Since the cradle of civilization, people have used music to heal. In the Bible, David healed Saul through harp music. Krishna healed with his flute, and the ancient Hawaiians used song and chant in healing. The god Apollo oversaw both medicine and music in ancient Greece.
In modern times, though, it comes as a surprise to many just how powerful music and sound is in healing both mental and physical distress. Studies show that music helps stroke victims to heal faster, premature babies to stabilize quicker, and terminally ill patients to experience less pain. Lactating mothers who listen to music produce more milk (one study found a 63% boost from listening to music). Music can help hypertensive patients to reduce blood pressure, Alzheimer’s victims to sleep better, victims of Parkinson’s disease and brain injury to recover cognitive and language function far more completely. Plus, it enhances the immune system and even improves strength and balance.
Years ago, I knew a schizophrenic woman who had been through years of treatment with anti-psychotic medications and psychotherapy, with little improvement. Then she started listening to classical music for several hours each day, and she completely healed herself in that way. Most of us do realize that the right music soothes and heals the soul, but few of us know how to harness the full power of music to heal ourselves or to enhance consciousness.
The cool thing is that you can use music and sound right away to help yourself. If you want to improve your consciousness, try one of these things. For even better results, do one of these things every day for a month:
- Play inspiring, uplifting music while you write in your journal. Choosing the right music is essential. Selections like Pachelbel’s Cannon, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and Handel’s Water Music work particularly well, but if classical music doesn’t appeal to you, try whatever you love, depending on your taste. You’ll find a nice selection of music intentionally written for healing on the internet. You’ll know it’s the right music if you feel palpably better afterwards.
- Now, do the same thing, but this time, do it with a partner. While the music plays, relate any thoughts, images, or stories that arise to your partner, while your partner acts as scribe. The power of this exercise may surprise you.
- Breathe in healing music for 20 minutes. Remove every other thought and distraction from your field of consciousness. Just listen to the music and breathe it into yourself. If you prefer, you can imagine breathing the music into each of your chakras in turn…first breathe into the center at the base of your spine for a few minutes, then into your sacral area, then your solar plexus, then your heart, your throat, your third eye, right up to the crown of your head.
- If you enjoy chanting, buy, download, or rent from your library kirtan or bhajan chants and sing along for half an hour. Or, just tune in on the internet (check here). You’ll undoubtedly experience a lift and clearing.