Have you ever wondered if music actually heals? How about that feeling of calm when you hear certain sounds like a gentle piano, chime, or rain? The power of sound has always been something people have been aware of, but maybe it should be taken more literally.
Some people may argue that music plays as a placebo for most, but regardless if it is a placebo or not, it works because your mind is convinced that it does, and so it does. Because your brain can send pain projections, sound therapy can work in a way where regular stimulation causes reactivation in the brain. This will reconnect many parts of the brain and provide the right signals that can help your brain let go of those pain signals.
What is Sound Therapy?
Sound therapy is used at different frequencies to heal physical and emotional health. In this case, research shows that sound therapy has been found to reduce pain in people with cancer. Unfortunately, negative side effects of treatments like chemotherapy can emerge including peripheral neuropathy, infections, anemia, chemo brain, fertility issues, and more. With less risk, effective pain management has been found to improve with sound therapy, and here’s why:
The functions of music can work in a way where distraction, stress, anxiety, and pain are reduced. Because music releases neurotransmitters, it also releases hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Usually, pain receptors in the body send information along a pathway of interconnected nerves to the brain. Along with where the nerve enters the spine, there is a gateway that can be closed by sensory stimulation through sound therapy treatments such as Vibroacoustic therapy.
This type of treatment uses a low frequency that passes through the body with a device that contains embedded speakers. With this treatment, it can also stimulate the brain in a way where it can regulate oscillatory activity.
There are many different sound therapy treatments that have emerged over the years. One to note is: neurologic music therapy, which is used to reduce stress and promote relaxation and has been found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery. Techniques during treatment can include: creating, listening, singing, or moving to music. This treatment can be also used for physical therapy, pain management, and brain injuries.
Other Possible Benefits of Sound Therapy:
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Reduce symptoms of autism
- Reduce effects of sleep disorders
- Lower cholesterol
- Improve memory
- Decrease heart disease or stroke
- Improve energy
- Reduce depression symptoms
Although research still has time to improve on how effective sound therapy can be for patients with cancer, it has become a more popular treatment with many studies and articles emerging regarding the benefits.
A recent review of 400 published scientific articles that investigated music as medicine found strong evidence that music can heal pain. Other studies have concluded that music waves can boost human immunity by enhancing antioxidants and protect the central nervous system. Regardless of the new knowledge of sound therapy, it has been shown to offer benefits to patients struggling with cancer pain and other conditions with low side effects.