Do you ever turn on your car and immediately have a smile on your face when one of your favorite songs plays? When you feel down do you turn on your speakers and listen to music to feel better? Music and sound therapy are great ways to help with depression and healing. Music can uplift our spirits or slow our brain waves to a calming space.
Music therapy is becoming more popular to help people who are struggling with depression and even cancer. Music therapists either play music for you or teach you to play an instrument. Researchers are finding that music helps calm people during invasive surgical procedures, can help restore lost speech in patients who suffered from strokes, reduces side effects of cancer treatments such as nausea, helps with pain relief, and improves the quality of life for dementia patients. Music can be very calming and can help people go into a theta brain wave state, which aids in calming and can improve sleep quality.
In Britain, researchers found music therapy helped with depression when added to the standard practice of counseling and medication. They believe this is because it allows people to express themselves non-verbally especially when words can be difficult to articulate when in a depressed or anxious state, and can improve mood overall.
Many practitioners including massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, yoga teachers, and counselors use sound healing to help improve the energy found within the body. We all have energy within us that can help heal our minds and physical bodies. Sound can channel that energy further to facilitate healing and help calm the mind and body. Practitioners will use different tools such as voice, drumming, singing bowls, and tuning forks. It is ancient practice to use sound to move the energy we hold within us to help heal traumas that manifest in the physical body. Sound healing, like music therapy, can assist with depression and anxiety, sleep disorders, PTSD, stress management, and pain management.
I personally like to use singing bowls because they are calming and have an amazing effect in slowing down the nervous system. During a massage if someone is particularly tense I will rest the singing bowl on their body and bring it to sound. The sound is not only calming but the vibrations within the bowl move through the body and allows the client to relax. I also use music to calm people. While I do enjoy the typical meditation music during massages to relax people I will also play artists such as Norah Jones, Pink Martini, and Lindsey Stirling to bring familiarity to the client and something a little different. People often enjoy the popular music and say they feel happy listening to something they recognize. Many massage therapists, physical therapists, and counselors play music during their sessions to calm their clients and take their minds off of whatever is bothering them.
In my massage room I love to play fun and/or relaxing music. I love meditating to anything from Tibetan singing bowls to The Piano Guys. Music is a wonderful thing to add to your healing journey. When you come see me, feel free to request whatever music you like and I will add it to my play list; it’s your healing space.