A healthy body is composed of numerous rhythmic patterns, all of which are harmoniously linked to a happy mind. When we become angry, these patterns of internal music become distorted and lead to physical problems. Feeling angry is not merely a thought, but it is an all-body sensation where every single cell of the body is forced to deviate from its normal style of functioning. When we are angry, we are literally ‘out of tune’. The result is that our eye and facial muscles tense up, our skin begins to redden or become pale, our heart beat rises, and our body posture changes, reflecting how we feel inside.
This micro-muscular response to emotional states is what is described as ‘body language’. In a way, our body tries to remain tuned to its natural sounds and rhythms which produce happiness, but once it is thrown off balance, harsh words, a raised voice and ill feelings signal that we are no longer tuned to the music of perfect balance or health. This also cuts our links with nature, hence the feeling of poverty, loneliness and loss of spiritual awareness.
Dr. David Aldrich, head of a clinical team researching music therapy, has shown that heart disease patients have difficulties in coordinating and empathizing with the rhythms of music makers. That music has therapeutic value has been known for a long time, but it is becoming increasingly clear that music is a necessity for creating and maintaining health rather than just a means for gaining pleasure.
Dr. Ralph Spintge, head of a pain clinic in Germany, has produced a database that reveals the powerful effects of music on over 90,000 patients. All patients showed measurable improvements in both quality and speed of recovery. Other effects of music included a 50% reduction in recommended doses of sedatives and anesthetic drugs needed to perform otherwise very painful operations. Now there are even some procedures that, with the aid of music, require no anesthetic at all. Although a certain part of the value of music helps the patient to distract his mind from his sickness or pain, most of its healing effects emanate from restoring the important biological and neuro-physiological rhythms that underlie the vital functions of the body. Music soothes and relaxes anxieties, helps to trigger natural painkillers in the brain, and improves the performance and clarity of the mind.
Research has shown that music activates the right-brain temporal lobe, which is associated with emotion, movement, and meaning. This is particularly important in our left-brain society where logic, rational behavior, and analytical thinking are considered the preferred keys to success. Music can stimulate our right brain, which comprises the intuitive and artistic faculties, and this may turn stress and tension into opportunities for positive change in life. After all, we were not born with only half a brain. Our right-brain temporal lobe has many astonishing abilities in store, however, our predominantly left-brain oriented educational system has not sufficiently encouraged their full development. Music has the capacity to fill this gap. There is a desperate need to develop right-brain activities in our society, which is a major reason why so many young people spend all day listening to music.
Internationally famous music sensation Tony DeBlois is a typical example of a right-brain musical genius. Born brain-damaged, blind and autistic, Tony, at age twenty-one, is not even able to tie his own shoelaces, but he has a remarkable musical memory for over 7,000 songs. His ability for playing and singing incredibly complex jazz improvisations has made up for the lack of intellect. His memory for music is extraordinary. He can play any one of his 7,000 songs in any possible style without making a mistake and leap without transition from classical music to the most modern compositions of pop. When his mother gave him his first electronic keyboard, she hoped that this would stimulate him in some way. At first, she was disappointed when Tony only produced random notes and their possible combinations. After about six weeks, he began to play the first three notes of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ and his gift for music was born.
Playing musical instruments has a profound influence on the performer himself. If you possibly can, try to learn an instrument. One does not need to be artistic or intelligent in order to play music. Tony, too, had no previous skills. The random and seemingly meaningless musical notes he produced prior to developing his musical talent had served as a stimulant to trigger his right-brain functions. Everyone who has a right-brain temporal lobe is artistic and musical by nature. By playing a musical instrument, you can develop this important side of your brain. You don’t have to be a good performer of music to reap the benefit from the frequencies of sound, but by merely producing sounds you bring about profound changes in your brain.
Playing music creates happiness and a feeling of contentment, both essential for a healthy mind and a healthy body. That producing music or singing can have an anti-aging effect is clearly demonstrated by such artists as Tina Turner, Barbara Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, David Bowie, Cliff Richard and Diana Ross, among numerous other performers. They seem to have stopped aging years ago.