Muzik sebagai terapi kesihatan?

Betulkah muzik, selain daripada untuk berseronok dan bersuka ria, boleh berfungsi sebagai terapeutik atau terapi kesihatan?

Sejak berzaman dulu, manusia telah pandai mendengar muzik yang perlahan dan menyedapkan telinga untuk mendamaikan jiwa, merasakan dunia ini indah dan harmoni, yang mana secara tak langsung dapat mengubat jiwa yang tidak tenang, tidak tenteram dan sentiasa gelisah, mengurang stress dan penyakit yang berkaitan dengannya.

Muzik yang boleh berfungsi sebagai terapi kesihatan ini sudah tentu bukan bunyi muzik yang bising tak tentu pasal yang boleh menambahkan kerisauan hati dan stress. Oleh itu, kalau hendak menjadikan muzik sebagai pengubat jiwa dan raga (tubuh) carilah muzik yang sesuai dengan jiwa masing-masing….

Artikel Dr. Mao di bawah ini membicarakan tentang muzik sebagai pengubat tubuh dan jiwa.

Listen Up: Music Affects Longevity

By Dr. Maoshing Ni
Jun 29, 2010

Music has a long history of therapeutic use — from playing a traditional role in healing rituals around the world to its recent use as an integrative Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Find out how music to your ears can add on years.

Music as therapy

For thousands of years, music has been used in medicine. Ancient Greek philosophers believed that music had healing effects on the body and soul. Singing and chanting have been a part of Native American healing ceremonies for millennia. In the Ottoman Empire, mental illnesses were often treated with music. A more formal approach to music therapy began after World War II when the positive effect of music on emotionally disturbed veterans was observed.

To date, there is evidence that music therapy can reduce high blood pressure, depression, and sleeplessness. In Alzheimer’s patients, music therapy was shown to significantly reduce anxiety and aggression. While there are no claims that music therapy can directly cure diseases like cancer, medical professionals do believe that music can reduce certain symptoms, help with healing, improve physical movement, and enrich a patient’s overall quality of life. Music therapy is often used in combination with meditation and visualizations. (If you are interested in relieving stress and increasing vitality with guided meditations, try Meditations to Live to be 100 and Meditations for Stress Release.)

Live longer with soothing tunes

In the past few decades, research has found that slow, soothing music is generally beneficial to one’s health, whereas fast, jarring music is not. Listening to calming music enhances cognitive functions such as memory, concentration, and reasoning skills; even better, it boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, relaxes muscle tension, regulates stress hormones, elevates mood, and increases endurance.

Classical music and meditation music were found to have the most benefit on health. On the other hand, irritating sound can cause stress, with all its negative consequences for your health.

The composers that have been suggested to most effectively improve the quality of life are Bach, Mozart and Italian composers, such as Vivaldi and Scarlatti. Not convinced? Consider this: Classical musicians — orchestra conductors, in particular — are among the longest-lived professionals.

Play music to boost your brain

When you learn new things, you give your brain a workout; why not learn a new instrument? Studies have found that students who take music lessons have increased IQ levels, even showing improvement in nonmusical abilities. Also, when you play a wind instrument, such as the saxophone, flute, trumpet, trombone, clarinet — even a pennywhistle, you get the added benefit of improving your lung capacity.

Music is for all ages! There is increasing evidence that regular mental and physical exercise maximizes overall health and functioning in older adults; for aging individuals who are prevented by disability from participating in active physical exercise, music bridges the gap — providing the significant benefits of both mental and physical stimulation to even frail older adults. Whether enjoying the social experience of singing in a choir or reflecting on a musical recording, music can serve as an effective healing art for older adults.

Healing sounds bring balance

If your home or office is consistently overrun by disturbing sounds, such as traffic and construction, consider counteracting the noise with a subtle sound source. Try an indoor fountain with bubbling water to calm your nerves. Wind chimes made from natural materials, like bamboo or seashells also provide peace. For some, even the sound of a grandfather clock brings serenity. Find your personal tranquilizing sound, and make it the background to your day.

You can also use music to soothe yourself to sleep. Our bodies run on biological rhythms and function best with consistent routines; sleep is no exception, and forming healthy rituals before bedtime can help you fall asleep and sleep more soundly. Playing tranquil music an hour before sleep is just one way to induce an automatic sleep response. Some other helpful techniques include journaling, meditating, and drinking a cup of soothing herbal tea before bed. A specially blended tea for sleep and calm is Emotional tranquility tea.

I hope this article inspires you to get healing benefits from music! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

–Dr. Mao

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