Music Therapy falls under an area of study known as 'psychoacoustics'. Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of how humans perceive various sounds, and in particular, the psychological and physiological responses associated with those sounds. Essentially, you hear a sound in your ear, that sound travels to your brain where the sound is interpreted, and your brain then signals the body to respond accordingly. In general, humans cannot perceive tones below 16-20 Hz, and anything below that is instead heard as beats. When the theories and principles of psychoacoustics are applied in a manner with a goal of eliciting a positive reaction in the mind, body, or spirit, it is known as Sound Healing or Music Therapy.
Few people can deny the power of music. Music can affect our mood, mind, and memories. It can evoke emotions of joy or sadness, making us smile or causing us to cry. It can put a spring in our step when we are feeing a little blue, give us a boost of energy when we are dragging, calm our nerves when we are anxious or upset, help us focus when studying, or just serve as a nice distraction when engaged in mundane or unpleasant tasks. Because we associate music with so many important times in our life, it can also bring back memories and the corresponding emotions. A wedding song can stir feelings of love (or the opposite if you are now divorced!). A favourite song of a departed loved one reminds you of time spent with them. Whatever genre of music from the decade you grew up in can take you back to your youth (love the 80's!). Music like reggae or Latin can transport you back to that tropical island you vacationed at years ago, or even build excitement for the trip you have yet to take.
But music goes beyond that with its many physical benefits. Listening to Baroque classical music has been shown to reduce heart rate because it is recorded at 60 BMP which is a resting heart rate; numerous studies have been conducted that show listening to music while having medical and dental procedures makes it both less unpleasant for the patient and easier on the medical personnel; and there are studies on the effect of sound and music on the comfort and development of pre-term babies in neo-natal care. Just listening to music can positively affect mood, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, sleep quality, and pain sensation.
At its basic level, Music Therapy is the use of a combination of vocal and instrumental sounds to improve health and quality of life. However, unlike clinical music therapy where interventions such as singing, songwriting, playing instruments, and rhythmic dancing are used for conditions such as acquired brain injuries, developmental disabilities, hearing impairments, and speech and language impairments, our focus is instead on using the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical facets of music to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and minimize pain. In addition to offering Music Meditation, we also often add music into our Guided Imagery to enhance the experience, and have a selection of binaural beats, monaural beats, isochronic tones, and meditations you can listen to on their own or while on the Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy mat.
For an excellent read on the many benefits of music, click HERE
Meditation may involve concentration on either an internal or external object of attention. Music as Meditation is a type of meditation known as "focused meditation", which involves concentration using any of the five senses - in this case, the sense of hearing.
Listening to music has been shown to have many therapeutic applications including calming breathing, slowing the heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and triggering a deep relaxation response. Meditation has been shown to calm breathing, slow heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and trigger a deep relaxation response. Funny how that works! We are just taking two things that are great on their own but even better when you put them together, kind of like peanut butter and chocolate!
Music Meditation consists of sitting in a nice, comfortable lounger (or laying on the Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy mat if you have chosen to pair the two). Depending on your mood and comfort level with meditation, your music meditation may include either meditation or guided imagery tracks with music designed specifically for relaxation and meditative purposes, or using a very simple yet effective method of using any kind of music for meditation.
For those who have previously used binaural beats, monaural beats, or isochronic tones, they can also be incorporated.