We all know that music has a direct influence on our mood, but did you know it can also influence our health? And I don’t mean mental health only; I’m talking about physical health. Using music as a way to take care of our bodies is called “Music Therapy”, and it has been used as a very effective way to deal with stress, anxiety and the 21st century chaos – besides physical pains as well. It is an evidence-based and clinical use of music to promote wellness, among other good effects it has on people. It’s often used with children, but a lot of adults use it in their daily lives as a way to deal with stress.
To understand how music can work as a pain reliever in our bodies, I talked to Beto Leme, a Brazilian musician who works with music therapy inside hospitals in Brazil. “Music is a very powerful tool; it’s a vibration, our atoms and bodies vibrate. A good song makes our bodies work better, it harmonizes everything“, says the musician. To help you understand how it works in practice, there’s a video on the internet where a group of people put together a lot of metronomes and set them up out of synchrony. One of them ended up influencing all of the rest, and less than five minutes later, they had all gotten into the same rhythm on their own. Beto used this video as an example of a vibration’s influence. Check it out:
Beto works at a hospital, using music to bring joy to such a cold atmosphere. “We try to change the environment. Nobody expects to be in a hospital and listen to a song.The person is hospitalized, in pain; you walk into the room and try to talk to them. If they’re lucid, you ask them what type of music they like, and the acceptance is very high“, he said, when asked about his job with music therapy. “Music, inside a hospital, is for the patient, the doctor, the nurse and the assistants. We’re harmonizing the environment, changing that heavy atmosphere. No one expects there to be any music, and that makes it all lighter”, concludes.
When asked about the music’s physical effects on our bodies, the musician stated: “It has been proved that [music] improves the heartbeats and the blood pressure, the medicines have a bigger efficiency. There are a few hospitals that use music therapy; it has a great result“. Beto also said that music therapy can be used as a way to improve terminal patients ife quality. “This [music therapy] is an important thing that a lot of hospitals should have“.
According to a Cleveland Clinic’s article about Music Therapy, not only does it help with the heartbeats and blood pressure as Beto said, but it also improves the memory and the breath, reduces muscle tension, can help in the process of motor development, improves the sleep and has a lot of other benefits.
During the interview, Beto said that “Music Therapy” can help us deal with emotional and physical pains outside the hospitals as well. We listen to music from the crib to the grave, and using it as a tool to manage stress and other symptoms is a great way to get in control of our bodies. Instrumental songs tend to provide us with an inspiring and calming environment; the same goes for classic music, but if you feel calmer while listening to a punk rock song, then make this your ally on your stress management journey. I keep using stress as an example because a lot of physical symptoms we develop come from it, but, as I said previously, “Music Therapy” can help with a lot of different types of pain.
Music is a beautiful form of art, and it talks to us in a very intimate way. Each musical style has a different vibration, a different way to affect our bodies. Some music makes us dance, some of them makes us cry, but they all have something in common: they heal. Each song affects someone differently due to our unique experiences and points of view. We’re all living the chaotic routines that come with the 21st century, so Music Therapy is a great alternative for us to deal with our anxiety, stress, some types of physical pain, among other issues. Music is art. Music is a healer. Music is life.
The article above was edited by Nicoly Bastos.
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