Can music help heal disease and mental problems?

Maoshing Ni, PhD, LAc
Geriatric Medicine
For thousands of years, music has been used in medicine. Ancient Greek philosophers believed that music had a healing effect on the body and soul. Singing and chanting have been a part of Native American healing ceremonies for millennia. In the Ottoman Empire, mental illnesses were often treated with music. A more formal approach to music therapy began after World War II when researchers observed that music had a positive effect on emotionally disturbed veterans.

To date, there is evidence that music therapy can reduce high blood pressure, depression and sleeplessness. In Alzheimer's patients, music therapy was shown to significantly reduce anxiety and aggression. While there are no claims that music therapy can directly cure diseases like cancer, medical professionals believe that music can reduce certain symptoms, help with healing, improve physical movement, and enrich a patient's overall quality of life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.