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Healing Music
Acoustic Guitar
Photo: Hemera
Singing is often a result of a heart-felt response to the goodness of God and His leading. The first recorded song in scripture immediately followed the drowning of the enemies of Israel at the Red Sea. A great outburst of thanksgiving to God resulted on that occasion. Singing can elevate one’s mood and inspire the soul, even though anxieties and problems press on every side. Through singing King David found consolation and comfort. Music enabled him to gain strength to move forward under difficult circumstances.

Today, there is a resurgence of interest in the therapeutic value of music. Music is observed to produce emotional and physiological reactions in the listener. Good music can provide a soothing effect to frazzled nerves and an anxious mind. Finding time to enjoy one’s favorite musical CD can help one unwind from a frustrating and tension-filled day at work or school.

Music therapy has been shown to be an effective way to alleviate tension headaches, ameliorate depression, and reduce pre-operative anxiety. Music can also improve the mood and decrease the pain perception in cancer patients, burn patients, and post-operative patients. Much like exercise, music may prove to be a simple cost-effective therapeutic intervention for chronic pain sufferers. This therapeutic modality enables a person to can enjoy a better quality of life without any undesirable side effects. Furthermore, the quality of life for hospice patients, diagnosed with terminal cancer, has been found to be substantially higher in those who receive music therapy compared to those who did not.

Immune Boost

A study performed in Oregon with volunteer college students, found that active participation in the production of music (singing and playing percussion instruments) in a thirty minute session produced a more positive effect on their immune system than when the students simply listened to music. Active group participation in singing may be more beneficial than passively listening to others singing due to the increased breathing pattern and greater physical activity required in active participation.

The type of music that one listens to can make a significant difference to the effects it has upon the listener. Researchers found that music played in a major key and with a rapid tempo can induce feelings of happiness while music played in a minor key and with a slow tempo induced feelings of sadness.

Music has a cathartic role by evoking positive emotional experiences. J.C. Penney, while rehabilitating at Battle Creek Sanitarium from chronic fatigue and depression, received spiritual help, healing, and new energy for life after listening to gospel singing at the Sanitarium chapel. Paul admonishes us to sing and make music in our heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).

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By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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