Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

MIND and body

Music finding a place in health care

If you Google "medical myths" you might get some surprises. Late night snacking doesn't make us fatter and drinking eight glasses of water daily doesn't make us healthier. Who knew?

Many of us firmly believe another myth: Western medicine, largely based on drugs and surgery, is the only safe and reliable way to cure illness. This is beginning to change.

Case in point: Some medical professionals are finding that you can enhance your memory, reduce pain, alleviate depression and relax at the same time without drugs or surgery. How?

Turn on some music.

A Mayo Clinic blog notes, much research has been done on the physical and emotional effects of music. Some of the benefits that have been noted in research include:

• Enhances memory

• Reduces pain sensation

• Counteracts depression

• Encourages feelings of relaxation.

A report from Health magazine says: "Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety. Music was associated with . . . benefits in mood, pain, heart and respiratory rates, and blood pressure, according to a systematic review by the Cochrane Collaboration, which evaluates primary research and evidence-based medicine."

Dr. Lisa Wong stands at the intersection of music and medicine. The pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital just finished a 20-year run as president of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra.

She is also the author of a new book, Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine. In a recent Boston Globe interview, Wong said:

"Music has a way of reaching a deeper core in a person than sometimes can be touched in any other way, even beyond words. With autistic children, with patients with Alzheimer's — people who have lost their verbal language still have musical language. Young [amputees] who don't want to put in an hour a day of occupational therapy will practice (a musical instrument) for 10 hours a day just to get things right. The music is driving them, and their executive function skills improve, their focus comes back, their self-esteem (builds)."

I remember the hopeless sadness I felt right after my dad's passing. I was looking out at a blurry, bleak landscape, trying to find my way out of the darkness. At one point I decided that listening to my father's favorite hymn, set to his favorite music, Beethoven's 9th symphony, might help. When the famous Ode to Joy in the fourth movement started up, I could hear the opening verse of the hymn, "Father, we thy loving children lift our hearts in joy today."

It felt like I was at the very source of all joy, and that joy was infinitely more powerful than grief. I felt the grief dissolve. It never returned.

There's no doubt in my mind that music can be a powerful healing force in our lives. Medical myths will continue to come and go. And research will continue to reveal healing solutions, like music, that shift the focus from the body to the mind and the spirit.

Bob Clark is a Christian Science practitioner from Belleair. Read his blog at flcompub.org/blog.

Music finding a place in health care 06/27/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 28, 2012 2:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.