Medical Miracle found in Music

Medical Miracle found in Music

OK – I need to make this very clear right up front.

I am NOT a Doctor. Nor have I had any medical training whatsoever.

In fact, the only experience with medicine I’ve had is once I dislocated my toe when I mis-judged the kitchen doorway and I had to go to a doctor to get it put back into place. My Little Piggy had none that night, as I seem to recall.

Also, I used to play in a band where the lead singer was a doctor, so perhaps I am qualified after all.
(We once did a gig at a fancy dress ball and the doctor/singer “borrowed” some surgical gowns for us all to wear, but that’s another story….)

Anyway, recently my teenage daughter became ill. She was overseas and caught a tummy bug which appears to have flicked some latent food allergy switch inside her. This has resulted in all kinds of inconvenient stomach upsets. I say “inconvenient” looking at it from her point of view – she is a foodie who loves trying new and exotic things and really enjoys eating. Now, however, she needs to take it very carefully, at least in the foreseeable future.screaming_headphones

Fortunately, while this is not life threatening, it is proving to be unpleasant. The smallest mouthful of incompatible FODMAP / Lactose / Coeliac food can trigger stomach cramps and nausea that lasts for days at a time. I feel helpless and inadequate.

My other younger tweenage daughter has inherited my and my wife’s weak knees. She is very active – always running, jumping, participating in individual and team sports on a daily basis.

It seems as if every time she gets involved in some new sport, or an old one, or runs around at lunch time with her friends, (or even gets out of bed in the morning) she twists / sprains / injures one of her knees. Last week she did it again, so we actually invested in a pair of crutches of our own rather than hire them again.

Our physiotherapist costs are astronomical – and our health insurance is getting a massive workout.

So, both of my wonderful girls are sick or injured. The stress of this is building up within my wife and me – and our girls aren’t overly happy about it either.

What has been interesting is watching them cope in their own special ways.

And the main way they have been helping themselves is by listening to music.

During the day, when she is not feeling well, my oldest daughter lies on her bed with her headphones in her ears and her ipod playing some calming music. She enjoys soft, slow songs and ballads. Sometimes she listens to some classical and orchestral pieces – Beethoven and Mozart. Other times she listens to her favourite artists – Taylor Swift is on high rotation.

Similarly, my youngest daughter immerses herself in her cello. Over the last week she has been hobbling awkwardly on her shiny new crutches over into our lounge room. She sits herself down and plays whatever comes into her mind – pieces from the school orchestra she is learning, tunes her teacher is working with her on, random tunes and melodies, plus she is trying to figure out some of her favourite radio songs.

Then, at night after a difficult and uncomfortable day for both of them, they have been playing some of my calming and relaxing music from my friend Rick and my “River to the Sea” and “Sea to Sky” albums when they turn off the lights and go to sleep.

This is both an honour for me and a humbling experience too.

I am fortunate in that our music has received more than a few complimentary comments over the years. It has been used in hospitals and doctors waiting rooms. Several maternity wards have noted that the babies, the new mothers and fathers and the staff find that the music helps to relieve the stress everyone is feeling.

I know that similar comments have been received by all of the featured musicians that appear within this calming music blog.Healed_by_the_hand_of_elvis

I know that dentists, doctors, airlines, child care centres, yoga studios, relaxation spas, massage specialists and teachers use various kinds of calming music to soothe their customers.

They use the music to calm worried minds, to relax tense bodies, to still harried souls.

A calm and relaxed body and mind can get on with the healing process.

So, while my daughters both are still not 100%, I find too that I am deliberately spending time listening to the beautiful music I am trying to share with readers and listeners of this blog.

It is helping me, and helping my children.

It is helping them to relax, to forget about their aches and pains. It is helping them to forget how uncomfortable they are feeling and to temporarily remove themselves from their current existence.

Listening to music is providing them with a feeling on comfort. It is allowing them the mental and physical space to concentrate on recovery and getting better. And it appears to be working.

And I know that calming music helps many, many people around the world on a daily basis.

So, while I am certainly not claiming that music cures cancer, or eradicates bubonic plague, or miraculously heals broken limbs, I am suggesting that listening to music cannot hurt.

I am suggesting that it may just make the listener feel a bit better.

Do you have any experience with music being used in medical settings or situations ?

If you are not feeling well, does music play a part in your recovery process ?

Please add your experiences below in the comments section, and don’t forget to share this article by clicking on the social sharing icons on the left of this page !

Image thanks to Flickr creative commons and DJ Badly

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