The terms "music therapy" and "relaxation music" are new terms, but the practice of using music to heal, calm and relax can be tracked back to ancient times. We've always used music for meditation, celebration, during religious ceremonies, in preparation for battle, to soothe and calm newborns etc. Music is been a source of inspiration as well as a way to help balance our body and mind.
There are a few different schools of thought on how to utilize relaxation music and sound in therapy. These come from the knowledge profited from monitoring the effects of music on humans, both physically and psychologically.
Relaxation music has been proven to help:
- Relieve stress, apprehension and fear
- Improve mood
- Lower heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate
- Relieve depression
- Relief sleeplessness
- Relieve muscle tension and provide relaxation
- Tones and You
Music has been shown to affect the body in two distinct ways, directly as the effects of sound on the cells and organs and indirectly, by affecting the emotions, which then in turn influence numerous bodily functions. This can be seen in relaxation music.
There is not a single function of the body that cannot be affected by musical tones. The roots of the auditory nerves are more widely distributed and possess even more extensive connections than those of any other nerves in the body. It is been shown that music affects brain, digestion, circulation, nutrition and respiration. The muscles including the heart muscle synchronize to the beat of the music and you're not even thinking about it. In some music especially relaxation music designed for that purpose, the beat approximates the rhythm of the resting heart, which is 60 to 70 bpm. Listening to the music that is relaxing can actually slow heartbeat that is beating too fast so can help you relax.
When your heart is beating at a slower rate you are more relaxed and the other processes in your body happen and function better. Your entire system starts to work more holistically. You heal quicker, you're able to concentrate better, you breathe deeper, your digestive system runs better and you do really unwind and relax.
What is relaxation music?
If listening to music is a good thing, what sort of music should you listen to achieve the most beneficial results?
Any music that is soothing, probably not a party selection. There is been a lot said about different musical styles and it is true that specific temples and rhythm play a definite role, but if you don't enjoy the music you're listening to there is no effect. In fact it can actually have the opposite effect. If you don't enjoy classical music, that is okay.
Gentle, relaxing music that has been designed for this purpose is probably the best. This style of music, if properly and creatively produced is indeed therapeutic in a natural way to ease tension and lower stress. In times of illness or fatigue, relaxation music is a very powerful tool that greatly promotes healing responses by the body and complements natural and conventional medicine. It is a natural way to enhance the benefits of massage, aromatherapy and other natural therapies.
The most important point in any relaxation technique is actually taking the time to do it. Take time each day and sit, unwind and chill out to some music. You will feel the difference.