Humans have been making music ever since they realized that tapping two sticks together could create an engaging beat. Music can foster feelings of joy and unleash our creativity. Ever versatile, music can set the tone for fun or relaxation, and can impel us to move our bodies, whether for exercise or self-expression.
Music therapy includes creating, singing, playing an instrument, movement/dance, and listening to music. Music therapy provides an avenue for communication that can be helpful for those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. It is an outlet for the expression of oneís feelings. Integrating music and all of its elements can provide healing of mind, body, emotion and spirit.
Drumming, shaking a rattle, or using a singing bowl has been used for centuries to raise vibrations and help to clear stagnant energy. Movement to music either in the form of dance or through yoga and tai chi can have an effect on both the body and the mind. There are many ways that music can help to increase oneís ability to deal with lifeís stressors and improve overall quality of life.
In those dealing with cancer, music therapy can help to reduce pain and relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It may also relieve stress and provide an overall sense of well-being by lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, and by reducing depression and sleeplessness.
Jodi Picoult (Author of the bestselling book Sing You Home):
"Music therapy, to me, is music performance without the ego. Itís not about entertainment as much as itís about empathizing. If you can use music to slip past the pain and gather insight into the workings of (the) mind, you can begin to fix a problem. "
Barbara Crowe (past president of the National Association for Music Therapy):
"(Music therapy) can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort -- between demoralization and dignity."
Sen. Harry Reid:
"Simply put, music can heal people."