We all love listening to music. I haven’t met a single person yet, who doesn’t enjoy music. When we are gloomy, when we happy and when we are bored, we put on our headphones and listen to our favorite songs. Though we all consider music as a mode of relaxation or entertainment, very few of us view it as a medicine having magical healing and therapeutic properties.Several scientific studies have been conducted to indicate the healing power of music and its role in improving our cognitive ability, reducing stress levels, relieving acute pain and causing several other positive changes in our body and mind. These interesting studies have given rise to a new form of therapy called Music therapy. Music therapy involves using music to promote physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Music has been used for healing since ancient times. In 1998 the American Music Therapy Association was established to further advance the application of music therapy. In India the practice of music therapy is not that widespread but it’s slowly gaining significance here also.
William.J.Cromie, writer for the Harvard Gazette explains the manner in which our brain processes music. There is a spiral sheet in our inner ear. The sounds of music pluck this spiral sheet, which activates the brain cells in the hearing portion of our brain. The activated brain cells generate the conscious experience of music. There is no single region in the brain that is entirely dedicated to the perception of music. Though right side of the brain is usually considered to be associated with music, studies being carried out on people suffering from brain damage shows that both right and left side take part in perceiving music.
Listening to music enhances our concentration and creativity. It has also been found to improve our cognitive ability. Psychologist George Lozanov conducted a study to test the effect of music on memory and learning. The study found that when students learning foreign languages listened to classical music they could learn around 1,000 new words in a day. Their memory and retention rate increased to a very high level.
Music therapy has been used in the treatment of several illnesses. Given below are some of the diseases and illnesses with which music therapy has been associated -
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