It has long been known by mankind that music influences our emotions, and that our emotions influence our health — thus the Chinese adage “Music is medicine”.
What is recently being discovered by the scientific community however, is that not only does music influence and shape our emotions, but that it influences us on a deep biological level — from our neurons to our cells.
Pythagoras and his followers subscribed to the idea that different sounds had different effects on the human physiology and that sickness and injury could be treated by finding the correct harmonies.
Various healing institutions throughout the ages have made use of this information to relieve their patients of emotional pain from their stay by playing beautiful music, reading to them, and encouraging them to pray or meditate.
The effects of meditation can not be measured, but include supporting the immune system, clearing psychological blockages, coming to terms with terminal illness, overcoming phobias, and helping resolve personal emotional pain. Combined with movement exercises, meditation can be used to overcome, treat, and heal physical injury. Research is now coming out which indicates that certain forms of meditation, such as qigong Yan Xin breath work, actually kills small cell carcinoma.
Indeed, the use of music and poetry to bring patients in comas back to consciousness is now being investigated as a means to treat brain injury, cognitive deficits, and altered levels of consciousness.
As a recently released book makes very clear, those who live in an altered consciousness are in fact able to hear and understand their environment, even though are not able to interact with it. What they hear – how they are perceived by their caregivers – greatly influences their ability to recover from their impaired state, and how well their physical bodies are able to fend off disease. This underscores the importance of music and sound in a therapeutic environment.