The Healing Power of Music
Throughout history, people all over the world have associated a piece of music or a song with a memory, thought or emotion. It could be strongly argued that music has the power to heal in various ways and the organic impact it can have on a person has proven positive time and again. In fact, there are many ways, both mentally and physically, in which music can serve as a major health benefit. Music therapy has increasingly become a sought after and invaluable service, commonly found in nursing homes, assisted living centers, day cares, schools, and hospitals – and for good reason. A study published in Medical News Today (2015) found that, “listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression.” This is one of many reasons why music therapy should be incorporated into treatment plans. Other studies have shown how music therapy can:
• Help to alleviate pain after surgery by providing a diversion from the pain and producing positive feelings in the brain.
• Stimulate memories in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia – long term memory is a powerful thing; remarkably, song lyrics from long ago tend to be easily remembered
• Reduce stress and anxiety – music soothes the soul and similar to pain, it offers a calming diversion in times of high stress or anxiety.
Shalom Lamm is the CEO of Operation Benjamin, an organization “devoted to preserving the memories of American-Jewish soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the cause of freedom during World War II.” Their mission is to ensure that the burial markers for these soldiers are replaced with ones that clearly depict their religion and Jewish heritage. Prior to his work with Operation Benjamin, Lamm has held many successful leadership positions throughout his career, in addition to helping raise his family of 5 children. One can only assume the toll all that responsibility could take on a person’s stress levels. Incorporating some music into his daily life could potentially help balance and reduce any weight that Shalom Lamm carries on his shoulders. It could serve as a welcomed break or distraction from any stress caused by his many obligations. As CEO, he could even implement music therapy within his organization as a tool to help his employees focus and relax.
Music doesn’t discriminate, its healing power can have a profound impact on people young and old, through all walks of life. Additionally, it’s a simple and low cost treatment option that most of the world has access to. Switch on the radio for background music while driving or exercising, attend a free concert in the park, get tickets to go see a favorite band/musician, create a Spotify playlist consisting of soothing or calming tracks, fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean or rain forest, or begin the day by singing a tune in the shower. Shalom Lamm suggests that people find what works and begin to incorporate it into a daily routine.