There’s always a song for everything. For every mood, desire and setting you can think of. It’s not just you who feels great after a night of karaoke; scientific studies from different psychologists have shown that music has a healing power and helps people in improving their lives.
Chinese culture also uses music as a recovery tool. China’s first medical text, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, documents the use of music as therapy.
This text explains how all five elements of nature (earth, water, fire, metal, and wood) have corresponding aspects with things such as the seasons of the year, your internal organs, colours, musical notes, etc.
This specific type of medicine uses the relationship between the internal organs and the five-element correspondences with the sounds of varying musical notes to achieve different healing purposes.
In addition, a study in Taiwan evaluated the effects of the Chinese method of the five element music therapy, on 71 nursing students who suffered from depression. The Internal Journal of Nursing Practice reported that the music group, composed of 31 students, received the musical therapy while the other 40 students were used as controls and maintained their ordinary lifestyles without any musical therapy. They found that there was a significant reduction in levels of depression in the group exposed to the musical therapy, based on the pre- and post-therapy test scores and salivary cortisol levels, than the control group.
Music can be used as a healing tool not only for treating depression but also for treating autism, schizophrenia, and dementia, as well as problems of agitation, anxiety, sleeplessness, and substance misuse, according to Harvard’s Review of Psychiatry Journal (2011).
Sadly, it is not yet known if music therapy can replace other modes of treatment, and more research is yet needed in neuroscience and clinical medicine to find out the long-term effects music therapy has in order to create new strategies with this method.
Whenever you’re feeling a little bit sad or anxious, don’t hesitate to listen to your favourite playlist. Blast it loud and feel great about it.