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4 Ways to Use Music as Medicine

Harness the healing power of harmony at home

You donít have to be formally trained to help an ill loved one reap the holistic healing benefits of music. Snyder-Cowan offers a few simple suggestions:

Make your own music: If you or your loved one have a passion for playing a particular instrument, donít hesitate to dust off the old six-string and strum out a few chords. ďLive music has its own set of special rewards,Ē says Snyder-Cowan.

Travel to another time or place: Music and memory are intimately intertwined. To help your loved one get in touch with their past, try playing music that was popular when they were in their 20s and 30s.

Match tempo to temper: No one genre of music is more therapeutic than another. According to Snyder-Cowan, itís all about personal preference. Pick songs that you and your loved one enjoy listening to. Keeping in mind the principal of entrainment, try to synchronize the songs to the mood youíre trying to invoke.

Highlight hobbies: For example, a sick person may not be able to visit the opera like he used to, but that doesnít mean he has to forgo his favorite arias. You can help bring the opera to him by purchasing or downloading some of his favorite performances and playing them.

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, General Health, Health, Natural Remedies, , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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129 comments

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1:48AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

I absolutely feel delighted once I realize articles appropriate to my work and my subject.
ultra music festival Croatia

3:52PM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Rhythm.

3:48PM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Music sets your inner heart, it is the rythym of ones life

5:47AM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

I play music while I work, whether it be a cd, the music on my phone or the small radio I keep by my desk. I find I focus better with a little music as my office is very quiet. I work in an art gallery with historic paintings of dead people. I guess the music keeps the paintings from talking to me, 'cause that's when it's time to go.
My dad played the banjo and he was depressed nearer the end of his life. He was on anti-depressants. The depression seemed to come on when his hands got too weak to play (he had a form of muscular dystrophy that my sister, her kids and myself also have). I have his banjo in my living room, restrung and everything. He made us promise to never sell it. Maybe someday I'll take lessons and make that beautiful instrument sing again!

2:31PM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Music helps our minds expand by giving us new neural connections. It enlivens our souls and wakes us to the refreshing beauty of life. As a meditative musician, I am so excited that more and more people are starting to understand the healing power of music.

5:17AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Music expresses what words cannot. Somewhere in the man, women, or child -- the kind of music that a person needs -- to feel better/to get better-- comes to that person -- and something healing happens. Catharsis or something thing like that. Other times music helps set the pace of the day or the atmosphere of the spirit and/or soul and/or body. Other times music is only tuned out and/or in the back ground.
(Spelling and/or typos corrected --some.)

5:13AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

Music expresses what words cannot. Somewhere in the man, women, or child -- the kind of music that a person needs -- to feel better/to get better-- comes to that person -- and something healing happens. Catharsis or somtime thing like that. Other times music helps set the pace of the day or the atmoshere of the spirit and soul. Other times music is only tuned out and/or in the bakc ground.

9:40PM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

I love the music of this article! Thanks!

11:15PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

Music is a great way to get through the day and face troubles. This article has a gentle tone (any genre, just use the music that is preferred, and take out any instrument you have and play what you can)

2:55PM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

It's good to see someone writing about music and its many benefits...thanks!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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