Wave forms and frequencies permeate everything from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest structures – through solid objects and energy fields – even our thoughts and emotions. When we are feeling good, all aspects of our being can be said to be in harmony. When we are experiencing discomfort on any level, or sickness occurs, the vibrations of certain sounds can help bring us back to a harmonic, healthy state.
Along with healing and transformation, making sounds through sacred instruments or our voices has been a joyful part of human life throughout human history. It is only recently that watching TV or listening to recordings has virtually replaced the pleasure of making sounds together. Modern science is proving how sound vibrations can improve health and enhance our lives. A research team in Sweden discovered the most effective way of clearing blocked sinus passages was humming! Some participants in these sound healing sessions have noted how relaxing and uplifting the experience is, while others find it has helped relieve pain, bring them to a more joyful state, and many other benefits.
The Awe of Music
Music has also been shown to have the wonderful power to awe humans. Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute, for instance, have found dramatic evidence on brain scans that the “chills,” or a visceral feeling of awe, that people report listening to their favorite music are real.
Music that a person likes – but not music that is disliked – activates both the higher, thinking centers in the brain’s cortex, and, perhaps more important, also the “ancient circuitry, the motivation and reward system,” said experimental psychologist Robert Zatorre, a member of the team.It’s this ancient part of the brain that, often through the neurotransmitter dopamine, also governs basic drives such as for food, water, and sex, suggesting the tantalizing idea that the brain may consider music on a par with these crucial drives.
Music as an Identifier of Emotions
In a study detailed in the European Journal of Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary Northwestern research team for the first time provides biological evidence that musical training enhances an individual’s ability to recognize emotion in sound, which is quite a useful skill in any facet of life. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, found that the more years of musical experience musicians possessed and the earlier the age they began their music studies also increased their nervous systems’ abilities to process emotion in sound.
Previous research has indicated that musicians demonstrate greater sensitivity to the nuances of emotion in speech. In fact, recent studies indicated that musicians might even be able to sense emotion in sounds after hearing them for only 50 milliseconds.
By Paul Lenda
Re-arranged by Joi