Maybe happiness doesn’t cure disease, but coping through illness is made much easier when one has something to look forward to.
Which Music Heals?
Think about the effects of music on your own body. Lively music with a strong bass line and solid percussion makes you want to dance, run, or expend energy in some way. Sad, slow music makes you sleepy and depressed or feeds these pre-existing emotions even more. Bright, cheerful tunes make you want to whistle.
Evidence shows that the brain responds to all sorts of sound, but the most soothing sounds are harmonious, not too loud or fast, and there is balance in the music. In other words, orchestral, some popular and easy listening tunes are excellent for soothing a person. This is not so of hard rock, grunge, punk, or heavy metal. The brain is also most satisfied during times of disorder by an orderly sort of music; one which creates and then follows a pattern ending in a satisfying cadence.
Piano Music and Healing
How is this so? There are several factors which make piano an effective tool in healing. One is the timbre of a piano; that bright quality it can make in the correct key and pitch when properly tuned, but the flexibility to create a richer sound as well. One can make chords with piano; harmony. A single piano player has the flexibility to do much more with sound than a single flute player. A skilled pianist can play the bass line which carries the music forward as well as a tune above it.
Getting back to harmony, this is an important point. Music reflects emotion and also evokes feelings. Harmony creates a sense of order, peace, completion, and joy. Discord — when notes do not sit well together — evokes a feeling of disorder and even chaos. Harmony satisfies a mind that craves an antidote to personal struggle and feels like everything is a mess.
Learning to Play the Piano
Learning any instrument or new skill is a positive way to train the brain to heal and make new nerve connections where these have been neglected or lost. The benefit of learning piano is that one is challenged to use both sides of the body, encouraging a new sort of coordination that might not have been known to this person or has been lost.
A major lifestyle problem which is often the precursor to Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease is that people get used to having stimuli spoon-fed to them; they don’t learn new skills but latch on to the old comfortable ones. By adding something new to one’s daily routine, whether that’s taking piano lessons, dancing, or performing martial arts, an individual can potentially halt or reverse cognitive losses and fend off the coming hardships of old age, the most distressing of which is often memory loss. If you’re looking to learn to play the piano, Piano for all is a great resource. Check out the review of PianoForAll.
Different Healing Methods
Music is not the only healing technique. There are also a great deal of other ways people may seek and find healing. From massage, acupuncture, to aromatherapy, and numerology, to name a few. Many different methods have worked for many different people. Healing by numbers (numerology) is an ancient system that has become very popular in recent years, finding curative information about life through numbers. There is some great material to get started at reviews of numerology.
A healthy diet is not only good for your body but also for your mind. Most people struggle to maintain a healthy diet, but it easier than you think to start eating healthy. A few small changes to improve your nutrition can make a big difference to your overall health. Healthy eating can also help you minimize the risk of diet-related chronic diseases and maintain a healthy body weight. You can eat your way to great health! Trouble spot nutrition has great information.
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are packed with nutrients and are low in calories. They’re full of minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Most of us need to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat. Eat a wide array of deeply colored fruits and vegetables each day, as they contain higher concentrations of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Instead of processed snacks, snack on vegetables such as snow peas, carrots or eat fruit for dessert instead of ice cream.
One of the secrets to any healthy diet is moderation. Eat the right amount of calories for your rate of activity, so that you balance the energy consumed with the energy used, (you can calculate your metabolic needs here). Moderation also involves having a balanced diet. We all need a balance of fiber, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, fat and minerals to maintain good health. Additionally, it helps to take your time when eating, as the brain takes around 15 minutes to tell your body that you’ve had enough food. Ideally, you should stop eating before you feel full.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
One of the biggest problems with modern day diets is the amount of added sugar in our food. Too much sugar contributes to weight problems, causes energy spikes and has been linked to poor mental health and diabetes. Reducing the amount of desserts and candy is just a part of the solution, as sugar is hidden in foods such as cereals, vegetables, canned soups, pasta sauce, margarine, ketchup and even low-fat meals. We can get all the sugar we need from natural foods, added sugar only adds to unused calories.
Drink Enough Water
Aim for about eight glasses of fluid daily. Water is considered the best choice for your body as it hydrates you without adding to your daily caloric intake. So don’t forget to count your liquid calories such as: soft drinks, coffee, tea, fruit juice, smoothies and milk. However, try to avoid these sugary drinks as the calories can add up fast and they can lead to poor dental health. Also, Alcohol contributes to dehydration rather than hydration.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast does not help to control weight. A healthy breakfast is a crucial part of a balanced diet and provides some of the minerals and vitamins needed for good health. A healthy breakfast can boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels up, thus reducing the need to snack all day and overeat. Try picking a breakfast with protein, such as eggs and whole wheat toast.
Watch Your Salt Intake
Sodium is a common ingredient added to food to improve taste. It is critical to watch your salt intake as too much salt can cause hypertension and lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and other complications. Alternatively, you can use herbs and natural spices such as garlic, black pepper or cayenne to improve the flavor of meals instead of salt.
Get On the Move
Moderate physical activity helps to burn off extra calories. Physical activity is also good for the circulatory system, the heart and for general health and well-being. You don’t have to be an athlete or enroll in a gym to get on the move, a short walk during your lunch break should be sufficient enough. Make physical activity part of your daily routine.
Another big part of overall health is mental health and it is often neglected. Our brains are just as important as our bodies, and it needs exercise too. Having a sense of accomplishment and purpose can be very rewarding for our brain and wellbeing. One of the ways to keep your brain active is to never stop learning. Our brain is just like a muscle and it needs to be used to stay in shape too. The 67 steps reviews website offers lots of information on success and changing your life. Pick up a book instead of picking up your phone, your brain and mind will thank you!
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