For millennia, music has brought comfort and healing into individual’s lives. David played his harp to bring relief to King Saul thousands of years ago, and his psalms are still read and recited today in many settings as a way to alleviate suffering, worry and fear.
A Drexel University study recently showed that cancer patients who listened to music found a reduction in anxiety during treatment. The University reported that music therapy may increase patients’ quality of life as well as have beneficial effects on heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. Music therapist, Dr. Joke Brandt, who conducted the study wrote, “Music interventions, as well as listening to pre-recorded music, have both shown positive outcomes in this review.”
Ed Dulaney would agree. Ed plays acoustic guitar for the Edward Hospital healing arts program. “Getting better is what we are all about, and music can help the patients remember a different time, bringing them comfort and the ability to face the future somewhat fortified”, Dulaney stated as he strummed the music of Gordon Lightfoot, George Harrison and James Taylor.
“Our aim is to bring wellness and healing into the lives of everyone here – so that they may leave here better,” Dulaney told me.
I remembered Ed’s words as I watched him play in the Cancer Center. It suddenly dawned on me that while these individuals were receiving treatment to change the chemical properties in their bodies, these musicians are providing a way to change, chemicalize if you will, their thinking – which studies show has a direct effect on the body. “Music should help those who listen to reflect and anticipate. It helps them move on out of a cesspool of pity and into the ability to handle the issues they face,” Ed explained.
Health researcher Mary Baker Eddy, a pioneer in the study of the relationship between spirituality and health, found that harmony is an important quality already established in each of us. She reasoned that harmony is more than an external element, it is divinely inherent in each of us. She wrote, “Harmony in man is as beautiful as in music…” Her practice of spiritual healing led her to conclude that the understanding of this inherent harmony heals bodily in harmony. Her previous statement concludes, “…and discord is unnatural, unreal.”
That is something to consider – while the health benefits of music are being studied and realized, maybe it’s time to acknowledge the divine harmony already established in each of us – and the health benefits of this recognition.
By: Tim Mitchinson, www.blog.pjstar.com, www.msidallas.com