Thursday, October 3, 2013

Music Therapy

I've always known that music affected me - either positively or negatively depending on the type. But I found it interesting that there is now such a thing as "music therapy." 

Research shows many different ways that music affects the body, brain and emotions - and I would add, the spirit.

Physically, music can have a positive effect:
"Responses to music are easy to be detected in the human body. Classical music from the baroque period causes the heart beat and pulse rate to relax to the beat of the music. As the body becomes relaxed and alert, the mind is able to concentrate more easily. Furthermore, baroque music decreases blood pressure and enhances the ability to learn."

Other kinds of music can negatively affect the body, raising heart rate and blood pressure. 

Music can positively or negatively impact brain waves. This article explains some interesting details about how music affects the brain.

For me personally, I've found a lot of instrumental, classical music to be soothing and positively stimulating for my brain. (I like to listen to it while writing.) 

I think the effects of certain music has changed for me over time. Some of the bands I enjoyed in college now tend to grate on my nerves. I now prefer music without loud drums or electric guitar. 

Christmas music is one of my favorites, almost always improving my mood and adding cheer to my day. =)

For some reason Irish music is often a sweet pick-me-up for me. When I discovered the group Celtic Woman, I immediately declared it my "happy music" (especially their Christmas album). =) 

I think the most healing music for me has been hymns and worship songs. With these, both the melodies and the words have brought healing to my mind, spirit and emotions. Robin Mark is my current favorite worship musician. I love all his songs, but here's one that's been especially meaningful for me.

Music is intensely personal. That's why it's important for each of us to recognize which kinds of music have a negative effect on us and which ones are helpful and healing to us. 

The Bible is filled with reminders to sing and praise the Lord, to make a joyful noise, to make music with various instruments, etc. I'm so thankful God has given us the gift of music! I believe it can be a sweet and healing gift for us.

I hope you'll be able to identify what music is helpful to you, and begin (or continue) some "music therapy" of your own. =) 

(Note: I'm not necessarily endorsing the websites listed in this post, as I didn't have time to review all the articles on them. I just found their information on music fascinating, so wanted to share those links.)

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