Updated: Dec 6, 2021
Many of us will recognise the emotional effect music has on us. Just the sound of a single instrument or a particular melody can give us chills, call up vivid memories, even bring us to tears. We know how good it makes us feel, and for some, putting on the right soundscape before bed can relax and soothe us to sleep.
Taking the concept further, there are a number of ways to experience different types of vibro-accoustic therapy. In a traditional sense, sound therapy utilises bells, chimes, singing bowls and gongs to treat physical and mental conditions with low frequency audio signals which work with the body to achieve the desired results. Also other types of stimulus from listening to rain sounds, or ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) triggers can achieve the desired results for some.
So you ask, is it really possible for sounds to heal us?
Years of traditional wisdom across cultures say yes, and now increasingly a number of modern day scientific studies show real world benefits can be derived across the gamut of sound therapies. You may wish to give it a try, through finding practioners who work with bells, singing bowls, drums etc, or just by listening digitally, as part of a self-help approach. For others it can be important to integrate sound therapy as part of a holistic approach to overall wellness. Looking after all these aspects, including, physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health are all important and deserve equal attention.
Since the 1800s, people have been using sound and vibration to treat all kinds of conditions. like migraines, depression, and insomnia, and now scientific research agrees.
Many of us already know from our own experience the healing power of sound and are looking to learn more about new ways music can help us 'be well'.
Let’s look at a few of the benefits of music and sound on our health, and the positive effects supported by research.
The vibrations from sound therapy may help improve respiration by acting on certain cells in the body. Cells that produce higher levels of a special molecule in the body, called nitric oxide, that helps regulate oxygen and blood flow. Nitric oxide has a very important role in the health of our immune and nervous systems (1).
Relieve pain and depression
A form of therapy known as rhythmic sensory stimulation, or RSS, has also been shown to help patients with chronic illness. Delivering a blend of music and sound helped relieve troublesome symptoms like pain and depression (2). Parkinson's patients have experienced improved movement, through therapy that uses rhythmic music (3).
While we've all got plenty of stress, what we don't have much of is time. Fortunately you can get some relief with even a short music break. Even 15 minutes of lying down, listening to rhythmic drumming, or calming instrumental music can lower cortisol levels (4).
Just putting music on in the background can help boost your brain power, even while you’re engaged in some other task. Studies have suggested that listening to music like this can improve memory and cognitive performance (5).
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157227/ (2) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32399126/ (3) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10101675/ (4) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102103
To experience a full and comprehensive range of therapeutic music therapy techniques, please download the Mishi app, and starting experimenting with music and sounds and create mixes to see if it can work for you. From rhythmic, meditative music, and instrumental tracks to ASMR and nature sounds. Authentic instruments, original compositions, all endlessly customizable.