Can Art Heal?

 The Healing Power of Music  (Part 1 of 4)

By Adriana Paredes -Staff Writer

Creative expression can make a powerful contribution to the healing process and has been embraced in many different cultures. Cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien shares that shamans and medicine men believe that the moment a person stops singing and dancing that person loses touch with his or her soul creating stress and unbalance which can result in the appearance of disease. Throughout recorded history, people have used pictures, stories, dances, and chants as healing rituals. This four-part series will explore the healing power of artistic expression and its relationship to metaphysics.

Engaging in artistic activities either as an observer or as an artist can enhance one’s moods, emotions, and overall psychological state. Creative activities contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.  Over the past decade, health psychologists have begun looking at how the arts might be used in a variety of ways to heal emotional injuries, increase understanding of oneself and others, develop a capacity for self-reflection, reduce symptoms, and improve behavior and thinking patterns.

Music, Health & Metaphysics

Music is the most accessible and most researched medium of art and healing. Music therapy has been shown to decrease anxiety and short term pain. Music therapy programs can help to restore emotional balance as well. Music can calm neural activity in the brain, which may help to restore effective functioning in the immune system partly via the actions of the amygdala and hypothalamus.

Music has been used with cancer patients. According to the American Cancer Society, there is evidence that, when used with conventional treatment, music therapy can help to reduce pain and relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It may also relieve stress and provide an overall sense of well-being. Some studies have found that music therapy can lower heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

Studies have shown that students who take music lessons have improved IQ levels. In particular, listening to music composed by Mozart produces a short-term improvement in tasks that use spatial abilities as the music produces more activity in certain areas of the brain. This has been famously called the “Mozart effect.”

Music has been an essential part of metaphysics. According to internationally recognized clairvoyant, and spiritual teaching Barbara Y. Martin, “When I listen to an inspired piece of music, I see wonderful spiritual energies of various hues connected to the musical ideas. If the music is particularly uplifting, there will be these incredible musical thought-forms. Not all music has this. Some has a neutral spiritual effect and other types of music unfortunately have a debilitating effect. The quality of the music has a lot to do with its spiritual power.”

Dimitri Moraitis, spiritual teacher and executive director of Spiritual Arts Institute adds, “Music emanates from the vibratory activity of life, sometimes called The Word of God. It is part of the spiritual as well as physical spheres. From ancient to modern times, metaphysicians have well-known the spiritual power of music as a tool to elevate the soul. Listening to uplifting music or even better, learning to sing or play an instrument has a wonderful effect on the consciousness.”

It is never too late to engage in a musical activity by doing so you may be uplifted and find another beautiful way to express your soul.

Sources:

http://www.artandhealing.org/why-it-matters/

http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/MindBodyandSpirit/music-therapy