All music can be healing especially when it is played in sequence.The following information gives you guidelines on creating your own healing music sequence, even if you do not play an instrument!
1 Select Appropriate Music.Most of us choose music that we “like” but will this give us the best results? In fact, often the music we are least attracted to will have the greatest benefit (when played in the right sequence). Let’s say you are very angry. So your first instinct is to put on some really angry music. Does it really help, or does it kind of perpetuate how you feel? Yet, on the other hand if you play some light and happy music, by comparison to how you are currently feeling, it will probably make you feel angrier! As you see, selecting music is not a simple one-shot process.
2 Consider Music Sequencing -Sometimes it is necessary to first choose music that totally matches your current mood rather than the mood you wish to acquire. Consider arranging a series of different musical compositions in sequence that are customized just for your needs. For example, if you are dealing with depression, select a composition which represents depression in its extreme form, to you. Follow this with one that is only mildly depressing. Then select a neutral composition, and end with a composition which is clearly uplifting and motivating. Listening to music in a sequence like this allows for your current stress level or mood to be first honored and then to be gradually transformed.
3 Speakers Are Ideal– It is ideal to listen to the music through speakers rather than headphones so that the cells of the body themselves may “listen” to the sound.
4 Prepare Yourself to Listen-Take off your shoes. Stand relaxed, sit or lie down and breathe.
5 Listen All the Way Through-It is preferable to listen to the musical composition all the way through, without interruption. This allows for the optimum response to the transformation process.
6 Foreground, Not Background-We all have the tendency to use music for the background of other activities. Try developing the technique of just listening to the music, not doing anything else. This way, you will get the best benefit.
7 Your Response is What is Important-It is through your response that the emotional/cellular memory may be released. Do not think that you have to just stay still and concentrate on the music! In fact, if the music inspires you to get up and do something or your mind begins to wander, allow, allow, allow! Allow all responses without judgment. On the other hand, do not begin listening to the music while you are already doing other unrelated activities. The important thing is to let the music embrace you totally.
8 Listen Actively, Not Passively-Allow the music to reach your inner feeling, and respond freely to it. Everyone has a different manner of expression. You may experience visual images, thoughts, movement, an intensification of emotion, physical vibrations, sleep, or nothing at all.
9 Observe Mind/Body Connection-A lot of research has been done recently showing that there is a definite connection between the mind and the body. (Actually this refers to the emotions too but it sounds succinct to say “mind/body.”) Even though music healing is often related to relaxation and emotional issues, there is the likelihood that this indirectly could have a benefit on physical illnesses as well.
10 Enjoy the Silence! – When the music stops, it is suggested that you bask in the silence for many moments. This will help integrate the feelings.
Musical way to recover from illness :
In last month’s issue of the journal Brain, scientists from Finland and Canada reported on the effect of music on patients recovering from stroke occurring in the left or right hemisphere middle cerebral artery region (causing paralysis and speaking difficulties). In the study 60 stroke patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: listening to music, listening to audio books of their choice and no listening. Each day for two months using a portable CD player, patients recovering from a stroke received many hours of music therapy, language therapy or no therapy. Over six months their neurological recovery was monitored.
The results were remarkable. Verbal memory (ability to recall a 10 word list) and focused attention (ability to stay alert for long durations) improved significantly in the music group compared to the others. Based on psychological testing, patients in the music group were less depressed and less confused compared with the patients in the no listening group.
There are several possible reasons for such a dramatic improvement. In a healthy person, music listening activates networks of neurons in the brain leading to an enhancement of attention, memory, motor function and emotion processing. While recovering from a stroke when the neuron are plastic and trying to repair themselves, listening to pleasant music enhances the interconnected networks of the subcortical and cortical brain regions resulting in improved long term recovery.
Most stroke patients spend over 70 percent of their recovery time in nontherapeutic activities. Adding music in the rehabilitation periods may provide significant improvement as well as pleasure to the recovery process. Music may also help all of us in our daily routine too.
Dr Manoj Jain is an infectious disease physician
working in Memphis (US) and Indore (india)