“If I had my life to live over again,
I would have made it a rule
to listen to some music at least once every week;
for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied
would thus have been kept active through use.”
Researchers have been studying the healing effects of music for decades, and the science of music is becoming a widely accepted form of treatment for many physical as well as emotional ailments.
This is due to the numerous studies finding that music activates nearly every region of the brain simultaneously(at least those regions that has been mapped thus far). Neuroscience shows us that the brain does not possess a specific musical centre, but instead uses almost all brain systems to experience and process music. Music engages our three most important brain systems, utilizing our emotional, cognitive and motor abilities all simultaneously.
Music stimulates these brain systems, resulting in an activation of emotions, which then governs all of the most important physiological processes (i.e. the immune system, nervous system, breathing system, etc).
Doctors and scientists believe that by using music to stimulate our emotions, which are then linked to every other body system, they can ultimately access the ability to regain balance within the body, resulting in healing and optimal health. The medical treatment that music could provide when utilized properly and medically controlled could be better than anything else currently available!!!
In “Music and the Brain-A Medical Perspective”, Prof. Dr. med. Paul Rosch andProf. Dr. med. Horst Koeditz, wrote that “up to one third of medical complaints could be significantly reduced by restoring harmony in the body through appropriate music. In the treatment of many diseases specially designed music preparations of natural harmonic order will then be the rule – without harming side effects and cost effective.”
Did You Know?
When listening to music that you like, a network of neurons in the brain (the limbic system specifically) start to fire, which then releases the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is the same chemical that is released when eating chocolate, having a pleasurable sexual experience, or even using cocaine. This is the reason why listening to enjoyable music makes you feel so good!
My Personal Story:
At my five month ultrasound, I was prepared to learn the sex of my bun in the oven, but was absolutely not prepared for what the doctor would in fact tell me. After sliming me with warm jelly and taking an unusually large amount of pictures, there was a particularly long and uncomfortable silence, in which he informed me that I would be having twins. I was ecstatic (and a little confused as to why they did not catch it on the first ultrasound!?!) As I gleefully imagined the multiple sets of tiny shoes I would buy, as well as the realization that I would have to start shopping for minivans, the Doctor told me not to get too excited just yet. My twins were diagnosed with a rare complication called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and I would need to be referred to a specialist.
TTTS is a serious disorder in which two babies are connected by blood vessels within their shared placenta. The result is that one baby receives too much blood and the other receives too little, most likely resulting in the death of one or both babies. It is not hereditary, nor genetic, just a freak occurrence that plagues only 15% of multiples, carrying a mortality rate of over 80%.
I was given the option of abortion, or a risky procedure that didn’t have much of a success rate, but I chose to let nature take its course. If I was meant to have these babies I would. I did much research on the healing power of music, and started listening to classical music and the album “Heart’s of Peace”, (which is music set at 60 beats per minute, which synchronizes your heartbeat and breathing with your brainwaves, helping you access the healing abilities of your mind and body) each night as I went to bed and throughout the day. I even wore headphones on my belly!
Then something miraculous occurred. As I frequently returned to my doctor for regular ultrasounds, one particular day he turned to me and said “I have never seen this happen in all the time I have been specializing in TTTS. The condition seems to be reversing itself.” At 28 Weeks, my twins were delivered at 2.7 and 3.6 lbs. with no serious birth defects. The doctors asked if they could send my placenta to a university to study what went RIGHT. I continued to play music inside their incubators around the clock, and anxiously awaited and prayed for optimal development during their hospital stay. On the day we were to take them home, they informed me that they had tested the smallest twin and had found that she was most likely deaf, a devastating diagnosis on such a wonderful day, but much better than the defects they could have developed. I cried the whole way home in my new minivan.
I continued to have them listen to music, particularly “Heart’s of Peace”, due to the way they seemed to positively respond to it. We had a specialist teach the family sign language so that we all could communicate with our “little pixie”, and she started to wear hearing aids, which she soon began to despise and throw across the room. I took her back to the hearing specialist who then delivered our next miracle: she could hear. (And what makes this so amazing is that we had tested her only one month prior with the same results of her previous diagnosis!)
I truly attribute the healing power of music and faith as a main contributor to the many miraculous blessings that my family and I have experienced.