Music and HealingHospitals are usually noisy places, there isn’t a lot soothing going on. There are monitors, TVs, people talking and endless sounds. It is hard for people to sleep and hard for them to relax. That is a shame, because if people can relax they have a lower stress response and it is known that stress can slow healing.
More and more, researchers are looking how changing the environment can impact healing. One approach was to rearrange the hospital schedules to help patients get more uninterrupted sleep in the hospital. Another approach was to fill the rooms of patients recovering from surgery with music.
Best Music for HealingWhile there is no “best” music for healing, people seem to prefer classical music or instrumental music (like Brazilian guitar). In some cases, a professional musician trained in healing music, a music therapist, will be brought. The most common instrument for music therapists is the harp. But the absolute “best” music for healing probably varies by individual. The characteristics of healing music should be calming, soothing and relaxed.
Science of Healing MusicHow music creates healing is not known. The most obvious route is the relaxation route. By creating a relaxing environment, the music gives the body a better chance to heal by reducing stress hormones. There are other possible explanations. It is fairly well established that music with a slow rhythm can slow the heart rate. Some music therapists have elaborate explanations of how music can “harmonize” various organs in the body and how healing music interacts with the brain. These theories have yet to be proven. In my opinion, the “why” doesn’t matter so much here, it is just great that music helps healing in some cases.
American Medical Association. Music Therapist.