All healing is miraculous. Our Creator has designed all living things in such a way that skin can be regrown after a scrape or come back together after a cut or surgery. Or, broken bones can be knitted back together in a miraculous process called healing.
With all of the knowledge that mankind has gained, doctors can only remove unhealthy tissue or foreign objects and administer various medications and other treatments. Healing, however, is out of their hands. Doctors try to eliminate deterrents to healing such as infection or re-injury, but the actual healing process is something as miraculous as the conception of new life or a plant sprouting from a seed. A hopeful and positive outlook and support from family and friends seem to aid healing in ways that modern medicine alone cannot. Other aids to healing that cannot be ignored are the amazing power of prayer (God’s power!) and the mysterious and miraculous connection that music can have to healing.
It is our belief that our Creator God has designed humankind in amazing ways and that He built into our bodies and our personhood various responses that aid not only in physical healing but in emotional and spiritual healing as well. Obviously, he made us to be relational; and there is much healing potential in the power of love and support. Responses to touch, texture, sound, beauty, nature and the outdoors, comforts and little luxuries like a soft, clean blanket, good food, and even having a beloved pet can all aid in making us feel better. Music is part of this equation. Whatever is discovered through man’s research about the healing power of music is no surprise to our Master Designer. All healing comes from Him. Whether God intervenes directly and miraculously, or whether His design merely functions as he designed it,
Healing is God’s compassion and mercy at work in this world until there is no need for healing in eternity. With all of this said, it is still very interesting to learn about ways that music is being used to aid in healing. Below are some links to articles that we have discovered for further reading as well as some news features (links to video reports). When we have time to do a full review of this information and additional information through our own research, this blog page will reflect what we have learned. Until that time, we offer these links to those who are interested in further reading about this fascinating topic.
In the links below, you’ll find information about how music therapy can help with healing in patients who are recovering from traumatic brain injury or stroke, patients who have tinnitus (ringing in the ears), very young patients (infants in neonatal intensive care). patients who need help with the stress of a major recovery, as well as patients with a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, pain management, developmental issues, sensory issues, or special needs.
1. (applicable to Alzheimers, Dementia, Stroke, or Brain injury patients) This is such an interesting video about the ability of music to reach into a part of the brain that is undamaged by dementia or Alzheimers and awaken other areas of understanding and expression, with some lingering effects.
2. (applicable in stroke recovery)
3. (applicable to aid in physical/emotional, psychological healing)
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/healing-with-music-therapy article: “More Hospitals Healing with the Help of Music Therapy
4. (applicable for brain injury patients)
http://www.dana.org/news/cerebrum/detail.aspx?id=26122 article: “How Music Helps Heal the Injured Brain”
5. (applicable for physical and emotional healing as well as pain management)
http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/reporter/index.html?ID=5488 article: “Music Therapy at Childrens Hospital Aids in Healing”
6. (applicable to general healing effects of music therapy)
7. (applicable to the physical/emotional/psychological healing of wounded warriors)
8. (applicable for traumatic brain injury)
9. (applicable as stroke recovery treatment)
10. (applicable for suppressing tinnitus)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/science/05obhear.html?ref=science (Article: “Suppressing Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) With Music Therapy”)
11. Music therapy being used for premature babies (NBC Nightly News report video)
12. A report about how music can reduce chronic pain and aid in recovery from depression, from BBC News
13. Here’s a link to a BBC report about how music can “rewire” a damaged brain.
14. Music releases a “good mood” chemical, according to the BBC report.
15. Check out the movie, “The Music Never Stopped” (2011, starring Julia Ormond, J. K. Simmons, and others) for a true story about the ways that music helped a brain injury patient and allowed him to re-connect with family members and others. See the link below to go to the film’s official web page.
(Note: This is not a Christian film but does shed light on the miraculous ways that God designed us so that music can be used as a tool to help our brains to heal.)
NOTE: The American Music Therapy Association website has info about Music Therapy and even links to help find a Music Therapist.
Here are some additional articles about what music does to your brain function.
1. A CNN article focusing on how music impacts learning, memory, emotions, etc.
2. A physician’s summary of research finidings that have been published in the journal Science, detailing ways that music can enhance our lives.
3. This article is essentially a book review and also involved an interview with one of the authors. Here is a quote from the article: “In their new book, “Healing at the Speed of Sound,” Don Campbell, an author who has written extensively about music and health, and Alex Doman, a specialist in technology in brain function, take an extensive survey about what the latest neuroscientific findings tell us about music and the brain.” (The URL is a bit misleading, so I’ve given you more info on this one.)
4. An article written by Stacy Horn, the author of the book Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing With Others.
Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/#ixzz2fAO2giab
5. An article about research results showing that learning to play music “biologically enhances a person’s ability to quickly recognize and mentally process sounds that carry emotion, according to a new study from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.,”.
6. “Hearing the Muisic, Honing the Mind” is an article about various research studies which have shown how music aids in learning.
7. An article from Science Daily details some of the ways that music changes our perception of the world.
A final thought: This is truly a fascinating field of study. If you have some true stories of music being using to mend a heart or aid in healing (physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual), please share them as a comment.
Information and links compiled by C. A. Boyd, author of the above paragraphs
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