Music, medicine for a new age?


Music is an ancient healing modality, with rhythm and melody often being where we instinctively turn to relieve our pain and suffering. In my twenty years in the field of applied music effects research there has been a groundswell of interest on the impact of music as a method to improve our health and well being. I have written extensively about this in Healing at the Speed of Sound®.

Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel Levitin of McGill University just published an article (pdf) in Trends in Neuroscience exploring the neurochemistry of music. I’ve just started to read their review so can’t comment on their conclusions at this point. But, I thought I’d share the article with you so you too have the opportunity to explore their findings.  You might also enjoy an article from io9   summarizing their research; including the four areas they identified where music can help, as well as the four primary neuro-chemical systems involved with music. Can Music Be More Effective Than Drugs?

As a producer of therapeutic music programs, I’m an advocate for the power of the right music to facilitate immense life change. It can function as a “wonder drug” affecting mechanisms involved with cognition, emotion, stress and sleep regulation, learning, auditory perception, and on.

What do you think— is music medicine for a new age?

One thought on “Music, medicine for a new age?

  1. Cathy Stingley says:

    I think music has been a form of medicine from ancient times. I envision “witch doctors”, shamans, mothers with their babies all singing, drumming, dancing, healing with music and rhythm. Like so many of our more ancient practices, we have had a tendency to leave these behind in favor of “progress” and technology. What we are now doing is discovering the “science” behind what those practices were achieving and revisiting the power of it.

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